The name spinel may have come from the Latin word for thorn, inspired by the sharp edges found on some crystals, or from the Greek word for spark, referring to the gemstone's blazing red shade.
Spinel: Beautiful in Its Own Right
For hundreds of years, transparent red spinel has been mistaken for a ruby, as they both have a brilliant crimson glow. In fact, many celebrated rubies in crown jewels are actually spinels. Some of the most famous examples are part of England's crown jewels – the "Black Prince's Ruby," a 170.00 carat red spinel dating back to 1367, and the "Timur Ruby," a 361.00 carat gem engraved with ancient Persian inscriptions.
Originally sourced from the famed Badakhshan mines located along the border of Afghanistan, spinels were sometimes referred to as "balas rubies," the ancient word for Badakhsan.
Today, spinel gemstones are associated with love and devotion.
Spinel gemstones dazzle in shades of ruby-red, pink, purple, green, blue and black. At Ross-Simons, we search to find exceptional examples of spinel jewelry, including one-of-a-kind Estate pieces. Visit the Ross-Simons website to see our entire spinel jewelry offering today.
Mistaken for a ruby for hundreds of years, spinel's red glow is beautiful in its own right. Also found in tones of pink, purple, green and black, this rare and durable gemstone catches the eye when set in rings, bracelets, necklaces and spinel earrings. More about colored gemstones.
While spinel is prized for its rich ruby-red colors, it also comes in tones of pink, purple, green, yellow, brown, blue and black. Spinel gemstones are usually faceted and presented in oval, round and cushion cuts. A rare and precious gemstone, spinel enchants in white or yellow gold jewelry designs.
Our estate jewelry buyers sometimes happen upon beautiful spinel rings from the mid-century, and because spinel is so rare and expensive, we are particularly delighted when they find a wonderful spinel necklace.
Gem-quality spinel is mined in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.
Spinel Jewelry Care & Handling
This hard and durable gemstone (8 on the Mohs scale) is ideal for use in jewelry designs. Wash your spinel rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings with warm soapy water when needed and store in your Ross-Simons presentation box for safe keeping.