For a long time, spinels have been mistaken for rubies and even some sapphires! Thus many jewels of the English crown and other horizons that were thought to be adorned with rubies are in fact spinels!


Spinels are minerals of the oxide family.


Its name was coined in 1546, from the Latin "spina" which means thorn. This refers to the way spinel crystallizes, in a sharp way.

Extraction sites

The main deposits of Spinels are in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. They are also found in Australia, Brazil, Afghanistan, the United States and Nigeria.


Variations in composition explain the different colors of spinel. Vanadium and chrome will make the stone orange, red or magenta, iron will make the stone blue, pink or green and much rarer, manganese will color the stone yellow. The most beautiful and coveted colors are blood red and electric blue.


This stone being of the family of oxides, it is composed of magnesium and aluminum oxide.


Spinels are very resistant stones. You can easily mount them on engagement rings to be worn every day since it is rated 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale.


Generally spinels are not treated because they hardly react to heating treatment! 


To celebrate your first year of marriage you can give yourself a red spinel, the 7th year can be celebrated with a blue spinel and the 18th year with a pink spinel. Spinels are also the stones given to the August natives.

Famous spinels

The most famous spinel is surely the Black Prince Ruby. The Black Prince's Ruby is an uncut stone with an estimated weight of 170 carats. It is set on the front of the imperial crown of England. While its name seems to indicate that it is a ruby, it turns out that this stone is actually a spinel! The Imperial Crown of Russia is also set with a very large spinel of more than 414.3 carats long mistaken for a ruby.

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