Spinel is a gem that is part of a group of minerals of the same name. Its name comes from Latin "Spina" or "Spinella" which translates as thorn because of the pointed crystals it often presents. It could also come from Greek "Spinos" or spark, because of the brightness of their color when they are red.
Spinels can be of multiple colors, be it red, pink, lavender, blue, green, brown, black, yellow or colorless. They can be translucent to opaque with a vitreous or opaque luster. The geological conditions necessary for its formation are very similar to those of the ruby, which is why deposits of both gems are often found in the same area. Some have also been found in meteorites.
The translucent red variety was called spinel-ruby or Balas ruby. With the word "ruby" they referred to various red gems such as spinels and garnets until the 18th century when the distinction was established. Blue spinels were also confused with blue sapphires for a long time.
It has been mentioned in literature since the 16th century with the writings of the famous explorer Marco Polo. Purple spinels could only belong to the king and were synonymous with wealth and success for the Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. The most famous spinels probably come from this region and in several cases, royal jewelry turned out to have red spinels when they were believed for centuries to be rubies. That is the case with the Timur Ruby, a polished, non-faceted spinel that was considered the largest ruby in the world at the time, and the Black Prince Ruby whose history dates back to the 14th century.
Spinel is reputed because it is credited with the ability to ward off sadness and negative thoughts. It generally attracts wellbeing, inviting those who harbor love to reveal their feelings. Stone of introspection, it allows you to put your ego aside in order to reveal yourself to others, in addition to providing courage if it is to someone you love.
Gem that induces detachment, it encourages reconciliation by helping to make the first move or to accept apologies without resentment. Apart from restoring calm and serenity, it reduces stress and is a guide to deal with impulses better.
On the physical plane, because of being dark it is considered a gem of protection and rooting. It is said that it is capable of relieving joint and bone pain as well as strengthening the immune and blood systems by balancing the body through relaxation. It is recommended for those who suffer from the effects of stress such as high body temperature, stomach aches, nausea... since those who keep one close will be able to better regulate their breathing and heart rate in order to reconcile calm more easily.
For centuries pink and red spinels came from Upper Badakhshan province in Tajikistan and from Sri Lanka. Today we also find spinel deposits in Vietnam, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar and Burma.