Therapeutic properties

What does natural spinel stone look like?

Spinel is a beautiful jewelry stone that has a wide palette of colors and forms an independent group of minerals. In terms of chemical composition, the mineral is close to corundum: rubies and sapphires, but differs from them in its isotropic structure. Red gemstones were previously mistaken for rubies, and only at the beginning of the 20th century the truth became clear, when the properties of the stone began to be distinguished from the properties of rubies using gemological methods. The color scheme is very diverse and includes pink, red, orange, blue, blue, purple, black. Sometimes there are stones of colorless, yellow and green tones. The color of the stone depends on the content of impurities of various elements. The most valuable is the bright red color. The rare neon blue cobalt variety is also highly prized. But when cut, it rarely exceeds a couple of carats. Large gem-quality crystals are rare and therefore especially valuable. The high hardness of the stone (about 8 on the Mohs scale) allows it to be used in any type of jewelry. The properties due to which the stone now competes with rubies and sapphires in beauty and cost are: the presence of bright colors, strong shine, and rarity. It is worth special mentioning such a rare property now as the absence of ennoblement in most cases. But you need to keep in mind that there is also a synthetic analogue, which is grown using several methods. And it happens that it is quite difficult to distinguish a synthetic stone from a natural spinel. Therefore, if there is a suspicion that an expensive spinel of good color may be synthetic, then it is better to make an expert opinion on this stone in an independent gemological laboratory. Stone care The spinel is stored in a box lined with soft fabric on the inside. There should be no other decorations nearby, this will avoid abrasion of edges and chips. Jewelry with a gem is removed during training or household chores. In addition to mechanical damage, it is negatively affected by moisture, sweat, and household chemicals. Clean the spinel as it gets dirty. The mineral is dipped in a soap solution, dirt is removed with a soft bristle brush, rinsed well with running water, then dried with a soft cloth. How to distinguish from fakes The appearance of the mineral will help determine the real spinel. A natural gem is imperfect, it contains small defects, and various inclusions are found. The authenticity of the spinel is indicated by the cost of the stone – 1 carat costs from $200. If the jewelry is cheap, it is inlaid with other minerals.

Place of Birth

Spinel stone rarely forms independent deposits. Often her finds are associated with manifestations of ruby. It is also found in placers. Some of the best pink and red specimens come from the Mogok region of Myanmar (Burma). In Sri Lanka, the blue variety is mined. In the Pamirs in Tajikistan there is a deposit of pink and pink-red spinels, known since ancient times. In Vietnam, a rare blue cobalt variety is mined, as well as pink and red-violet varieties. Good quality rose-red stones are found in Tanzania. The gem-quality mineral is also found in Afghanistan, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Brazil and Australia.


The physical properties of spinel, which is a complex oxide of magnesium and aluminum in chemical composition, in particular, hardness 7,5-8 on the Mohs scale, allow this stone to be used to create jewelry, everyday and for special occasions. Glass luster and high dispersion (0.026) provide faceted crystals with an excellent play of edges and reflections. The fact that the mineral crystallizes in the higher cubic system explains the absence of birefringence and pleochroism. Interestingly, the most common crystal shape found in nature is the octahedron. Mineral appearance: spinel Chemical formula: MgAl2O4 Syngony: cubic Hardness: 7,5-8 Optical character: isotropic Cleavage: no Density: 3,6-4,1 g/cm 3 Shine: glass Refractive index: 1,712-1,736 Birefringence: no Dispersion: 0,026 Color: pink, red, orange, blue, green, etc.


  • Currently, red spinel is the fastest growing colored stone in price.
  • It is used to decorate the imperial crowns of Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France and the thrones of eastern rulers.
  • Some of the best spinels come from Mogok, Myanmar (Burma).
  • Until the mid-19th century, the red variety of the mineral was mistaken for ruby.
  • The most massive specimen of pink spinel, weighing about 5 kg, was discovered in the Pamirs in 1986.
  • Samples of the gem weighing about 500 carats are kept in the London Museum and the treasury of the Iranian Shah.
  • In Russia, record spinel crystals were found in Yakutia. The Emeldzhak deposit (Sakha Republic) contains black samples up to 12 cm long. The properties of the mineral are identical to other varieties, but it has its own name – hercynite.


It has been known as a jewelry stone since ancient times. Red spinels were previously indistinguishable from rubies. Traveler Marco Polo, who visited the Pamirs, called the pink Badakhshan stones “bale rubies.” In Europe, this stone began to be called “balas”, after the ancient name of Badakhshan – Balas. In France, the name “ruby balas” was transformed into “ruby balais”, and when it turned out that it was a spinel, it became “balais spinel”.
This stone has always been one of the most expensive precious stones and was a symbol of power in royal regalia and adorned the imperial crowns of Russia, Great Britain, France, Germany and the thrones of eastern rulers. This gem is used to decorate the “Monomakh’s Cap,” which Russian princes were crowned with. A unique sample of 398,72 carats, which previously adorned the “Monomakh Cap”, is now on the top of Russia’s first imperial crown, made in 1762 for Catherine II.


Refining technologies for this mineral are rarely used. Previously, it was even believed that spinel was not subjected to any types of refining. However, it is sometimes possible to fill cracks with special oils or polymers to visually improve cleanliness. Heat treatment can also be used. The effect of this type of treatment on the color of the crystal is controversial: in many cases, the color of the stone will not change in any way. There is information that it is possible to lighten dark samples by heat treatment. In some cases, pink spinel may become more saturated, and sometimes the color deteriorates and darkens. Low-temperature heating of the stone can improve the clarity of crystals containing whitish clusters of needle-like rutile inclusions, which dissolve when heated.

The healing properties of the stone

Traditional healers have known about the healing properties of the mineral for a long time. Lithotherapists divide the healing abilities of a stone by its shade:

  • Red spinel improves blood flow and has a beneficial effect on blood composition. It is recommended to wear jewelry with the mineral during paralysis. In Eastern medicine, the red stone serves as a talisman to attract the opposite sex and enhance sexuality.
  • Green gem effectively relieves joint pain, headaches, and has immunity-strengthening properties. It is recommended to wear the stone for problems with blood pressure and diseases of the heart muscle.
  • Pink stone improves the condition of the skin and is recommended for dermatological diseases. Jewelry with pink mineral has a calming effect and normalizes sleep, which is why they are worn for diseases of the nervous system.
  • Blue spinel is used in the presence of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system. By regularly wearing jewelry with such a stone, the activity of the pancreas improves.

PHOTO spinel

Photo: uncut raw material

Photo – Mughal spinel necklace totaling 1131 carats, sold for US$5 in 214

Photo of the crown of the Russian Empire, the main stone of which is a spinel weighing 398,72 carats

The image shows a large fragment of a cut-quality crystal from Tajikistan


Video of pink spinel sample 5.37 ct

Spinel is a mineral of rare beauty, which is a mixture of magnesium oxide and aluminum. The noble radiance and variety of bright shades have made this stone one of the most beloved and revered in jewelry. Radiating warmth and radiance, spinel attracts happiness and love to its owner, relieves him of illness, protects him from troubles and troubles. Jewelry with this gem can become a powerful amulet, but it will only bring benefits if a person treats it with care and respect.

Physical properties and history of the stone

Spinel stone has been known to mankind since ancient times. Its name is borrowed from the Latin word spinelle and means small thorn. This name was most likely given to the gem because of the pointed shape of its crystals. There is also a version that the name of the mineral comes from the ancient Greek word spinos – to sparkle. In the Middle Ages, the gem was called lal. This name united a whole group of expensive red jewelry stones, but the primacy here was held by spinel.

Spinel belongs to the group of rare and expensive jewelry gems. Its crystals are most often small, but occasionally samples can be found weighing more than 10 kg and exceeding 30 cm in length. The mineral is distinguished by imperfect cleavage, conchoidal fracture and a sparkling glassy luster with a lack of birefringence and pleochroism. Pure spinel crystals are transparent and colorless, but such specimens are very rare. The mineral impurities included in the stone color it red, pink, yellow, blue, indigo, violet, green, brown and black. The hardness of minerals on the Mohs scale reaches 8 units, which is only 2 positions less than that of diamonds.

The first mention of spinel dates back to the 13th century and belongs to the famous traveler Marco Polo. While in the Pamirs, the Italian saw how local residents were mining red sparkling crystals, which, due to their external resemblance, he mistook for rubies and corundums. Because of this, Marco Polo called the spinel mining region ruby ​​mines.

In the 19th century, red spinel was carefully studied. After a series of studies, scientists came to the conclusion that the mineral has nothing in common with ruby ​​and has qualities unique to it. A lot of ancient jewelry was subjected to detailed analysis and it turned out that the gems used as rubies were actually spinels.

Due to its rarity and unusual beauty, spinel has been extremely popular at all times. It served as decoration for the Monomakh Cap and the imperial crown of Catherine II. A precious gem weighing 105 carats adorned the crown of French kings. Today it is kept in the Louvre.

The most famous spinel in history is the Black Prince’s Ruby. It was presented to the ruler of Wales, Edward, in the 2nd half of the 170th century by the King of Castile. The gem, which actually turned out to be a large spinel the size of a chicken egg and weighing XNUMX carats, was passed on to the English king Henry V at the beginning of the XNUMXth century. The monarch never parted with the stone. When the enemy cut off Henry V’s helmet in one of the battles of the Hundred Years’ War, he could not kill him, as his sword came across the Black Prince’s Ruby. Since then, it has been believed that the gem saved the king from death. During the English bourgeois revolution, the gem disappeared, but soon after its end it was returned to the royal family. From those times to the present day, it has served as an adornment to the crown of British kings.

Types of mineral, its cost

Spinel stone has several types, differing from each other in appearance and physical properties. The most famous varieties of the mineral are:

  1. Noble spinel is a transparent crystal with a deep, rich color. Red specimens of the mineral are called ruby ​​spinel, reddish-orange – rubicell, reddish-pink – bale ruby, blue – spinel sapphire, and purple – oriental sapphire. In addition to the listed shades, this type of gemstone includes green and blue spinel, as well as gemstones with alexandrite shimmer, which change their color depending on the lighting. Precious spinel is mined in Asia. Its largest deposits are located in Tajikistan, India, on the islands of Sri Lanka and Borneo.
  2. Pleonast (otherwise ceylonite, ordinary spinel) is a translucent mineral containing a large amount of iron. This type of spinel comes in dark green, brown and black shades. In nature, pleonaste is found much more often than noble spinel. In the Russian Federation it is mined in the Urals.
  3. Picotite (chrome spinel) is opaque crystals of black, brown and greenish-brown colors. Their dark shade is given by the chromium impurities in their composition, which partially replace aluminum. The main deposit of picotite is Sri Lanka. Minor mining of the mineral is carried out in Afghanistan, India, the USA, Brazil, and Thailand.
  4. Ganit (zinc spinel, falunite) are rare minerals of green, blue, blue and violet shades with zinc and iron in their composition. The gem is mined in Russia, Germany, Sweden, India, Pakistan, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Madagascar.

Spinel belongs to the group of rare jewelry stones and has a high cost. The low price of the gem indicates that it is most likely a fake. The most affordable variety of spinel are grayish-blue stones. Their cost is about 25 US dollars per 1 carat. The price of purple minerals starts at $200. Blue or pink spinel will cost the buyer $100-300 per carat. Red stones are considered the most expensive. Their cost can reach $600 per 1 carat.

Using gems for medicinal purposes

The healing properties of spinel stone were first described in the 16th century by the Swiss alchemist Paracelsus. The ancient scientist used the powder obtained after grinding the gem to treat many diseases. Modern lithotherapists use the stone to combat myopia, increase the body’s defenses, activate blood circulation, and eliminate pain in muscles and joints. A person using spinel to treat diseases must take into account that each shade of this mineral has its own properties.

Red spinel has a beneficial effect on the blood, strengthens the immune system and helps the body recover after a stroke. In the East, red gems have been used by men since ancient times to enhance potency and attract the attention of the fair sex.

Jewelry with pink spinel helps a person to calm down, relieves him of nightmares, and cures insomnia. Gems of a soft pink hue are a wonderful remedy for combating skin diseases.

Blue spinel has a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract. The stone is recommended to be worn by people suffering from diseases of the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. The mineral also has a beneficial effect on the thyroid gland and respiratory system.

Green gems help in the treatment of headaches, arthritis, heart disease, and arterial hypertension. The stone helps normalize metabolic processes in the body and has a positive effect on the eyes.

Black spinel increases blood pressure, stops bleeding, and helps with poor health. It relieves painful manifestations of wounds and bruises and accelerates their healing.

Magical abilities of the stone

Spinel properties have found their use not only in medicine, but also in magic. Sorcerers and sorcerers are confident that a stone can give a person faith in his own strength, attract good luck, happiness and love to him. It helps to discover supernatural abilities, choose the right path in life and achieve your plans. But spinel benefits only kind, generous and sincere people. If a person is angry and envious, he should not hope for the favor of the stone. Touching a gem can bring misfortune or even death to it.

In order for the magical properties of the mineral to be maximally manifested, it must be worn framed in gold. For example, in a ring, spinel will help single girls attract love into their lives and find a worthy spouse. It should be worn on the ring or index finger of the left hand. For a married couple, gold bracelets or rings with a gem will help bring passion back into the relationship and prevent divorce. For men, jewelry will help preserve sexual energy until old age.

When choosing a zodiac amulet, it is important to consider that spinel is ideal for persons born under the signs of Aquarius, Aries, Leo, Sagittarius and Capricorn. The gem will fill them with positive energy, improve their mental abilities and strong-willed qualities. Spinel will help Pisces, Taurus and Libra to quickly make the right decision. It will make them physically resilient and will help them build a career.

Obtaining and using artificial gems

In recent years, jewelry often comes on sale that is decorated with synthetic spinel – an artificial stone obtained by crystallizing glass using catalysts. To achieve the required shade, copper, iron, manganese, chromium, cobalt and other metals are added to the mass. As a result of this process, the master manages to obtain a transparent glassy stone with microcrystals evenly distributed inside, which is practically no different from a natural mineral. Nanospinel (the so-called synthetic analogue of a gem) has high strength and heat resistance. These qualities allow it to be used in the production of jewelry. In addition to the jewelry sphere, synthetic spinel is actively used as a dielectric and optical raw material in the manufacture of various devices and devices.

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