You might not have heard of spinel, but there is a good chance you have seen it or even worn it at some point in your life. Because of its variety of colors, durability and the ease of inexpensively synthesizing, man made spinel is often the stone of choice for class rings.
Naturally created spinel was not "discovered" until technology was developed to be able to separate it gemologically from sapphire/ruby. Because of this, several important stones including the Black Prince's Ruby in the British Imperial Crown was determined to actually be spinal. The fact that spinel and sapphire/ruby are mined in the same areas as well as have a similar hardness contributed to the confusion and early difficulty separating the gemstones. Today, a qualified gemologist can easily tell the difference between spinel and ruby with common, in store equipment. This beautiful gemstone is known for being often found so perfect in its natural crystal form that in Myanmar/Burma they are called nat thwe, or "polished by the spirits".
If you are an August baby and not completely in love with the traditional yellow green peridot, you now have options. Spinel is commonly available in shades of pink and purple, as well as the more rare red and royal blue.
Over the years, spinel has been a great favorite stone in many of our designs because the vibrancy of color in combination with its hardness that makes even a small stone, if well cut, just "pop". Many discerning buyers also love the stone as as it can be a less expensive alternative to sapphire and a more durable substitute for tanzanite.
Stop by our store to experience for yourself the lure of this gemstone. All this month we will have a collection of loose stones as well as some select designer jewelry featuring spinel.