Gemstone spotlight: Spinel

Name: Spinel
Moh Scale Hardness: 8
Specific Gravity: 3.54 – 3.63
Refractive Index: 1.762
Colours: Vast range – Blue, Red, Violet, Green, Pink and Orange

Spinel is beautiful, fine gemstone that in the past was mistaken as a variety of corundum, i.e. sapphires and rubies.

There is no known treatment that can improve the colour of a spinel gem, and red spinels are far rarer than the rubies for which they were originally mistaken. In comparison, sapphires and rubies are almost always heat treated to improve their colour, and they also command a far higher price in the market than the humble spinel.

The spinels hardness means that it can be easily set in any type of jewellery, and its lustre and fire is easily comparable to that of a ruby. It is an excellent value gem which many jewellers feel will command higher prices in the future.

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