Sri Lanka, Brazil, Thailand, and United States
magnesium aluminum oxide
many centuries, most gem spinels were misidentified as sapphires or rubies because they
have similar properties and occur in the same geological deposits.
The two inch faceted "ruby" in the center of the British Imperial
Crown was only recently identified as a spinel! Spinels also
occur in a vast array of colors. They are slightly softer
than sapphires but still very durable. The earliest spinels,
used as ornaments were found in Buddhist tombs in Afghanistan.
Blue spinels have been found in England, dating back to the
Roman occupation (51 BC to 400 AD).
is a favorite of gem dealers and gem collectors due
to its brilliance, hardness and wide range of spectacular
colors. In addition to beautiful rich reds, spinel can
be found in a range of pastel shades including a spectacular
vibrant hot pink with a trace amount of orange, mined
in Myanmar. Spinel also comes in beautiful blues which
are sometimes called cobalt spinel, but these are very