All About Black Spinel: Types, Colors, Description, Origins & Details

The modern symbol of fashion is black, isn’t it?

Bold, dark and beautiful! That’s black spinel for you! This jet black gemstone can sure make you look like the queen who’s ready to take on the world. The powerful appearance of black spinel is something else. That’s probably why it has become such a desirable pick to embed jewelry, be it a ring, bracelet or a necklace, in order to make an elaborate and stylish fashion statement. It has slowly secured its place in all of our jewelry boxes. So we say, why not know our gemstone a little better as well? That’s exactly why we have come up with our Black Spinel education guide to address all the basic knowledge revolving around Black Spinel right from how it all started to what qualities to look for in this beauty in black and of course, everything in between. Let’s get started!

Properties of Black Spinel

Having a hardness rating of 8 out of 10 on Moh’s scale, this August birthstone is known to be quite durable and thus can be worn on a regular basis, making it a sought after option to embed jewelry with.

Interestingly, these form in a cubic crystal pattern which are known for their sharpness. So much so that these are believed to be name after this feature. Apart from that, these possess a magnesium aluminium oxide in its chemical composition, which also bless it with its USP: the deep, dark color.

Who can resist a black stone rich with luster! Having a vitreous or glass-like luster which makes it so desirable, this black beauty is known to range from transparent to opaque.

Origin & History

This semi-precious gemstone of August is adored by royalties and middle class alike. You sure won’t be able to deny once you get through its history with our black spinel education guide. Its historical references date way back to the 14th century in Spain, when it was fondly adorned by the likes of royalties, specifically the Moorish and Spanish kings. But interestingly, it was present as a gift to the Prince of wales, Edward who is today fondly remembers as the black prince. The craze for the Spinel stone knew no bounds since then. It was joyfully adorned by Henry VIII afterwards and even got embedded beautifully in England’s crown. Yes, such royal ties! Even though it had captivated everybody’s eyes, it was initially confused with rubies when first found in mines of ruby from the royal route connecting rome and china. But later on, thanks to its sparkling sharpness, it got its unique name ‘spinel’ which is greek for spark and Latin word for spine.

Where is Black Spinel found?

Fast forward to today, let’s take a glance at where this black beauty is mined presently. Well, this semi-precious gemstone has got its mines located in Southeast Asia, Myanmmar, Madagascar, Thailand, Cambodia, Nigeria, Nepal, Brazil and Afghanistan. Talking about its specific formation, interestingly, it shares its mines with ruby and sapphire. It forms due to the combination of molten rocks and limestones to form the mineral that gives birth to this beauty in black which thereafter, is comfortably mined.

Black Spinel versus Black Diamond

Black Spinel

Possessing a natural jet black color, Black spinel is known for its high reflectivity, glass-like vitreous luster and sparkle, making it appear quite brilliant. Apart from that, it has a hardness of 8 out of 10 on Moh’ scale. It also possesses lesser inclusions than its other black counterparts.

Black Diamond

A black diamond is also known for its high reflectivity but what sets it apart is that it has a metallic appearance with grayish hues. It lacks sparkle and thus is known to be less brilliant than black spinel but it does possess a perfect hardness of 10 out of 10 on Moh’ scale. It also does possess more inclusions than black spinel.

Black Spinel Quality and Price Filters

We know how important the quality of a gemstone is and to help you analyze it better, we are here with our black spinel buying guide. But how do you do that? What exactly determines the quality and how? Well, it is prominently determined by the famous 4 Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. How? Let’s take a glance:

Black Spinel is known for its vivid black color which ranges from inky black to an intense jet black, no less dark than the night sky. The black gemstone is not seen to have secondary tones and are purely black.

There is no standard grading system for the Black Spinel but they usually are free of any visible flaws. In fact, it is known to be one of the most flawlessly clear gemstone in the black color lot. However, in order to enhance it more it is subjected to faceting which enables the gemstone to reflect light.

Black Spinels are available in a wide range of sizes and their weight can vary depending upon the use. It is not tough to find larger crystal of black spinel and since size has a direct impact on the carat weight, as heavy as a 18 CT black spinel has also been found.

In case of this August Birthstone - Black Spinel, the term Cut can have a number of meanings to determine the overall factor. It can define the faceting or the gemstone shape. It might also refer to proportion and finish of the gemstone where proportion refers to the dimensions and symmetry. Rough black spinels are faceted in number of shapes commonly being cast into round, oval, pear and cushion and various fancy cuts like octagon, baguette, trillion and marquise.

Advanced Black Spinel

The alluring appeal of black spinel is such that you can never get enough of exploring this beauty in black. Isn’t it? And hey, no worries there! Here we are with some advanced black spinel education discussing some not so explored points. Let’s begin:

Black Spinel when tested in the presence of ultraviolet light is observed to fluoresce a natural red reaction under both long wavelength and short wavelength UV light.

Symmetry is the proper and precise arrangement of the facets of the Black Spinel, how well they are proportionately aligned with each other. Spinel which are well cut will obviously be graded excellent, associating this attribute with the overall cut grade. The symmetry grade can be found on the IGI or GIA certificate.

Black Spinel polish is how well the facets are polished and how smooth and even the surfaces are. If there is roughness, unevenness or remnants of the rough Spinel, the gemstone gets a lower quality. Polish is another advanced C that feeds directly into the cut grade of the Black Spinel. Generally Spinel that has an excellent cut grade will also have an excellent polish grade.

Benefits of Black Spinel

Rich in a color so powerful, black spinel sure does come with its share of equally powerful beliefs. And that’s what pretty much makes a gemstone all the more special. Since its discovery, it’s been believed to possess some healing properties. Come, let’s take a glance with our black spinel education guide:

Physical Healing

This August birthstone is known to heal all kinds of physical blockages, inflammations as well as digestive problems. And not just that, it also helps with skin problems and imparts physical strength to the wearer as well. All in all, it keeps you energetic and helps you heal from fatigues as soon as possible.

Emotional healing

The color of power black evokes a number of feelings in us. Black spinel helps you overcome griefs, sadness and anxiety. It also blesses you with a feeling of inspiration, fearlessness and self-confidence. It helps you overcome any difficult times and provides you with great strength and stability in life.

Spiritual Healing

It also works well as protective stone and has for time long been believed to shield the wearer from all kinds of negativity. It is known to align our physical, emotional and spiritual growth, thus making us feel more empowered.


How is a Black Spinel formed?

In nature, Spinel is formed by metamorphic activity in which molten rock gets combined with limestone or dolomites. A deposit resembling a mineral within the rock is left behind and when mined, it further leaves a black gemstone behind which is in similitude with the qualities of rubies and sapphires.

What is difference between lab grown and natural Black Spinel?

Like most of the gemstones, there is an option to choose between natural and lab-created Black Spinel. One must not confuse “lab grown” with the “fake”. While synthetic is a replica the lab grown is developed in a controlled lab environment.

Generally, lab created Black Spinel tend to be free from inclusions and blemishes and are found to be inexpensive as compared to their natural counterparts.

Where do Black Spinel come from?

Black Spinel usually occurs along with mining of ruby and sapphire. The most common mining sites for this gemstone are found in Cambodia, Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

How to take care of Black Spinel Jewelry?

Black Spinel Jewelry is quite easy to clean due to their hardness and durability. However, a few things must be kept in mind like avoiding contact of the gemstone with make-up, harsh chemicals, abrasives.

While cleaning the jewelry make use of lukewarm water and mild cleaning detergent. Soft toothbrush can be used to clean the underside of the Black Spinel.

Also, the jewelry must be individually kept to avoid contact with other jewelry to avoid unnecessary scratches.

What is a Black Spinel certification?

The most common Black Spinel Certifications includes from GIA, IGL and HRD labs. It is usually a document you receive on the behalf of the aforementioned 3rd party labs which describes a Spinel in all of its characteristics.

What is the birthstone of Black spinel?

Black spinel enlightens the month of august with its grace, making it extra lucky for all the august babies out there.

Does spinel scratch easily?

Black spinel is pretty durable with a hardness rating of 8 out of 10 on Moh’s scale. Apart from that, it is pretty sharp as well. Thus, it cannot be scratched easily unless kept with other tough gemstones such as sapphire, ruby and diamond.

Is black spinel natural?

Absolutely yes! In fact, it is one of the most rare gemstones found naturally and is formed by the activity of molten rocks. It gets its natural black color thanks to the presence of magnesium aluminium oxide.


One of the rarest black gemstones Black spinel sure makes us go nuts over its beauty. Black, lustrous and brilliant: one of the most fashionable gemstones to embed in jewelry indeed. Adorning it reflects a sense of confidence in us. Since we’re so intrigued by its beauty, we thought why not explore it some more with our black spinel education guide. And to facilitate you with just that, we have covered everything from the fun aspects of this gemstone surrounding history and beliefs to the facts surrounding its properties and the famous 4 Cs. We hope you enjoyed having this discussion as much as we did. Having said that, here we sign off wishing you all the luck in choosing your favorite black spinel jewelry.