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Does spinel function like rubies? What’s the real deal with spinel in the 21st century? Find out if you should get spinel for your collection this year.

What Is Spinel?

The spinel stone is a type of red gemstone that is often confused with the ruby. Both ruby and sapphire come from the same gemstone family. The story goes that many kinds of crown jewels were accidentally fitted with spinel by hapless jewelry makers, thinking that they got ruby. Instead, they have spinel to use.

Spinel naturally occurs in the same range of reds and blues as their more expensive counterparts. It’s not spinel’s fault that it looks just like rubies. Spinel also develops in the same areas and conditions as sapphires. It’s no small wonder that they look alike.

The confusion between sapphires and spinels came about some two thousand years ago. This was when it wasn’t possible to know or confirm the chemical compositions of minerals and gemstones. Gem traders back in the day relied heavily on folk knowledge and what they know of gems to trade. Spinel looked like rubies – that’s the end of the story.

What Color Is Spinel, and What is its Association with Ruby?

Spinel is often called the gemstone impostor because of its appearance. The rich and vivid color of spinel also pushes people (even the ones who are trained to spot minerals) to say that it’s either a sapphire (if it’s blue) or a ruby (if the spinel is red).


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As a result, many jewelry collections throughout the world have spinel mixed in with genuine rubies. This is the result of confusion about the chemical compositions of these two minerals.

The most notable case of spinel fooling everyone is “The Black Prince’s Ruby.” This ‘ruby’ belonged to a prince of the Moors in the fourteenth century. The ‘ruby’ changed hands until it finally became part of the Imperial State Crown collection.

It took several years before a French expert, a mineralogist by the name of Jean-Baptiste Louis Rome de l’Isle, constructed a test that made it possible for people to determine if a gemstone was indeed a ruby or a spinel. Then there was also the Mohs scale of hardness, which also outlined in broad strokes how impossible it was for ruby and spinel to be the same type of mineral. Ruby had a hardness of nine, while spinel’s durability was only 7.5 or at best, an eight.

The second case of mistaken identity is the “Timur Ruby.” This massive stone weight 352.5 carats. Like “The Black Prince’s Ruby,” the Timur Ruby is also a bright red spinel sample.

The East India Company presented this massive spinel to Queen Victoria in 1849. The name of the original owners was inscribed on the spinel, and the inscriptions were dated 1612.

The 1900s saw the eventual decline of spinel use, mainly because it has been well-established that spinel was in no form a ruby. This caused people to downgrade the classification of spinel from a class A gemstone to class B. It sounds a little unfair, right, given that the spinel had its beauty. However, the gemstone market was susceptible and very particular about these things, so the change had to be made.

Spinel is now being used because of its unique properties and color, and not because it looks like rubies.

More and more jewelry is designed using spinel to display the brilliant fire that this mineral possesses and the unique shades of red that it has. Like other minerals, spinel comes in a spectrum of colors, making it an excellent addition to any jewelry collection.

What Are Spinel Healing Properties?

Spinel can enhance all aspects of a person, from his mental state to his emotional state. It can also grant special spiritual provisions to improve a person’s life in general. On the basic level, spinel can help bring out rejuvenating powers that will prolong a person’s life. It can also help you become more beautiful in the process. Other benefits include:


Spinel is naturally revitalizing. It can help bring out the new in you and improve the positive energy levels in different aspects of your life. This makes spinel an ideal stone for workaholic individuals.

Let’s explain: workaholic individuals often feel fatigued, stressed, and out of touch with life. They are burnt out from work. For the most part, what they need is a gemstone that can grant them rejuvenation and renewal. With renewal comes the ability to discern if they are working too hard or not.

Dissolve depression and anxiety

Spinel can help dissolve depression and anxiety. It works like white quartz and citrine and is a potent mood regulator and emotional alleviator. In addition to dissolving the causes of depression and anxiety, it can also help replenish what was lost in the process – the happiness, joy, energy, and the like.

Bring hope

This crystal can help bring hope and certainty to your life again. Hope is a powerful bringer of change in one’s life. However, when you lose sight of hope, you will notice immediately that it will be challenging to pursue your dreams and manifest your desires.

When you are hopeful, as is the case when hope is not lost, you will feel the renewed happiness of life. Use spinel to bring back hope into the picture gradually.

How to Use Spinel for Oneself and at Home?

There are several ways to use spinel to benefit from its metaphysical properties and physical healing abilities.

  • The simplest method is to wear spinel whenever you can.
  • The second method is to place spinel at different parts of your home, to help with the gridding effort.

All red gemstones are linked with the universal feminine and with universal love. Spinel has similar attributes to rubies and rose quartz.