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Colour Investigation: Spinel Until recent times, spinel was an underappreciated gem with little consumer recognition However, as demand for ruby alternatives increase, renewed interest and enthusiasm for spinel grows STACEY LIM reports Spinel belongs to the cubic crystal system and forms in a characteristic octahedral crystal shape with well-formed crystals being fairly common in nature.
Like diamond and garnet, spinel is singly refractive, showing the same optical properties in all crystal directions. Spinel offers dramatic and desirable colours, clarity, availability and more affordable prices, all which have contributed to a rekindled desire for this historical gemstone. Only a small portion of the spinel group of minerals is suitable for use in jewellery Transparent, gem quality spinels are all close to pure magnesium aluminium oxides with only trace amounts of the other possible substituting elements A high hardness ranking of 8 to 85 on Mohs scale allows this gemstone to be used widely in jewellery. Source
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