Spinel is a gemstone that has been undervalued and underappreciated throughout history. Despite its impressive durability, unique colors, and natural beauty, it has not received the recognition it deserves as the fifth precious gemstone, after diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald.


photo cr. GIA

Spinel has often been mistaken for other precious stones such as rubies throughout history. Spinel has a wide range of colors and a warm, earthy tone, making it a good gemstone for both men and women. It is a high-quality gemstone that is perfect for high-end jewelry.


Spinel deposits are primarily found in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Cambodia, with the finest stones coming from the Mogok mines in central Burma. Other locations where spinel can be found include Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Thailand, and the United State (New Jersey).


Photo cr. GIA
Octahedral, Unique Inclusion of Spinel | Photo cr. Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand
  • Chemical Composition: MgAl2O4 (Magnesium Aluminium Oxide)
  • MOHs’ Hardness: 8
  • Toughness: Good-Excellent
  • Specific Gravity: 3.54-3.63
  • Cleavage: Indistinct, making it very durable
  • Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
  • Crystal System: Isometric/cubic crystal system with octahedral form
  • Single Refractive Index: 1.712-1.762
  • Color Range: Colorless, red, orange, yellow, green, brown, blue, violet, purple, pink, gray, black
  • Transparency: Transparent to opaque
  • Luster: Vitreous luster to semi-adamantine
  • Some Spinels exhibit asterism and color change (very rare)


The pricing for Spinel has been growing at an exponential rate as collectors are starting to recognize its value and uniqueness. Unlike many other gemstones, Spinel hardly undergoes any treatments, making its colors all the more impressive.

Despite the increasing popularity and value of spinel, it is still relatively undervalued compared to its rarity and beauty. As such, it may be a good time for gemstone enthusiasts to invest in spinel before prices rise further. However, it is important to note that gemstone prices can be influenced by various factors and may not always follow a predictable pattern.

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