Black spinel is gemstone that is relatively unknown to consumers because of its rarity. It is an opaque, jet-black version of the red spinel, a gemstone with brilliant sparkle that is often mistaken for a ruby.
Black spinel is made of magnesium aluminum oxide or magnesium aluminate. With a rating of 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness -- 10 being the hardest -- black spinel is a durable gem that resists chips and scratches.
The origin of the name spinel is unclear, but it is possibly derived from the Latin word “spina,” meaning thorn, perhaps due to the brilliant color of the red spinel or because of the sharp crystals that can be seen in some spinels.
Black spinel is thought to re-establish relationships, dispel sadness and protect the wearer, according to GemTradeNet.com, a website promoting the Thailand gemstone market.
The primary source of black spinel is Thailand, where it is known as “nin.” Other deposits of the stone have been found in Africa, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Use in Jewelry
Black spinel is most often cut into an oval, round or cushion cut. Its hardness makes it suitable for both moderately priced and fine jewelry.
- Photo Credit Raquel Camacho Gómez/iStock/Getty Images
Value: Rubies Vs. Emeralds
Determining the value of gems is a combination of cut, caret, color and clarity. In comparing emeralds versus rubies, the two precious...
What Is the Value of Red Spinel?
Like all gemstones, the value of red spinel (often called ruby spinel), depends upon clarity, color, rarity, cut and size. Red spinels...
Difference Between Black Diamond & Black Onyx
Black diamond and black onyx are two different stones, coming from different gem families. The two stones, upon close examination, look very...
Cubic Zirconia Vs. White Spinel
Both the white spinel and cubic zirconia are gemstones; however the white spinel is a natural gemstone mineral, whereas the cubic zirconia...
Types of Red Gems
Gems are minerals that are valued for their color, luster and value. Gemstones come in a wide variety of quality and include...
What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an infection or inflammation of the linings of the brain that can be identified with lethargy, stiff neck, headache and...