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August birthstone: spinel meaning and properties

September 9, 2021

spinel meaning and properties

The spinel stone is an unusually beautiful creation of the earth’s interior. The gemstone is rare, so its value is quite high. Spinel has special properties that make this stone stand out from others, and they include one of the most diverse color spectra and a charming refractive index due to which a strong brilliance appears. It is also known as “the greatest impostor among precious stones.” It received such a role due to the fact that in the past, this stone was decorated with royal crowns, scepters, and royal jewelry, and not with a ruby, as it was believed at that time.

And today, you will find out why spinel continues to be one of the most sought-after gems around the world. This article will describe spinel properties as well as the use of the stone in various jewelry, which are highly sought after by the great jewelry houses. Moreover, we will describe all types of spinels, highlighting the most important facts about each of them. After reading this information, we assure you that August's birthstone, spinel, will open for you at a new angle.

What colors do spinels come in?

The range of shades of spinel is incredible: from bright red to neon blue, from calm green to fire orange, from golden yellow to mystical purple. There are even black as night and transparent, like a teardrop, crystals. Spinel is one of the few precious stones that delight with the richness of the color palette. Mineral impurities – iron, manganese, chromium – paint the stone in a variety of colors.

colors do spinels

Spinel properties are:

  • Luster: glassy
  • Birefringence: none
  • Dispersion: 0,026
  • Density: 3.6 - 4.1 g / cm3
  • Refractive index: 1.712 - 1.736
  • Hardness: 7.5 - 8
  • Chemical formula: MgAl2O4

Since August’s birthstone has excellent properties and a varied color palette, it will look spectacular in any jewelry and can be worn for a long time, and that is why spinel can be said to be a universal precious gem. Finding jewelry with large natural stones is quite difficult, but there is no need for this because miniature items with this gem look amazingly exquisite.

  • Earrings. Connoisseurs of minimalist design should look at these blue spinel stud earrings. Such a stylish and elegant piece of jewelry is the perfect choice for everyday use. For special occasions, drop earrings with medium stones are available.
  • Wedding rings. Pink spinel is a great choice for an engagement ring. With daily use, the stone will not lose its inimitable shine. It is ready to go with you a long way of family life!
  • Pendants and necklaces. This small stylish green spinel pendant is the best addition to your daily and work outlook. The accessory of mysterious black color will go with any outfit, adding a touch of status elegance to it.

For convenience, the main color palette has some subdivisions, conventionally dividing spinel into subspecies. Thus, the following can be distinguished:

  • Red spinel It is very beautiful and belongs to the class of oxides, being a kind of noble spinel. Interestingly, red spinel is much less common than rubies. Very often, red spinel is combined with other gemstones such as pearls and diamonds.
  • Pink spinel It is quite similar to the red variety. Large copies of good quality belonging to the category of investment. The cost of a carat can be thousands of dollars. Neon pink-red colors without additional shades are the most expensive.
  • Blue spinel This spinel is a noble gemstone. It is known that a small placer of this gem is an adornment of the coats of arms of the noble families of Spain, England, and France. Minerals of this shade with an alexandrite effect deserve special attention. Such specimens in sunlight have a blue tint, and they begin to shimmer with a red glare with artificial light.
  • Black spinel Such stone was found on the island of Sri Lanka, which was then known as Ceylon. Hence the second name of the stone - ceylonite. Black spinel is rarely used to create jewelry. Given the rarity of the stone and the complexity of its processing, such products are made only to order.
  • Purple spinel The purple gem is also known as almandine spinel. Instances of high purity are undoubtedly good and appreciated by connoisseurs of gemstones. The violet tone is sometimes accompanied by additional shades of pinkish, gray, purple, bluish, lilac.

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