Sources: Tanzania, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Burma
Spinel is one of few gemstones with rich variations of color and strong crystal properties such as brilliance and hardness. The hot pink and red crystals from Tanzania, like the famous Mahenge Spinel, came on the market in the last decade and showcase a fiery hue unseen in other gemstones. Found in the mountains of Northern Vietnam are spinels with hues of violet, pink, lavender and blue. The most unusual and sought after is the rare cobalt Spinel.
Burmese spinels are found in the same localities as rubies. Consequently, for many years they were mistaken for each other. Spinel was recognized as a separate gem in the end of 18th Century. In fact, many famous “Rubies” in ancient crown jewels around the world are actually spinels.
Spinel is the birthstone for August.