Treatment / Enhancement
Since spinel is one of very few gemstones with no known treatment, it is prized by many collectors as a pure, unaltered gem. However spinel also bears the dubious distinction of being the first synthesized stone around the turn of the 20th century. Many people associate its name with synthetic, but it is one of the most beautiful natural gemstones on earth.
The two oldest and most plentiful sources for spinel are Burma and Sri Lanka. Recent discoveries have also been found in Vietnam and Tanzania. Spinel comes in a wide range of colors including oranges, pinks, blues, lavenders, mauves and vivid reds.
Centuries ago, in Sanskrit writings, spinel was called the daughter of ruby. For many years spinel was regularly mistaken for ruby and sapphire until proper gemological equipment was invented to distinguish the two varieties of gems. Perhaps the most famous spinel is the Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown.
Spinel is a durable gemstone that is perfect for all jewelry applications. It can be heated, steam cleaned, or placed in an ultrasonic. The only precaution is to examine the gemstone for any surface crystal inclusions which may cause damage if heated. This is true for any previously unheated gemstone.