Spinel (spin-NEL) is a genuine Gemstone with a long history. The availability of Red, Pink, Blue, Purple and Orange Spinel and all of their accompanying shades has created confusion between natural Spinel and other Gems for those unfamiliar with this natural stone.
Spinel is a mineral group composed of Magnesium Aluminates. The addition of Chromium produces Pink or Red Spinel. Iron or Titanium additions produce Lavender or Blue Spinel. Spinel takes a brilliant polish, so it is an excellent choice for jewelry. Generally Spinel crystals are quite clear and clean of flaws. Spinel received its name from either the Greek spina meaning “little thorn” or from the Greek spinther meaning “spark” in allusion to its color. Spinel is not quite as hard as Corundum (Sapphire & Ruby), but harder than Beryl (Emerald), so it is a fine candidate for Jewelry. Spinel is heat sensitive, excessive heat could fade the color in light stones. Many of the crown jewels thought to be fine Ruby are in reality Red Spinel. Our sources for Spinel is the Mogok region of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known also for producing the finest variety of Sapphire, Garnet, Tourmaline, Taaffeite, and Ruby. Other sources are Thailand, Afghanistan and Russia.
Burma Red Spinel is the most sought after of all the Spinels, and it is getting very scarce in stones over 2 carats in size, but essentially all colors of Spinel are rare and highly valued Collectors Gemstones.