spinel origins


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Legend And History Of The Spinel
For centuries, the red spinel has always fascinated the world's greatest heroes; it was the stone of the crowns. Tamerlan, Central Asia's Great Conqueror, adored it. Despite the advice of old sages who predicted great misfortune if the god of war was released, it was in 1941, in Samarkand, that Russian scientists opened his tomb, on which was inscribed "If I were alive, the world would shake ".

Indeed, according to some chroniclers of the time, surprising things happened! The city fell into darkness on the first day. The second, the cover of the tomb broke, and the third, the German army - despite a pact of non-aggression - invaded Russia.

This forerunner of the famous Mughals sent forces to protect the mine of "Kuh I Lal," which is still active in Tajikistan nowadays. He brought back spinels known as "ruby broom" at the time, broom referring to the linguistic distortion of the Badakhshan region where these stones are found. Throughout the Mughal Empire, gems with inscriptions bearing the names of the emperors were discovered.

The treasury of England still has a necklace composed of spinels with intaglios on it known as "the necklace of Timur." On the imperial crown of the Queen of England is "the ruby of the Black Prince," which is part of the same treasure. This gemstone is a spinel from the mine of "Kuh I Lal," and it was handed to the Black Prince by the King of Castile in 1367 in appreciation for his loyal services. Half a century later, at the Battle of Agincourt, he saved King Henry V's life; the stone still bears the mark of the ax it deflected, which would have split the sovereign's head. The famed "coast of Brittany" spinel cut in the shape of a dragon decorated Louis XV's Golden Fleece in France.
Spinel is commonly cut into round and cushion cut (square with rounded corners) gems. These faceted shapes can be conveniently cut from octahedral spinel crystals with little weight loss.
Spinels In Jewelry
In fact, spinel was commonly utilized in jewelry... but under the name of ruby, which was easily confused with its pigeon blood color. As a result, it is quite natural that this stone was exploited in jewelry over the centuries. Spinels are undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity to purchase a gorgeous pink or blood red stone.

The recently discovered "raspberry pink" spinels in Tanzania introduce color nuances that are uncommon in the gemstone spectrum. The exquisite nuances in the pinks of Tajikistan spinels have no counterpart in the world of jewelry; they complement the colors of other gems very effectively.
Spinel Origins
Spinel is one of the minerals formed by the high-pressure action of aluminum-rich intrusive rocks on basic magnesian rocks of metamorphic or sedimentary origin (dolomites). It is prevalent in Madagascar's pegmatites, where it is associated with diopside, calcite, scapolite, and phlogopite. Sri Lankan spinels, which are associated with ruby and sapphire, are the result of cipolin metamorphism (as in the Dejegdalek deposit in Afghanistan). They are mined in the southwest alluviums of the island, where the common dark or black spinel (ceylonite) coexists with magnificent red, mauve, and purple spinels.

The discovery of highly magnificent spinels and rubies in metamorphic marbles associated with gneisses, near the villages of Mutschual and Altiabad in the Karakoram area (Pakistan) in 1980, resulted from the construction of a new access road in the Hunza valley. The quality of the samples is remarkably comparable to that of minerals from Burma's (Myanmar's) gemmiferous sources.
Cobalt 8.70 cts Spinel Sri Lanka

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Benjamin Poudevigne
Social Media Manager at GemMatrix
With over ten years of marketing experience, I finally decided to settle down in Bangkok to work in an area that I have always been interested in: the gemstones industry. I'm still learning how the market works on a daily basis, and I enjoy sharing my experience with those who are interested in learning more about gems in general.