Spinel is a gemstone that has often been confused with ruby. One of August’s birthstones, spinel can come in a variety of colors, including red, black, blue, green, and purple. It can also appear colorless.
Spinel can be found in deposits around the world. However, in ancient times, Southeast Asia produced very large formations of the gemstone. Red spinel is often called “flame spinel.” Two of these large, red gems are in the English crown jewels. Known as the “Black Prince’s Ruby” and the “Timur Ruby,” it was later discovered that they were spinels.
According to legend, spinel can help revitalize and bring energy to the owner. It is said to lower anxiety and stress. Along these lines, it’s also believed to encourage new ways of thinking and promote the fortitude to get through challenges in life.
In the mystic realm, some have felt that spinel helps communicate with higher powers. They say it improves intuition and clarity and balances emotions.
Magnetite is a type of spinel that has magnetic properties. As early as the 11th century, mariners used this form of spinel—known as lodestone—to magnetize their compasses.
Those who believe in crystal healing feel that magnetite helps align currents in the body. They also believe it can balance mood swings and polarities, such as physical and spiritual, and the two brain hemispheres.
If you’re looking for spinel jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.
NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of spinel and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.