The Black Prince’s Ruby. The Timur Ruby. For centuries, spinel, the great imposter, masqueraded as ruby in Europe’s crown jewels.
The finest red spinel colours are pure red to slightly purplish red hues of medium to medium-dark tone.
Spinel is most often cut in cushion and oval shapes; when properly proportioned it has excellent brilliance.
Like ruby, the colour of red spinel is due to traces of chromium.
Spinel belongs to the cubic crystal system and its characteristic crystal shape is an octahedron, which looks like two back-to-back pyramids.
Like ruby, spinel is found in alluvial deposits; it ranks 8 on the Mohs scale and has good toughness, making it a durable gem for jewellery.
Well-formed spinel crystals are in high demand among mineral collectors.