August Birthstone 2: Spinel
Color: ALL of the Colors. ALL of them.
Mohs Hardness: 8 (WHAT?! That's really hard!)
I think it is fairly safe to say that Spinel is one of the most underrated gemstones on the market today. Available in every color of the rainbow, from vibrant reds and pinks to blues and purples, as well as a wide range of pastels, it is truly a stone that can satisfy everyone--even those of us who were not born in August.
Spinel has a characteristic bright and lively appearance due not only to its ability to accept a high polish, but also because of its dispersion, which is slightly higher than that of ruby and sapphire. Dispersion is the flash of spectral colors seen as a gemstone is turned and light moves within the gem.
Despite the complexity of light the Spinel reflects, each specimen has uniform body color throughout. This is because Spinel lacks pleochroism, an optical phenomenon in which a gemstone appears to be different colors when observed at different angles. Spinel is also a pretty clean stone--Meaning: it has very high clarity and a lack of inclusions.
Deeply saturated red spinel is the most highly sought after color and commands premium prices based on its extreme rarity. In fact, prior to the development of modern gem testing equipment, red spinel was often misidentified as ruby. Many famous “rubies” were actually spinels, such as the 170-carat red spinel that adorns the Imperial State Crown of England in the British Crown Jewels displayed in the Tower of London.
And here is the best thing: Distinguishing spinel from ruby gave birth to the science of gemology.
I LOVE GEMOLOGY!!! Thank you for being different from Ruby, Spinel!
With a hardness of 8 and excellent toughness, spinel is a durable gemstone that is ideal for every day wear. This gemstone’s outstanding hardness contributes to its lustrous polish and would make an incredible colorful engagement ring.
Only being added as a birthstone in 2016, Spinel is a "new guy" and a stone that I would highly recommend looking into scouring before its reputation gets out and too many folks start competing to have the finest specimen.
Let me know if you are thinking you might want to go Spinel... (Click here)