Spinel Care and Cleaning Guide


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Spinel is a magnificent-but-rare stone that is durable enough to be worn in all types of jewelry. - Courtesy Thomas Baross
Hardness and toughness
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 many times harder than gems in the corundum family.
Mohs Scale
Spinel ranks 8 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Spinel ranks 8 on the Mohs scale and has good toughness, making it a durable gem for jewelry.

Stability
High heat can cause some spinel colors to fade, but spinel is stable when exposed to light and chemicals.

Cleaning
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.

Treatment concerns
Some spinel might be subjected to color-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.