‘Spinel’, The Unassuming Gem

April 29, 2015 / Coloured Gemstones, Jewellery Buying Guide

Spinel, one of the lesser known gemstones to choose from, is popping its head up more frequently these days and perhaps slowly creeping its way to becoming one of the more commonly used gemstones.
Spinel is found in a variety of colours, the most well-known is the rich, deep red often confused with a Ruby. So much so is the resemblance similar to that of a Ruby, for many years it was actually mistaken as a Ruby hence the nickname ‘The Great Imposter’. The most famous example of this misidentification is the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby that was set into the Imperial State Crown in the British Crown Jewels and only years later was its true identity discovered, a Spinel.
Whilst the most sought after is the Red Spinel, they can also be found in a beautiful array of colours from soft pink / reds to burnt orange and deep blues, purples to a dark green – almost black in colour. The purest type is the white Spinel or also known as ‘colorless’. 
Spinel has an ideal hardness of 8 on the Moh’s hardness scale making it a wonderful choice for most jewellery purchases. If you are considering a Spinel as your centre stone for a dress ring, keep in mind that they can be quite brittle. This will depend on the individual stone, so instead of jumping the gun and ruling this beautiful gemstone out altogether, have a chat with your jeweller and they will advise you if a particular stone is suitable for your dress ring or jewellery piece. 
One thing to also be wary of is imitations. Fine red Spinel’s are extremely rare; in fact they are rarer than the Rubies they imitate. This has resulted in a surge in the production of laboratory made imitations. Synthetic stones can often be found in ready-to-wear fashion jewellery or birthstone jewellery, if you are designing a custom made piece make sure you purchase your Spinel through a reputable gemstone dealer. 
If you are designing a custom made piece why not consider the beautiful Spinel? Undeniably beautiful and available in a variety of colours, Spinel is one of the more affordable options. At Larsen Jewellery we can source you a range of stunning Spinel’s to choose from and design you a beautiful piece to enhance your stone perfectly. 

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