|The Very Highest Quality Spinel Information...|
Spinel is misunderstood by most people. The simple reason for this is that some years ago, synthetic white spinel was used in cheap jewellery, usually eternity rings as a diamond substitute. Although spinel is hard, the synthetic spinels which were used were obviously not very hard, and often turn up in scrap jewellery looking very sorry for themselves, being quite badly scratched and worn.
This is rather similar to the way that zircon, a rare and attractive stone is confused with cubic zirconia because of the slight similarity in its name.
Spinel is not a synthetic stone. It is a real, natural, attractive and rare gemstone in its own right.
The Name Spinel
It is not known for certain where and how the word spinel originates. It has been suggested that it may come from the Latin spina meaning a thorn, or from the Greek word meaning a spark, alluding to its fiery colour.
Spinel occurs in many different and attractive colours. Red, rose, orange, brown, pink, yellow, blue, violet, purple, mauve, green, and black are all possible colours for spinel. Completely colourless (white) spinel is a rarity, but would only be appreciated by collectors.
More Confusion - Famous Spinels
In the past, spinel has also been confused with other gemstones. There are two very famous spinels in the British Crown Jewels. The Black Prince's Ruby is set in the front of the Imperial State Crown. It is in fact an unpolished spinel. The Timur Ruby is another spinel which is owned by the British Crown, and is inscribed with the name and dates of six owners, Akbar Shah, Shah Jahangir, Sahib Qiran Sani (Timur or Tamarlane), Alamgir Shah, Bagshah Ghazi Muhamad Farukh Siyar, and Ahmad Shah Dur-i-Duran. Other names have been engraved on the stone and removed by subsequent owners.
Spinel in Jewellery
Spinel is easily hard enough to be a durable gemstone, and can be used in rings. It is a pity that it is not better appreciated. Many specimens of spinel are very attractive. Because it is quite rare, it is still quite expensive especially in larger sizes. Unfortunately because of its association in people's minds, many consumers unfairly and ignorantly avoid it.
Spinel is found in Ceylon, Thailand, Burma, USA, Afghanistan, Australia, Sweden, and Brazil.
Chemical Composition and name:
Magnesium Aluminium Oxide or Magnesium Aluminate MgAl2O4 or MgO Al2O3.
Refractive Index: 1.714 - 1.736
Specific Gravity 3.58 - 3.75, exceptionally to 4.06
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