The spinel is often mistaken either a ruby or pink
sapphire, as it can resemble either. In fact, some
of the most famous rubies in history have turned out
to be spinel. But its distinguishing features, like
its octahedral crystal structure and single
refraction, are what sets it apart from other
gemstones. Spinel also has a lower Mohs hardness
than ruby and sapphire.
Significant deposits of spinel have been found in
Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It has
also been found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil,
Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania
and the U.S.
Vivid red is the most desirable color of spinel
gemstones, followed by cobalt blue, bright pink and
bright orange. The more affordable gemstones are
often those with paler colors, like lavender. You
may also find spinel in black, violet blue, greenish
blue, grayish, pale pink, mauve, yellow or brown.
When shopping for spinel, a high-quality gemstone
should have no visible inclusions. The more
inclusions, the less valuable the gemstone. Spinel
birthstones can be found in various cuts such as
octagons, trillions, squares, rounds, ovals, pears,