This small stone with a pretty red hue, sometimes blue or pink, takes its name from the Latin “spina”, which means “thorn”. Spinel, a term originally created as an epithet for the word “ruby”, is in fact composed of multiple small crystals and has an atypical shape with sharp and sometimes prickly edges and points like thorns. It resembles tourmaline in this respect. Be careful, though! Despite its deep purple colour, this stone should not be confused with ruby, as has often been the case in the past. This stone has been mentioned in literature since the 16th century. It is sometimes referred to by other names, such as the stone of Balas. Extracted since Antiquity from the mines of Badakhshan, a province in Northern Afghanistan, it is described in the diary of the famous explorer Marco Polo. The purple stones then belonged only to the king of the country and no one else had the right to possess them. He gave them as gifts to kings of other countries and to various important people. Spinels were synonymous with success and it was a real wealth for the region. That is why today the majority of these minerals found in museums and royal collections around the world must most certainly come from Afghanistan. Two of them are among the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels and are nicknamed the Timur and the Black Prince’s Stone.
It was in the 19th century that spinel stone was officially differentiated from the bloody gemstone, both by its structure and its slightly lighter shade. It is a stone of great elegance, which can easily be cut to adorn a jewel or an entire outfit. In addition to its highly aesthetic and refined appearance, it has various beneficial and magnetic properties. It is indeed magnetic and can be used as a guide stone, which made it an ideal ally for sailors who used it to magnetize their compasses. They could thus navigate more easily at sea and create maps to keep track of their travels and discoveries. This stone thus marks the beginning of the era and the art of cartography. In Roman Antiquity, all blood-coloured gemstones were confused with each other. The Romans thought it was the same stone and referred to it as carbunculus. Spinel’s virtues, such as protection against body injuries or against bleeding, were therefore attributed to both ruby and spinel.
Purple most of the time, spinel stone also comes in various other varieties and colours, including blue, which has got it confused with sapphire for a long time, but also fancy, lavender, cobalt, pink (such as tourmaline) and mauve. It owes its numerous colour variations from its chromium, vanadium and iron content. This mineral variety belongs to the family of oxides and bears the chemical formula Mg Al2 O4. These gemstones are usually extracted from magmatic or calcareous rocks and the main quarries are in Madagascar, Burma, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Tanzania. Spinel stone sis usually found not far from a ruby deposit. In Burma, the octahedral facets of this stone have earned it the nickname anyan nat thwe, meaning “cut by the spirits”, ain contrast to its precious synonym which is rather “sucked”. This astonishing stone has a hardness of 8 on Mohs scale. The stones jewellers selected to be mounted in jewellery are chosen for their high purity, without any inclusions. However, it is not uncommon to see some beautiful crystals trapped inside the stone. In such a case, they give a “sparkling”, appearance to the stone, as if it were filled with small crystallized wings, like ice or frost crystals, a bit like in sapphire.
This stone has numerous psychological virtues that you will benefit from if you wear it or expose it in one of the rooms in your house, while proceeding to its regular purification. Associated with the sign Taurus, it has the gift of keeping sadness and negative ideas about oneself away. If you feel sad or blue, come closer to your stone and feel your body and your heart fill again with a true feeling of well-being. This stone also helps people who find it difficult falling in love and expressing their feelings. You love someone but you don’t dare to confess it? Place your stone on your body and find the courage to open yourself to the other person. Spinel will help you to put aside your ego to let another person benefit from all the trust, fidelity and love you can give him or her: it encourages introspection.
If you are angry with someone, your stone will intercede for reconciliation and help you to take the first step or accept an apology without any resentment. You will be able to leave your rage and anger behind to regain calm and serenity. Learn how to control your impulses in order to convey an image of gentleness and benevolence. Spinel stone is particularly effective in helping those who easily stress or suffer from sadness. Avoid taking things that affect you so much to heart and learn to maintain a certain detachment. Don’t forget to meditate for a few minutes every day to relax your mind and refocus on everything that is important in your life, such as your family or work. The Chinese tradition considers this stone to be a generator of energy and strength. It helps you to keep yourself firmly ground, even when you are hit hard, so that you can push away any negative thoughts that might assail you. This mineral fills you with courage to face all the obstacles and difficulties of life with ease.
Spinel stone is mostly purple but there are also deep dark specimens. This is why many people classify it as a protective rooting stone. This highly elegant stone, either red or black, is the most used stone in alternative medicine, whatever its size, because it relieves joint and bone pain. As it neutralizes all negative ideas and energies, it can help to fight with great effectiveness against sadness, but also against infections that affect one’s mind and body. The body regains its balance, relaxes, and all the painful points, which were blocked, start to work smoothly again. If your body tends to suffer from the effects of nervousness at work and anxiety, tremors, fevers, stomach aches, nausea, etc., this stone will help you to regulate your breathing and heart rate, allowing you to calm down gradually, and to remove all the pain. This dark stone also protects the body from all harmful waves: wifi, television, computer. It easily absorbs pain, activates blood circulation and strengthens the cardiac system. All people with pain in their body appreciate it very much because it tackles the problem at its roots. This stone indeed removes part of damaged cells, relieves heavy legs, reduces women’s cysts, heals the prostate, kidneys, etc.