Spinel Care and Cleaning Guide
Gem and mineral hardness is measured on the Mohs scale. The numbers are based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one mineral can be scratched by another. But the Mohs scale is deceptive. The steps between the minerals are not evenly spaced. For example, diamond is only one number away, but it’s much harder than gems in the corundum family.
Spinel ranks 8 on the Mohs scale and has good toughness, making it a durable gem for jewellery.
High heat can cause some spinel colours to fade, but spinel is stable when exposed to light and chemicals.
While ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners are usually safe, certain inclusions like fractures could pose a potential problem. It’s always safe to clean spinel with warm soapy water.
Some spinel might be subjected to colour-altering heat treatment. The treatment is stable under normal wearing conditions. As with any transparent gemstone, spinel might be fracture-filled to improve its apparent clarity. This is rarely done to spinel, but if it is, the filler material can alter over time and affect the appearance of the stone. Any fracture-filled stone should only be cleaned with warm soapy water or a damp cloth.