Spinel - a beautiful jewelry stone of the first order. Due to its unusual physical properties, brilliance and color saturation, spinel is one of the rare and unusual stones.
History of the stone
The first mention of spinel as a jewel stone prThey belong to the traveler Marco Polo, who visited Pamir in the 13th century. Here, in the Kukhilale deposit, located in the south-west of the Pamir, the extraction of spinel began in the IX century. True, spinel in those days was confused with corundums and rubies. So the famous traveler wrote about the spinel deposit as "ruby mines".
Only years later, thanks to the development of science, it was possible to find out that spinel is a separate group of minerals with inherent physical properties only.
Nevertheless, this stone was loved since antiquity. He always belonged to the most expensive and rare minerals. They were adorned with their clothes and symbols of power by the rulers of different countries: Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain:
- Spinel, rather than rubies, as was supposed earlier, is decorated with the famous "Monomakh's Hat".
- Spinel inlaid imperial crown of Catherine II, made in 1762.
- The British crown is decorated with famous spinels, which were previously classified as rubies: "The Black Prince" and "Timur."
- Spinels of a drop-shaped form were also "rubies", which in 1830 was encrusted Wittelbach crown.
Description of mineral
Spinel is an independent group of minerals, which include shiny transparent and opaque stones of different colors. Spinel can be either completely colorless or gray, blue, blue, violet, pink, orange, green, yellow, red and even black. The most appreciated among jewelers is a spinel of red shades resembling ruby in color, as well as neon-blue stones. Large specimens of spinel are extremely rare and highly estimated.
There are two versions of the emergence of the name spinel.
- According to the first, the word "spinel" has Greek roots and is derived from the word "spinos", which translates as "spark".
- According to another version, the name of the stone comes from the word "spina", which in Latin means the word "spike".
In different countries at different times called this stone in its own way:
- In Russia, these beautiful red stones were called lalom.
- In Europe, spinel was called the word "balas", in accordance with the old name of the Afghan province of Badakhshan( Balas), where the stones were brought to Europe.
- In France, the stone was first called "ruby balé", and later, when spinel was identified as a separate group of minerals - "spinel balé".
There are other names for this stone and its varieties: ceylonite, picotite, rubicell.to contents ^
species of spinel There are a large number of spinel varieties that differ in color and transparency. However, only some of them are precious stones and refer to jewelry.
So, the most valuable are considered such kinds of spinel:
- ruby spinel - spinel of saturated red hues;
- bal-ruby - spinel of beautiful pink-red color;
- almandine spinel - spinel of violet-red hue;
- rubicell - red spinel with a yellow or orange-red hue;
- chlorospinel - spinel bright green or bottle color;
- sapphire spinel - spinel blue and soft blue;
- pleonast - spinel dirty-green with a brown tint;
- ceylonite - spinel of a dark green color;
- ganospinel - spinel blue, sometimes with a light purple tint.
Chemical composition and physical properties of mineral
By its chemical composition, spinel is a complex oxide of magnesium and aluminum. Its chemical formula without impurities: MgAl2O4.
The chemical composition of spinel includes:
- magnesium( Mg) - 28.2%;
- alumina( Al2O3) - 71.8%.
Often, spinel crystals contain impurities of iron oxides( Fe2O3), zinc( ZnO), manganese( MnO) and chromium( Cr2O3), which determine the color of the stone. It should be noted that the color of spinel is uniform.
Depending on the content of various impurities, spinel can acquire the most unexpected shades - from colorless to black.
The degree of transparency of the mineral is also different. Spinel crystals can be either completely transparent or cloudy. They have a beautiful glass shine. True, after jewelry cut, spinel inserts, as a result of prolonged wearing, can lose their luster and wear off in the corners and edges of the faces.
Usually in nature spinel occurs in the form of crystals of small dimensions, which sometimes combine into druses.
The hardness of spinel on the Mohs scale is quite high and is 8 units, however, the presence of impurities such as chromium oxide and iron can reduce it to 7-7.5 units. The density of the mineral is 3.57-3.72 g / cm3.to contents ^
Spinel deposits of
The most famous large spinel deposits are found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kampuchea, Burma, Vietnam and, of course, in Tajikistan( in the Pamirs).Smaller spinel deposits are located in Madagascar, Australia, India and Afghanistan.
The best specimens of pink and red spinel are found in Tajikistan, Tanzania and Myanmar( in the Mogok region), and blue ones in Sri Lanka and Vietnam.to contents ^
The healing properties of
mineral According to lithotherapists, spinel:
- activates blood circulation;
- has a tonic effect;
- is effective for injuries;
- helps in the treatment of skin lesions;
- is useful in acute infections;
- has a beneficial effect on eyesight;
- facilitates muscle and joint pain.
Different healing properties have different varieties of spinel.
- Red Spinel:
- stimulates the immune system;
- improves blood circulation;
- helps with paralysis;
- increases sexual activity.
- Pink Spinel:
- Helps with Nervous Diseases;
- normalizes sleep;
- cures skin diseases.
- Green Spinel:
- helps restore metabolism;
- supports cardiac activity;
- stabilizes blood pressure;
- helps with eye diseases;
- facilitates headache and joint pain.
- Blue spinel helps with:
- gastrointestinal upset;
- lung diseases;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- dysfunction of the endocrine system.
- Black Spinel:
- helps relieve pain in trauma;
- reduces bleeding;
- increases pressure.
Magic properties of spinel
Spinel is a stone with strong magical properties. It is even believed that this stone is able to radically change the fate of a person and, what is especially important, for the better.
It is true that spinel helps only good, sincere people with good intentions. To such owners spinel will bring good luck in love, the ability to predict the future and help in the implementation of good goals.
But people are evil, greedy and soulless to this stone, it is better not to touch, tk.spinel is capable of harming and even destroying them.
In the East, magical force spinels have long been used to restore male power and attract sexual energy. Unmarried women wore jewelry with spinel to bring to life a love.to the table of contents ^
Spinel and zodiac signs
According to astrologers, the most spinel is suitable for people born under the sign of Leo. It is this stone that will give them energy and additional strength, help to improve the willed and intellectual abilities.
Decorations with spinel as an amulet and such signs of the zodiac as Scales, Pisces and Taurus are useful.
But Cancer is better to avoid such an amulet.to contents ^
Application of mineral
The only area of application of spinel is jewelry. True, not all spinels are equally valuable for jewelers. So, the most valuable for the manufacture of jewelry are spinels of red, pink, purple, neon-blue and black, which are processed with diamond or step cut, and the least of interest are gray-blue specimens.to the table of contents ^
Interesting facts about the stone
- The largest specimen of pink spinel was found in the Pamir in 1986.His weight was more than 5 kg.
- In London, the British Museum of Natural History holds two major famous copies of spinel. The weight of each of them is more than 500 carats.
- Valuable large copies of spinel are stored in the famous treasury of the Iranian shah, which is in Tehran. Their mass is 500 and 225 carats.
- The Louvre demonstrates to its visitors a faceted spinel weighing 105 carats of unusual red color.
- In the USA, in the New York Museum of Natural History, you can see a red spinel, brought from Sri Lanka. Its weight is 71.5 carats.
- Delightful samples of spinel are also presented in another US museum, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington: a purple spinel, brought from Ceylon with a mass of 45.8 carats, a spinel of saturated purple with a mass of 29.7 carats, an indigo spinel brought from Burma with a mass of 36carats, and a beautiful spinel red color of 34 carats.
How to distinguish natural spinel from forgery
- The main difference between natural spinel and counterfeits is its price. The stone is quite expensive.
So, the cost of the cheapest version of the spinel of gray-blue shades is 25 dollars per 1 carat.
Next by price - purple spinel. Its cost reaches $ 200 / carat.
Spinel pink color will cost from 100 to 300 dollars / carat.
For the most expensive spinel red color will have to pay $ 600 / carat.
Accordingly, a lower price of the stone should alert the buyer.
- Defining the naturalness of spinel, it is also worth paying attention to the inherent impurities and possible defects, and most importantly - the uniformity of color.
- The most reliable guarantee of the authenticity of spinel will be a certificate for it.
Care for the gem
When buying spinel, remember that this is a fragile stone that can eventually be erased on the faces, so it must be handled with care:
- Store in a separate box( preferably with a soft inner coating).
- Do not wear jewelry with this stone daily.
- Shoot before performing any physical work, including home work.
- Protect from impacts and falls.
- Keep away from contact with an aggressive chemical environment.
- Clean not more often than once every 3-5 months with a soft brush and a mild soapy solution.
Pictures of stone spinel and its products