You need to know this gorgeous gem!
What are spinels, and why should you care? Not only are they among the most beautiful of all gems, they are also very affordable – at least for now.
Spinels are one of my favorite gems.
- They naturally occur in almost every color:
- Red - the rarest!
- ...and more!
- They do not need to be treated or enhanced to bring out their beautiful color (unlike most other colored gems).
Photo credit: https://www.gia.edu
An Interesting History
For centuries, red spinel was lumped in with ruby as jewelers didn’t have a reliable way to tell them apart. Red spinel not only looks nearly identical to ruby, but they often come from the same areas. In fact, many famous “rubies” have turned out to be spinel, including some in crown jewelry collections. The most famous is the Black Prince Ruby in the British crown jewels. Russian and Persian crown jewels also feature amazing spinels, which were once thought to be rubies.
Actually, it is a 170 carat red spinel.
Featuring a 398 carat red spinel set on top.
The finest spinels today are mined in Burma. This is where the beautiful ruby red colored spinels are found. Afghanistan, East Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are also producing some nice blue and pastel colored spinels.
Spinels are relatively hard being an 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. For comparison, a diamond is a 10 and rubies and sapphires are 9.0. This makes it a great for setting into a ring and holds up to daily wear quite well.
Why we really love them
- Stunning color and brilliance. Spinels come in many gorgeous colors: red, pink, blues and many pastel shades. They typically have fewer inclusions (extra pieces of foreign materials) than rubies and sapphires. Combine this with excellent cutting you get a gemstone that has outstanding brilliance. You really need to see this for yourself!
- Rarity. Spinel has never been plentiful enough in attractive colors to be promoted in a major way. Until recently, it was a collector gemstone among gemologists and serious aficionados. You rarely see these gems sold in mass marketed chain jewelry stores. Today, it is gaining popularity with jewelry lovers who are looking for an alternative to rubies, which have been tainted with undisclosed treatments.
- They are natural. With rare exceptions, spinel is not treated. Untreated gemstones are scarce. It just feels better to have something unenhanced.
- Durability. They are a hard gemstone, right under sapphire and ruby for hardness. Thus, they make an excellent choice to be set into a ring.
- Affordable. Right now, spinels are still undervalued and a good bargain. We are at the beginning of their rise in popularity. Prices have risen in the past couple of years and are likely to continue to increase. But, compared to where they will be in the near future, they are still very affordable. A great investment for your jewelry collection.
Do yourself a favor. Come see for yourself how gorgeous this gemstone is. Many people now say it is their favorite! Now is a great opportunity to own a fabulous gemstone that has a fascinating history, is mesmerizing in its beauty, and is relatively rare. Don’t dilly dally on this one! You’ll be glad you picked one out before they are priced out of reach.
Check out these beautiful spinels
Images courtesy of www.adamantgems.com
Just gorgeous! Which one is your favorite?