Color: Red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, blue, dark green, black
Hardness: 8 Mohs
Specific Gravity: 3.58 - 3.61
Refractive Index: 1.712 - 1.736
Spinel is a fascinating gem that occurs in a wide range of colors, such as carmine-red, blood-red (or 'ruby-spinel'), brownish-red, rose-red, orange, blue, violet-blue, dark blue, purple, greenish, and black.
Large fine spinels are great treasures, yet few people know of their existence. That is because spinel sometimes associated with ruby and sapphire. The hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale makes spinels durable gems, suitable for daily wear jewelry.
Where are spinels coming from?
Main deposits in Burma (Myanmar) and in Sri Lanka. There are deposits in Thailand too, although not too large.
Should you be worried of synthetic spinels when buying natural spinel?
Yes. Synthetic spinels are commonly seen in class rings and inexpensive birthstone jewelry. Synthetic spinels have been on the market since 1920s. They imitate natural spinel, and also many other gems.
But since natural spinels are very hard, lovely, and durable, spinels should be more popular that they are now - the current neglect is due to a lack of exposure to the public by the jewelry trade. This is your chance to get a real, natural spinel when you visit Chiang Mai, at a price that is a bargain.