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Spinel

Spinel

There is still confusion in the trade about the spinel. For years, before cubic zirconia was introduced, white spinel was the most widely used diamond simulant. This was a synthetic stone and as such inexpensive. However more recently natural spinels are being used more and more, and people are becoming aware of their delicate beauty as a gemstone.

After the XVIII the word ruby was only used for the red gem variety of the mineral corundum and the word spinel became used. "Balas" is derived from Balascia, the ancient name for Badakhshan, a region in central Asia situated in the upper valley of the Kokcha river, one of the principal tributaries of the Oxus river. The Badakshan province was for centuries the main source for red and pink spinels.