Spinel gemstone

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Physical properties of spinel

Hardness: 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glass
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Color: colorless, red, pink, blue, purple, green, yellow

Spinel characteristics

Spinel (noble spinel, rubicella, ceylonite, picotite) is quite an interesting gemstone. Firstly, because only since the 19th century this gem has been singled out as a separate category. Before that, spinel was called "lal", confused with ruby or attributed to some other precious stones.

Spinel is quite diverse - the color can be red, yellow (rubicella), blue, purple, green or black (ceylonite), brown (picotite). Transparent stones are referred to as "noble spinel" (the most expensive among them has a reddish color).

Spinel. Gemstone. Faceted spinel stones

Varieties of spinel gemstone:

  • fire spinel - red-orange color
  • ruby spinel - red and purple
  • bale ruby - rose red to fluorescent pink
  • almandine spinel - purple and violet-blue
  • sapphire spinel - blue, light blue and light blue
  • blue spinel - from light blue to dark blue
  • ganospinel - from green to almost black
  • chlorospinel - bright green
  • ceylonite (pleonast) - dark green or dark blue (almost black) color
  • picotite - brown
  • spinel with reverse effect

The name "spinel" itself came either from the Latin "spinella", which means "thorn" (a special form of spinel crystals), or, according to another version, from the Greek "spinos" - translated as "spark" (due to the peculiarity of the spinel, as it were glow in the dark).

Some spinel stones are quite famous in history. For example, one of the most famous stones is the "Timur Ruby" and the "Black Prince's Ruby" (at first they were mistaken for a ruby, only much later it turned out that it was a spinel). Also known is a spinel stone from the crown of the Russian Empress Catherine II (its mass is 400 carats).

But some spinel stones can reach considerable sizes - a pink spinel crystal weighing more than 5 kg was found in the Pamirs.

The bulk of spinel is mined in Burma and Sri Lanka.

How much does spinel cost

The most expensive are red and purple spinel - from $200 to $600 per carat, although the best stones can be valued at $1,000 per carat. Pink and purple spinels are valued lower, ranging from $50 to $300 per carat. At about the same price or slightly lower, you can buy green spinel. Gray-blue spinel is priced even lower: from $30 to $150 per carat. The cheapest is black spinel, its price usually does not exceed $15 per carat.

Emerald gemstone
See also: Lapis lazuli gemstone
Kunzite gemstone

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