Spinel is an ancient gem that has been used in jewellery for at least two thousand years, with evidence showing that it has been mined commercially for over a thousand years. Cut spinel has often been used throughout history as an imitation or replacement for ruby; the most popular example of this is The Black Prince's Ruby, which was given to King Richard II in 1367 as payment for helping to end a rebellion in Spain. While it’s unknown whether or not the previous owner knew that the gem was a spinel and not a ruby, it is certain that the person who cut the stone was indeed aware since the two stones must be cut very differently and require different finishing and polishing techniques.
Spinel was officially identified as a different mineral from ruby in 1783 by mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle, and thanks to modern technology it is now easy to tell the two gemstones apart.
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- August Birthstone (Modern, US)
- 22nd Wedding Anniversary
- Blue Spinel in particular represents the 65th Wedding Anniversary
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