News

Spinel: An Enigmatic Gem

Originally posted on July 28th, 2017

Updated on April 10th, 2020

Last summer, the American Gem Trade Association and Jewelers of America added a new birthstone to the official list of birthstones. Yes, an official list of birthstones does exist.

The powers that be in the gems and jewelry industry have decided to make Spinel a gemstone for August, along with Peridot and Sardonyx. Both Pink Spinel and Peridot (both shown below as bezel set necklaces) are ideal colors for the summertime, or anytime that needs bright and vibrant colors.



What is Spinel? You're probably asking yourself.

Great question. Not many people have heard of Spinel, which is unfortunate because Spinel is a beautiful and durable gemstone in its own right. It is a composition of magnesium aluminum oxide, and it is colorless in its purest form. Spinel forms in limestone metamorphic rock, altered by heat and pressure. As the crystal solidifies, spinel forms into an octahedral crystal shape, similar to a diamond's natural crystal shape. Trace elements are responsible for many beautiful spinel colors. Chromium, for example, is responsible for the gorgeous red colors in these spinel specimens found at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.


Look at these beautiful Octahedron Spinel Crystals. Aren't they incredible?

 

On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, it is a 7 1/2 to an 8; Spinel is a lovely alternative to a diamond in an engagement ring. Our 14K Yellow Gold Vintage Halo-Style Oval Engagement Ring Mounting is an ideal example. Spinel is not an everyday topic of conversation, well not yet anyway. But that's what we're for at Moijey. We're here to provide you information about beautiful gemstone and products that you won't find anywhere else.



Once upon a time, red Spinel was mistaken for ruby. It wasn't until the mid to late 1700s that Spinel was an individual species. Despite being a completely different gem species from ruby, the two gems have two things in common. Like rubies, red and pink Spinel acquire their color from traces of chromium, and both gemstones are ideal for everyday wear. Spinel is a 7 to an 8 1/2 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, while ruby is a 9. This level of durability makes Spinel another ideal alternative to a diamond in an engagement ring.

 



It comes in a wide variety of colors. Black Spinel and Pink Spinel are the most available colors in the market. Black Spinel would make an excellent alternative to black diamonds. This 14K White Gold Diamond and Black Spinel Eternity Band is an ideal example. To inquire further about Spinel, please feel free to give us a call anytime.


 

Thank you for stopping by at Moijey. I can't wait to see you next week. I'll delve deeper into more detail about beautiful Spinel.