Lilac Coloured Gemstones – Natural Spinel
Earlier this week we were lucky enough to source a truly unique gemstone—a natural lilac coloured Spinel. This connoisseurs choice makes a rare and fascinating alternative to other types of gemstones offered by jewellers.
Spinel is one of those gemstones that rarely features within commercial jewellery stores. Owing to the rarity of certain colours, it can be extremely difficult to repeat certain colours, shapes and sizes.
Natural spinel has become a collector’s choice, prized for its varieties of colour and rarity. Red tends to be the most desirable colour existing alongside other varieties of colour including blue, violet, pink and orange.
A Hard Wearing Alternative to Tanzanite
Recently introduced as a birthstone alternative for August, Spinel has been used historically, first identified as different from Ruby by Mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle in 1783. With a hardness of 8 on Moh’s scale it is a perfect gemstone for durability and everyday wear. Violet and blue shades are a good hard-wearing alternative to Tanzanite for this reason. Although we have set Tanzanite into rings, few buyers realise that Tanzanite is rarely a hard wearing choice for day to day wear.
One of the details we love about Spinel lies in the treatment of gemstones. Most Sapphires are treated to enhance their colour. By comparison, the lilac Spinel we feature here is 100% natural in colour without any enhancement.
Spinel and the Crown Jewels
Rather interestingly the famous 14th century Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial Crown is actually a red spinel. Spinels have often been mistaken for either Sapphires or Rubies. Owing to their rarity, colours such as red can demand higher prices than Rubies and Sapphires.
Purple Spinel Engagement Ring
The above Spinel was added to the Elsa engagement ring design, crafted in 950 Platinum to contrast with the purple colouration of the Spinel. The completed ring was testament to the beauty of natural Spinel as shown in the photograph below which reveals the completed purple Spinel engagement ring. Truly a one-of-a-kind commission.
Spinel crystals are so perfect, in Burma they are said to be “nat thwe” or “polished by the spirits.”
Unique Gemstone Ideas
If you are looking for a rare and unusual gemstone, we are happy to suggest unique ideas for a bespoke piece of jewellery. Since many of our gemstone commissions are individual “one-off” creations, we source, photography and quote based upon specific gems available. Our high-resolution photography is accurate and colour balanced ensuring that clients based overseas receive accurate photography from which to make their choice.