Spinel has long been under-appreciated as a fine gemstone, after spending centuries being confused with sapphire and ruby–and for good reason, as they are nearly identical in brilliance and dispersion. Spinel is slightly less hard than sapphire, but still hard enough to be a durable gem, as its also quite tough; its suitable to be used in everyday jewelry. In recent years some spectacular shades of red spinel have been mined in Mahenge, Tanzania, where this spinel was mined. It is a bright red-pink color, tinted with orange. The color is very vibrant in the hand. There are some minor tiny inclusions, but they are only just barely visible without a loupe. At normal viewing distance (arm’s length) they are not visible, and the gem is very bright and scintillating. I have factored the inclusions into the price, making this a great value for the color and size.
This spinel is faceted in my custom “Helena” brilliant oval design. The resulting gemstone is gorgeous–extremely bright and lively in the hand. It weighs 1.32 carats and measures 7.1 x 6.0 x 4.5 mm. It would make a perfect center stone for an engagement ring!