Important Jewels set with Spinel, not ruby

Spinel an under-appreciated gemstone

This month Bonebakker will showcase the vibrant and colorful gemstone spinel. Spinel is one the most under-appreciated gemstones and has long been mistaken for ruby. Many of the famous “rubies” of history were actually spinels.

In ancient times, the gem mines of Central and Southeast Asia yielded exceptionally large spinel crystals. These stunning stones became known as ‘Balas rubies’. Some of them were the treasured property of kings and emperors.

Black Prince’s Ruby

One of the most famous examples is the so-called “Black Prince’s Ruby.” This historic crimson-red gem is set in England’s Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London.

The world’s largest spinel is the ‘Samarian Spinel’, with a weight of 500ct, is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels, displayed at the Museum of the Treasury of National Iranian Jewels, at the Central Bank of Iran, in Teheran. The stone, which is blood-red in color, is irregular in shape and has been polished in the rough with a hole on one side, indicating it was used as an adornment at one time.

A range of colours

Nowadays Spinel is still used in jewelry pieces. Georland used Spinel in one of their all-over pink rings, featuring 2.55 ct. Tanzanian pink spinel in the centre, with Burma single-cut pink spinels and diamonds set in rose gold. Spinel was also featured in Georlands limited edition jewelry box with eight Spinel set rings in shades of pink, blue and green (exclusively available at Bonebakker Jewelers).

Spinel comes in a range of hues, from orange to vibrant red, flashing pink, and all shades of purple, blue, violet through bluish green and black.

These gems are found in Tanzania, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Spinel red hues

the red-pink varieties of spinel