Nevertheless, spinel can be not only red. This stone's rich palette allows it to be confused with sapphires, emeralds, and even diamonds.
Spinel stone properties
The chemical formula of spinel is MgAl2O4. Depending upon what ions are set into its crystal lattice, the color of the mineral changes. The most common admixtures are the following elements:
- - zinc;
- - chromium;
- - iron;
- - titanium;
- - manganese;
- - calcium;
- - chlorine.
The ions give the mineral a different color, but they do not affect its physical and chemical properties. The pure form is completely transparent but is rarely found in nature.
Its physical properties are as follows:
- - hardness on the Mohs scale - 7.5-8 units;
- - Luster is glassy;
- - Transparent or translucent stone;
- - The fracture is shell-like.
Spinel is a rather hard but very fragile gem. For this reason, it requires a lot of care and attention. Make sure that the stone does not get bumped or scratched. To clean the mineral, it will be enough to rinse it with water and wipe it with a soft cloth.
The stone is mainly used in jewelry. Other opaque varieties are used for statuettes, figurines, cheap necklaces, and bracelets.
Spinel Mahenge is a specific type of mineral with a rich, bright-pink color. It was this stone that replaced the ruby in royal jewelry.
Is spinel a precious/semi-precious stone or not?
Spinel is a gemstone of order III. The ruby mineral adorns the crowns of the Russian and British empires. Most of the famous jewelry houses gladly use this noble spinel in their jewelry.
There are several varieties of the precious spinel, each of which has its own shade:
- Ruby - a deep red color;
- Oriental amethyst - a rich purple hue;
- Sapphire - a bright blue mineral;
- Rubicelle - an orange-red gemstone.
- blue and green stones.
Large and clear (without inclusions) stones of these two colors are very rare, so they are expensive. Colorless minerals are especially rare; they are considered the most valuable.
Stones of orange and red colors are also very valuable. Colorless minerals are especially rare; they are considered the most valuable.
A noble (precious) spinel is considered highly valuable. Yet, the main feature of a noble mineral is its transparency and not its hue.