Luminous peridot has long been August’s birthstone, but in 2016, another beauty joined its ranks: spinel.
Spinel is treasured among gem collectors because of its superb brilliance, hardness and spectrum of lovely colors. In addition to rich red, spinel also occurs in a vibrant range of orange, pink, blue and purple hues. It is a gem species that often surprises us with new and unusual colors: hot, orangey pink, velvety plum and cobalt blue to name a few. Traditionally mined in Burma and Sri Lanka, spinel is also found in Madagascar, Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Tanzania.
Spinel is one of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated gems. It is very rare, hardly found in sizes over 5 carats, and being too rare in the gem world can be a drawback because so few people know about it. Throughout history, spinel was often mistaken for other gems. In fact, the 170-carat Black Prince’s ruby in the Imperial State Crown of England in the British crown jewels is actually a spinel. Modern times haven’t helped spinel’s identity either due to the widespread use of synthetic spinel, a material created as an imitation gemstone popularly used in school rings and birthstone jewelry. Most people are unaware that there is even a gem called spinel!
On rare occasions, spinels can exhibit phenomenon like color-change, asterism and chatoyancy (stars and cat’s eyes.) Spinel is an 8 on the Mohs scale, nearly as durable as ruby and sapphire which makes it perfect for every day wear. Wonderfully vibrant and brilliant, spinel is a very beautiful...and indeed a very natural...gem.
Spinel adds a brilliant verve to the Suna spectrum. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE spinel!