What is Spinel?
Spinel is a mineral, often found in the same places as other corundum varieties such as Ruby and Sapphire. It is often transparent, singly refractive, and measures 8 on the Mohs scale for hardness. It owes its beautiful color to the presence of chromium.
It also contains magnesium and aluminum and can be found in a wide range of colors, including blue, red, purple, lavender, brown, black, and clear.
The Origin: Where Is Spinel Found?
Spinel occurs in India, Myanmar, Canada, and Sri Lanka.
The History & Lore of Spinel
Throughout history, Spinel has been vastly under-appreciated.
Mines that supplied gems to the Royal courts of Russia and China actually produced varieties of Spinel that were confused with the more valuable gems of Rubies and Sapphires.
English Monarchs have valued this gem over the course of History, including Henry VIII.
It forms part of the Crown Jewels, along with the Koh-I-Nor diamond, and survived fires, attempted thefts, and bombing raids over the centuries.
Another large Spinel that appears in the Crown Jewels is the “Timur Ruby” which weighs over 350 carats.
This stone bears marks of carving in Persian that testify to its age.
Because of the amount of confusion surrounding Spinel, it is difficult to extrapolate the lore and myths peculiar to this gem.
It has had a checkered history in terms of the value placed on it by humans, and even to this day, some people are unaware that Spinel is an authentic stone in its own right.
Description of Spinel
Spinel comes in a wide variety of colors, and it is easy to see how the different variations have been mistaken, over the years, for Rubies, Sapphires, and Emeralds.
It is transparent, cubic in crystalline structure, and usually occurs in octahedron shapes (two back-to-back pyramids)
How to Identify Spinel
Spinel can be faked, and it can also be used as a fake for more valuable gems such as diamonds and Rubies.
The stone itself is very beautiful, so even a fake can be attractive, but you do not want to be paying Diamond prices for clear Spinel.
The only way to truly ascertain whether a Spinel is authentic is in a lab with specialized equipment.
It may be useful to know that, in Spinel, green is rare,
So if you are looking for green or blue-green stones, they are more likely to be synthetic copies than Spinel in other colors.
Types of Spinel
As mentioned above, spinel appears in many colors. The most common is red, which has led to spinel being falsely identified as Ruby over the years.
However, Red Spinel is a wonderful stone and the specimens that came from the mines of the southeast and central Asia were particularly large and fine in appearance.
They gained the name “Bals Rubies” and were rightly treasured and valued by kings and emperors.
The “Black Prince’s Ruby” is in fact a rich crimson Spinel polished to a smooth finish with a dazzling shine.
It is thought to have originated in the mines of Afghanistan and first appeared in written records in the 14th century in Spain.
Having been owned by a succession of Spanish and Moorish Kings it eventually became the property of Edward, The Black Prince in 1367 as a reward for his victory in the Battle of Najera.
This is good for stamina and provides protection. It grounds energy for the purpose of raising Kundalini.
This is quite rare. It is aligned with the Heart chakra and promotes the giving and receiving of love between individuals and between humans and the Divine.
Clear or colorless Spinel
This activates the Higher Crown chakra and facilitates communication with other worlds.
This stimulates physical energy. It is dynamic and promotes courage and strength. This color is good for tuning the Base chakra to the frequencies of the Earth.
This is said to facilitate astral travel and to stimulate spiritual development.
Spinel Birthstone Meaning & History
Spinel is one of the August birthstones and is associated with the zodiac sign of Virgo (Aug 24 – Sept 22).
As Spinel occurs in many colors you will probably be able to find a variety that suits the special August or Virgo person in your life.
Positive Virgo traits include loyalty, dedication, and compassion.
Virgos are often very tolerant and understanding of the foibles and weaknesses of others and are always willing to give another person the benefit of the doubt.
They also give second, third, and fourth chances to those they deem worthy of a little more patience or acceptance than they receive generally.
Green or Blue Spinel is ideal as a gift for a Virgo who shows this trait as the reverse of the coin is that Virgos can sometimes be taken advantage of by people who mistake their tolerant attitude for gullibility.
Another trait that is strong in a typical Virgo is perfectionism.
They always take care of the details and are the embodiment of the phrase “if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”
They are often meticulous in their approach to any task and make excellent researchers.
They are intelligent and rational thinkers who can, nevertheless, think outside the box to find solutions to knotty problems.
Yellow or Clear Spinel helps to clarify the mind and promotes analytical thinking.
It may, therefore, be appreciated by a Virgo who spends a lot of time managing other people’s problems, whether at work or at home. Whose attitude or work does not meet
Because Virgos are perfectionists, they can sometimes be overly critical of others whose attitude or work does not meet a Virgo’s exacting standards.
They can be creatures of extremes. and many so-called “Type A” personalities are Virgos.
This type will find it difficult to switch off and relax. They can be worriers and are prone to stress-related illnesses.
The calming effects of Black and Violet spinel can be of benefit to this type of Virgo personality.
How to Clean and Care for Spinel
Spinel has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale and can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water.
If you prefer, you can simply hold your stone under clear running water for a minute or so.
When storing Spinel, make sure it is not in contact with softer, more delicate crystals as it could damage or scratch them
To charge and program Spinel you can use a wide variety of techniques.
Many people have their own rituals and favorite ways of working with the vibration of their stones.
For example, if you have a Red Spinel and you want to restore its vibration for the purposes of keeping you grounded, or helping to manifest material wealth and success.
You could leave it in sunlight for a few hours so that it absorbs the vitality of the sun’s rays.
Sage smoke and brown rice are harmless ways of recharging all crystals, as is leaving next to an amethyst or Selenite cluster.
Buyers Guide: Tips & Advice
Despite its rather volatile history as a stone of value, Spinel is now making rising in popularity and demand exceeds supply at present.
Gem collectors and connoisseurs are extremely keen to get hold of Spinel, which has closed the price gap between Spinel and Ruby/Sapphire somewhat.
If you are in search of an authentic Spinel, take professional advice before committing to the purchase.
Spinel Quality Factors
Some colors are more in demand than others and some are rarer, all of which have an impact on the price you should expect to pay.
Green is the rarest color, but red is most in demand. Blue Spinel is also in high demand.
The vibrant pinks and oranges that this stone sometimes exhibits make it attractive to certain buyers, and these colors can also command quite a high price.
The least valuable colors are the violet and lavender hues that can easily present as muddy or grayish in tone.
Red spinel that exhibits a pure crimson or slightly purplish hue with a medium to dark tone is highly prized.
Blue Spinel with a rich, deep blue hue and dark tone can be almost impossible to tell apart from a true Sapphire.
Spinel often exhibits inclusions, and those stones that are “eye-clean” command higher prices than those with flaws.
Some of the inclusions found in Spinel are attractive, however, resembling stars, tree roots, and clusters of human fingerprints.
Just like its more valuable counterparts of Ruby or Sapphire, Spinel is often cut into ovals and cushions.
There is a scarcity of Spinel for cutting into gemstones, so it is common to find that the high-quality rough stones have been cut in order to save weight, rather than in standard sizes.
Standard cut stones usually measure 6.4mm or 7×5 mm and are designed as center stones for rings.
Specimens above 5-carat weight are rare in Spinel, and the larger sizes command considerably higher prices than small stones.
Good quality red, blue, and pink stones are the most expensive.
Spinel and Chakras
Spinel opens and activates all of the chakras, bringing harmony and balance to the entire energy body.
If you want to work with different stones, and different colors on specific chakras you can do so using only Spinel or a combination of colored stones.
Red Spinel is good for bringing the Base and Sacral chakras into balance with the rest of the system.
It has an earthing and grounding quality that strengthens and clears the lower chakras.
Yellow Spinel works on the Solar Plexus, the seat of personal power (and of the ego).
When your Solar Plexus is blocked or restricted you may feel unwilling to make changes, or to take risks, even if you know that the benefits of doing so will justify the action.
Yellow Spinel provides strength and reassurance that it is safe to leave your comfort zone and let your light shine.
Blue Spinel is an excellent stone for opening and activating the Throat chakra.
When this chakra is in harmony with your energy field you are able to communicate openly and honestly without fear or judgment.
This chakra also governs our sense of self, and, when it is blocked or closed down, we are vulnerable to the thought forms and negative vibrations that others wish to project onto us.
Blue stones in general provide protection for the Throat chakra and can help with the release of old conditioning and beliefs that may be holding you back.
Spinel Healing Properties
Physical Healing Properties
Spinel is all about energy, vitality, and renewal. It provides relief from exhaustion and promotes vigor on all levels.
It is a good aid to recovery, especially from a long-term or debilitating illness.
Red Spinel is good for the blood. It can help with anemia and poor circulation.
It supports the lungs in absorbing oxygen into the blood and treats conditions of the chest such as bronchitis and COPD.
Black Spinel can help with aches and pains in the hips, knees, and lower back.
It is also good for the immune system and is believed to help the body to fight off infection.
Blue spinel can be very soothing for conditions of the throat, ears, neck, and eyes.
Tonsilitis, strep throat, and labyrinthitis can be alleviated with Blue Spinel alongside conventional treatments.
Colorless or Clear Spinel is of benefit to the brain and head.
It helps to alleviate migraine and headaches and can be placed at the base of the skull to relieve tension in the neck and scalp.
Mental & Emotional Healing Properties
Spinel is an uplifting stone for the mind and emotions. It helps you to see the beauty in the world around you and in the little things you take for granted.
It is said to be beneficial in the treatment of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as it has a stimulating effect on the pineal gland.
It is a stone for new beginnings and for the renewal of hope in a despairing mind.
It helps you to let go of negative thought patterns and replace them with positive, uplifting ways of looking at your situation and your life in general.
Black Spinel is useful for clearing the effects of old wounds and trauma from your energy field.
It is said to aid hoarders, whether they hoard old grievances or physically hang onto old possessions to the detriment of their mental health.
By helping to de-clutter both your space and your mind, Black Spinel helps you to see more clearly where your priorities lie.
Blue and Green Spinel will help you to set clear emotional boundaries and to clear away the effects of mistreatment by others.
It is a good stone for those who have difficulty letting go of grudges.
It promotes an assertive outlook and can be of special benefit to those who have difficulty saying “no.”
It draws off negative vibrations of anger or resentment from the emotional body and transmutes them into compassion and love.
Spinel is useful for workaholics and type-A personalities.
It promotes a relaxed attitude and encourages you to let go of unnecessary worry or anxiety, acting as a soothing balm to the nervous system and a gentle tranquilizer for the mind.
Spinel supports the harmonious flow of energy, or Chi, throughout the body.
It realigns the chakras and integrates the subtle bodies with your conscious mind.
It allows us to connect all aspects of ourselves in a holistic way, revealing truths about the ways in which our emotions and thoughts may be impacting our physical bodies.
Spinel carries the healing vibration of Mother Earth.
It is aligned with the Heart chakra of our home planet and can bring boundless healing energies to those who need it.
It also helps us to connect more fully with the natural world, encouraging us to spend time outdoors and opening our eyes to the wonders of the landscape.
Spiritual Healing Properties
Spinel is sometimes referred to as the “compassion stone.”
As you begin to feel more connected to the world around you your compassion for all living things increases, bringing joy and contentment to your spirit.
As your connection to others becomes stronger, you are able to appreciate that we are all unique and special parts of a whole that is greater than the sum of all its parts.
You are a very important part of the jigsaw of creation, and as you develop spiritually, you will discover that others hold their own pieces of the jigsaw.
And that we all gift our own messages to one another in an endless network of support and enlightenment.
Spinel is also known to be a stone of success and victory.
It will help you to overcome your spiritual challenges and to grow and develop according to your soul’s true purpose.
Spinel is protective and shielding, dispelling, and detaching any negative entities or energies that may have attached themselves to your aura.
Spinel aligns the subtle bodies and rejuvenates the meridians of the body, enabling healthy chi to be carried around the Microcosmic Orbit system and balancing mind, body, and spirit.
How to Use Spinel
Spinel in jewelry can be just as beautiful as the stones it has been mistaken for in the past.
If you find the vibration of Ruby overwhelming, as can be the case in sensitive people, a Red Spinel makes an excellent substitute.
In-Home and Office
Spinel has protective qualities that shield your aura from negative influences and vibrations.
Place it near your workstation, or in the corners of your room to guard against unwanted or aggressive behaviors.
Best Crystal Combinations with Spinel
Black Spinel with Topaz and Blue Quartz
This combination is good for anyone seeking security and stability.
The Black spinel will help ground your physical energies and the blue Quartz soothes anxieties, fears, and uncertainty.
Yellow Spinel with Carnelian and Citrine
These three crystals combine wonderfully to help with feelings of helplessness, despair, or depression.
The tonic effects of Carnelian bring optimism and self-worth, and Citrine enhances personal power and confidence.
Yellow Spinel activates, opens, and supports the Solar plexus chakra to release you from the manipulative or negative behavior of others.
Read more about Crystal combinations for Citrine, and Crystal combinations for Carnelian.
Red Spinel with Garnet or Ruby
For an impressive energy boost try this combination of stones.
Place all, or some, of them at the base of your spine and on your Solar plexus to integrate your will with your manifestation powers.
Physical and spiritual energies are enhanced with these stones, and sexual dysfunction or inhibition is alleviated when you use them on the Base chakra and the navel.
Read more about Crystal combinations for Ruby.
Clear Spinel with Lapis Lazuli and Honey Calcite
Using this combination of stones on your higher chakras, specifically the Crown and Third Eye brings mental clarity and gives a boost to your intellectual powers.
Read more about crystal combinations for Lapis Lazuli
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
This beautiful crystal is associated with energy renewal, rejuvenation, and encouragement during difficult times.
The different colors of Spinel can be used on the whole chakra system, and it is an excellent stone for chakra balancing.
It is also good for raising the Kundalini energy from the base of the spine up into the heart and throughout the body.
Spinel is good for emotional and mental stability. It promotes confidence and helps us to accept success with humility.
It discourages arrogance and ego-based behaviors.
Spinel is also beneficial as a boost for your physical energy levels.
It helps to support your immune system and to avoid common infections, especially in winter.
Spinel is a support stone for anyone involved in healing and saving the planet.
It is closely affiliated with the healing energies of Mother Earth and with the Heart chakra of our home planet.
The sparkling radiance of the brighter hues of Spinel brings joy and optimism, alleviating low moods and lifting spirits.