August Birthstones | Spinel History

AUGUST BIRTHSTONES

Spinel

Spinel History



Spinel could easily earn the title of “Most Underappreciated Gem.” Throughout history, spinel was often confused with ruby and sapphire.

Mines of central and Southeast Asia yielded large spinel crystals known as Balas rubies, which became valuable property of emperors and kings, and often passed along as the spoils of war.

Some of the most famous rubies in history have turned out to be spinel. Large red gems, such as the “Black Prince’s ruby” and the “Timur ruby” in the Crown Jewels of England have confirmed to be large red spinels. Many English monarchs, including Henry VIII, have prized spinel gemstones.

One member of the spinel group, magnetite, has magnetic properties. As early as the 11th century, mariners used this form of spinel known as lodestone to magnetize their compasses.


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The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society

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info@ags.org (866) 805-6500