The Spectacular Spinel: August's New Birthstone
Midsummer greeting! It is a Japanese custom to send a greeting card during the hottest month. I wanted to write a little earlier about the August birth stone, but I didn’t have a chance until now. The beginning of the month we visited Buffalo to celebrate my father in-law ‘s 90th birthday. He looks young and his mind is still sharp!
As many of you know the light green color Peridot is August’s birthstone. I love to wear light green Peridots on especially hot summer days. It makes me feel fresh and cool. But maybe some August birthday people want to have a different color. Well, there is very good news: Spinel officially became the second August birthstone this year! Now my mother and sister-in-law have another beautiful birthstone.
Spinel has a huge variety of colors like sapphire. I bet you will fall in love with the stones! Red Spinels have often been confused with Rubies. In fact, the 170ct Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial Crown is actually a Spinel. It wasn’t until 1783 that Spinel was recognized as a different mineral than Ruby. Here are some highlights about Spinel:
- Myanmar is the source of some of the world’s most beautiful Spinels, particularly the magnificent pink, red and orange-red colors.
- Spinel gemstones can be found across the globe. They also are mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Cambodia, Kenya, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Spinel comes in a variety of vibrant colors from soft pastel shades of pink and purple, fiery oranges, and cool hues ranging from powdery gray to the most intense blues imaginable.
- Spinel has glittering optics and is more reflective than Ruby. Spinel gems are brilliant when cut and polished, rivaling the beauty of other gemstones in the same color range.
- Spinel is a durable gem, with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. It is similar in hardness to Topaz, but harder than Emerald, Amethyst, Tourmaline and its fellow birthstone Peridot. Only Sapphires, Rubies and Diamonds are harder.
- Spinel is identified with high energy and stamina and is used to attract money, wealth and prosperity. It also brings calm in the midst of challenging situations and helps to reduce stress and depression.
- Spinel does not require special care. Clean it with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Avoid intense heat as light-colored stones may fade.