Birthstones are limiting. We’re breaking out of the box and inviting you to explore the wide world of gemstones!
For February, we're highlighting a gorgeous and versatile stone… spinel!
Here are our top three reasons to love this beautiful gem:
Spinel offers a range of hues, from orange to intense “stoplight” red, vibrant pink, and all shades of purple, blue, and violet through bluish green.
Intense reds and pinks are caused by traces of chromium. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the red hue. Orange and purple stones owe their color to a mixture of iron and chromium. Violet to blue spinel can be colored by trace amounts of iron, and vibrant blues owe their saturated color to trace amounts of cobalt.
The deep reds and blues make a great alternative to the more popular and more expensive ruby and sapphire, but the pinks and purples are truly stunning in fine jewelry.
2. Everyday Wearability
When it comes to durability, spinel might not be on the diamond or sapphire level, but it's pretty close!
The Mohs Hardness Scale is a great indicator of durability, and therefore wearability when considering a stone for jewelry. This scale ranges from 1 to 10, with diamond at 10, sapphire at 9, and spinel coming in with a solid 8.
So you can rest assured that your spinel jewelry will be pretty darn durable for a bracelet or ring, despite the higher potential for the pieces taking accidental impact.
According to GIA, spinel is a good candidate for the title of "History’s Most Underappreciated Gem." Some ancient mines that supplied gems for royal courts from Rome to China produced spinel, but it was usually confused with better-known stones like ruby and sapphire.
In fact, spinel has only recently earned consumer recognition, so if you're looking for a gemstone that is a more unique, uncommon choice you need look no further.
When you combine our spinel top three into one big picture, you can see it's a great option for your jewelry wish list.
Want to learn more about other gems and gemology in general? Check out our Gemology page!