Spinel Stones: A Hidden Gem of the Gemstone World

Gemstones have always captivated humanity with their beauty, rarity, and the aura of mystery surrounding them. Among these precious stones, spinel stands out not only for its striking appearance but also for its fascinating history and unique properties. Despite its allure, spinel has often been overshadowed by more well-known gemstones like rubies and sapphires. However, in recent years, the appreciation for spinel has grown significantly, making it a coveted gem among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. This article delves into the world of spinel, exploring its characteristics, history, and why it is becoming increasingly popular.

What Are Spinel Stones?

Spinels are a group of minerals that crystallize in the cubic crystal system, often forming octahedral shapes. They are composed primarily of magnesium aluminum oxide, and their chemical formula is MgAl2O4. Spinels are found in a variety of colors, including red, blue, pink, orange, and purple, due to the presence of trace elements such as chromium, iron, and cobalt. The hardness of spinel, which measures eight on the Mohs scale, makes it a durable gemstone suitable for various types of jewelry.

The Beauty of Spinel

The beauty of spinel lies in its vibrant colors and exceptional clarity. High-quality spinels have an intense, vivid color and excellent transparency, which allows them to rival even the finest rubies and sapphires. Red spinels, often called "ruby spinels," are particularly prized for their rich, ruby-like hue. Blue spinels can resemble fine sapphires, while pink spinels are admired for their delicate and feminine shades. Pastel-colored spinels, such as lavender and gray, have gained popularity for their unique and modern appeal in recent years.

Rarity and Value

One of the reasons spinel has not achieved the same status as rubies and sapphires is its rarity. High-quality spinels are rarer than their more famous counterparts, making them a hidden gem in the truest sense. Historically, spinels were often mistaken for rubies, as their colors can be remarkably similar. This confusion contributed to spinel's lesser-known status, as many famous "rubies" in history were later discovered to be spinels. For example, the "Black Prince's Ruby," a centerpiece of the British Crown Jewels, is actually a large red spinel.

Historical Significance

Spinel has a long and storied history, particularly in Asia. Some of the most famous spinels were mined in Burma (now Myanmar) and were treasured by royalty. In the 16th century, spinels from the Badakhshan region in present-day Afghanistan were highly valued and known as "Balas rubies." These gems were traded along the Silk Road and adorned the crowns and jewelry of emperors and kings.

Modern Appreciation

In recent years, the gemstone market has seen a resurgence of interest in spinel. Advances in gemology have made it easier to distinguish spinels from other gemstones, allowing their true beauty and rarity to be fully appreciated. Today, spinel is recognized as a gemstone in its own right, prized for its unique qualities and natural beauty.

The Varied Colors of Spinel

One of the most fascinating aspects of spinel is its wide range of colors. Here is a closer look at the different hues that spinel can exhibit:

Red Spinel

Red spinels are the most sought-after, with their rich, ruby-like color. The finest red spinels can rival the best rubies in color and clarity. These spinels are colored by trace amounts of chromium, which also gives rubies their red hue. Red spinels are often found in Myanmar, where they have been mined for centuries. Check our natural unheated red spinal.

Red Spinal


Blue Spinel

Blue spinels are less common but highly prized for their deep, sapphire-like color. The blue hue is typically caused by the presence of iron and cobalt. Blue spinels can range from light to dark shades, with the finest specimens displaying a vivid, intense blue. Check our Round Brilliant Blue Spinel.

Blue Spinal

Pink Spinel

Pink spinels are known for their delicate and feminine colors. These spinels are colored by trace elements such as chromium and iron. Pink spinels can range from light, baby pink to deep, hot pink, making them a versatile choice for various types of jewelry. Check our Pinkish Red Spinel Oval Shape.

Pink Spinal

Other Colors

Spinels can also be found in a variety of other colors, including orange, purple, lavender, and gray. These colors are caused by different trace elements and can offer a unique and modern look for those seeking something different from the traditional gemstone colors.

Why Choose Spinel?


Spinel's hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale makes it a durable gemstone suitable for everyday wear. Its toughness and resistance to scratches mean that spinel jewelry can withstand the rigors of daily use without losing its brilliance.


Compared to other gemstones of similar quality, spinel is often more affordable. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to own a beautiful and rare gemstone without breaking the bank.


With its wide range of colors, spinel can be used in various types of jewelry, from rings and necklaces to earrings and bracelets. Whether you prefer red spinel's classic look or pastel colors' modern appeal, there is a spinel to suit every taste and style.

Play With Diamonds: Your Source for High-Quality Spinels

At Play With Diamonds, we pride ourselves on offering a stunning selection of high-quality spinels. Our spinels are sourced from the finest locations and available in various colors to suit every preference. We ensure that all our spinels are 100% natural and unheated, preserving their natural beauty and value.

Why Choose Our Spinels?

  • Natural and Unheated: Our spinels are 100% natural, ensuring that you receive a gemstone in its purest form.
  • Competitive Pricing: We offer competitive pricing on all our spinels, making it easier for you to own a piece of this rare and beautiful gemstone.
  • Custom Orders: We provide custom orders to meet your unique requirements, ensuring that you get the perfect spinel for your jewelry piece.

Whether you are a collector, a jeweler, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of gemstones, Play With Diamonds is your go-to source for high-quality spinels. Explore our loose gemstones collection today and discover the hidden gem of the gemstone world.

In conclusion, spinel is a gemstone that deserves more recognition for its beauty, rarity, and historical significance. With its vibrant colors and excellent durability, spinel is an excellent choice for those looking to add a unique and stunning gemstone to their collection. And with Play With Diamonds, you can be assured of receiving only the finest quality spinels, carefully sourced and expertly cut to showcase their natural beauty.