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A stone of revitalization, increased endurance, new hope, catalyst for inspiration, detoxification, manifestation, stress reduction, increased intuition, and vitality and enjoyment of life

Spinel is a magnesium aluminum oxide mineral that with the inclusion of other elements, produces color variations that span the spectrum and can produce a variety of beautiful, sought-after stones. It is distinguishable by its hardness and its isometric crystal habit, forming octahedral, dodecahedral, or cubic crystals. It is often and historically confused for ruby or sapphire, though it is slightly softer, ranking 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Spinel typically is found within igneous and metamorphic environments such as in marble or dolomite that have undergone contact metamorphism or as irregularly shaped grains within igneous rocks. Spinel is also found within alluvial deposits due to its high tenacity and ability to withstand chemical and mechanical weathering. This allows the spinel crystals to loosen from their host rock and travel downslope through mass wasting where their high specific gravity offers collections of spinel within the alluvial deposits. This is important to note because these alluvial deposits have been worked for over 1,000 years by miners in search of this beautiful stone. Historically, spinel has been around for generations and is sometimes referred to as “balas rubies”, for their similarity to a ruby. Adorned on England’s Imperial Crown is a 170-carat spinel gem that is called the Black Prince’s Ruby, one of the most famous and largest uncut spinels in the world. This gem has been passed down through European royal lineage, first appearing in fourteenth-century Spain. It was owned by Moorish and Spanish kings before Prince Edward of Wales, the “Black Prince”, was awarded the stone in 1367 as payment for battle victory. The Timur Ruby, another gem that is part of the British Crown Jewels, is actually a 361-carat spinel as well. The differentiation between spinel and ruby was historically difficult without scientific equipment, and it wasn't until 1783 that a mineralogist distinguished that they were indeed two different minerals. Spinel is actually a rare mineral, rarer than sapphires and rubies. Although its price point and popularity as a gem sits lower, spinel may be a good candidate for the title “history’s most underappreciated gem” according to the GIA, and a smart one to keep your eye on as its value might increase in the future. Most gem grade spinel comes from Burma and the original spinel gems came from Afghanistan, while Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Pakistan are other large exporters of this stone. Vietnam, Tanzania, Brazil, Kenya, Russia, Canada, parts of the US, and Madagascar are other sources of spinel.


Spinel’s lure has been noted for generations, for good reason. Its revitalizing tendencies make this a good choice for a lot of people. Its tenacity to undergo many different rock environments and still come out unscathed is representative of endurance, strength, and persistence. Spinel is calming to the nervous system and detoxifying on an emotional and physical level. Its ability to reduce stress and promote endurance can lead to new ways of thinking in life, acting as a catalyst for inspiration, and providing new hope to anyone that feels stuck. It can aid in manifestations by allowing a pure flow of intuition to come to the surface. It is refreshing to our physical being and our emotional state, sparking a new sense of motivation for life. The different colors of spinel carry specific characteristics. Orange spinel can be recharging to our sexual and creative energies, yellow spinel can aid in manifestations and abundance, and red spinel can promote security in our sense of self. Blue spinel aids in our thought processes and all levels of communication, green spinel reawakens our compassionate and loving center, while purple spinel links our crown chakras with our base chakras for spiritual purification. All of the spinels offer a purifying sense that is inspiring, intuitive, and reawakening to our beings. Spinel is cleansing to our physical, emotional, and etheric bodies and is a great stone to have around as its metaphysical properties can be felt by even the smallest of spinel stones.


  • All Chakras


  • Water


Azeztulite, Natrolite, Rhodizite, Tourmaline, Quartz, Corundum, Garnet, Zircon, Rhodochrosite, & Morganite

Science Stuff

• Chemical Formula: MgAl2O4

• Color: Red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white, black, gray, and colorless

• Hardness: 7.5 - 8

• Crystal Habit: Isometric

• Refractive Index: 1.712 - 1.736

• Specific Gravity: 3.5 - 4.1

• Optic Character: N/A

• Transparency: Opaque to Transparent

• Double Refraction: None

• Luster: Vitreous, Submetallic, or Dull

• Fracture: Conchoidal

• Cleavage: None

• Mineral Class: Oxides

Blog Resources

• “Everything You Need to Know About the Spinel Gem”, American Gem Society, 2021, <>

• “Spinel”, Hobart M King, <>
“Spinel History and Lore”, Gemological Institute of America Inc., <>

• “The Gemstone Spinel”, <>

• “The Spinel Mineral Series”, <>

• “Spinel”, Simmons, Robert, et al. The Book of Stones: Who They Are and What They Teach. North Atlantic Books, 2015.

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