What Is A Black Spinel & What Makes It Special?

What is a black spinel? Is it special? How valuable is it? These are the questions we will try to answer in this blog. 

What Is A Black Spinel

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

What is a Black Spinel?

The most common question we get is “what is black spinel?”

Black Spinel is a beautiful, naturally occurring mineral that can be faceted into brilliant-looking gemstones. Although cut and polished Black Spinel stones are commonly used in jewelry, the material itself can be raw and in its natural form as well. Black Spinel has been found in a wide range of locations from Asia to Russia to Australia.

The chemical formula for black spinel is composed of magnesium aluminum oxide (MgAl2O4), but different impurities of certain metals can add varying colors such as blue, black, or purple. The different impurities can affect the hardness, which ranges between 8 – 8 1/2 on the Mohs scale. This makes it a great stone for jewelry since it’s hard enough to withstand everyday wear and tear.

Because of its strength and beauty, Black Spinel has been used by many cultures throughout history in jewelry, beads, and talismans to protect against evil spirits (which may have been where the belief that spinel helps you sleep came from). In fact, some Burmese legends say that it was worn by kings during battle as protection!

Understanding The Black Spinel’s Color

The color of black spinel is caused by the presence of magnesium and iron. The variety of colors that originate from these elements is what makes this stone such a dynamic beauty. Black spinel is a black octahedron or dodecahedron crystal, with minor variations based on its cut.

They can also appear in long prismatic crystals. Their luster is vitreous, which gives them an incredible shine and concentration of color.

How Is A Black Spinel Formed?

As you already know, there are two types of black spinels: natural and lab-grown. Natural spinel is the most expensive, but it can only be mined from the earth.

Black spinels are formed deep in the earth’s crust by high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. There are other minerals that form in this environment as well. Due to their formation conditions, they can be found in igneous rocks (formed from magma), metamorphic rocks (formed from heat or pressure), and sedimentary rocks (formed by compressed layers of previously existing materials).


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Where Are Black Spinel Rocks Found?

Black spinel gemstones are found in a number of places. Spinel is not an extremely common gemstone, but there are several mines that produce them regularly. Most black spinels come from Myanmar, which is why it has historically been called “black ruby.”

Black spinel can also be found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. There have been deposits discovered in Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, and the United States as well.

Other significant sources of black spinels include Russia and Tanzania. Tajikistan is another major producer of black spinels as well as other types of gems like emeralds and topaz.

Buying Black Spinel Stones & Jewelry

black spinel jewelry

When buying jewelry with black spinel gemstones, the more valuable pieces will have high-quality gems with no visible inclusions under 10x magnification. Look for cut rounds and oval shapes that are faceted. The luster should be bright and lively, with few surface blemishes (if any).

There are many options available when purchasing loosed black spinel gemstones online or at your local jeweler’s shop. Common qualities include the following:

Price point – Black spinels offer a lot of value at an affordable price point, compared to other colored gemstones like sapphire and ruby. We recommend limiting your budget based on the stone size rather than focusing on quality as there aren’t many inexpensive inclusions that affect color or clarity.

Clarity – The most expensive black spinels will be flawless and very clear in appearance but you may prefer an opaque stone without clear sparkle if it suits your design better.

Size – You can find small stones such as 1 mm x 1 mm round-cut diamonds all the way up to large stones such as 30 carats x 20 carats oval cabochons for your jewelry project needs.

Cleaning, Storing & Maintaining Your Black Spinel Jewelry Pieces

To keep your black spinel jewelry looking its best, follow these three tips:

  • Store your black spinel jewelry in a cool, dry place. Keep any black spinel jewelry you don’t wear often in the box it came in. Over time, moisture and exposure to oxygen can cause the metal to tarnish or discolor.
  • Clean your black spinel jewelry with warm soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your black spinel jewelry—these chemicals could cause permanent damage.
  • Don’t expose your black spinel jewelry to harsh chemicals! This includes things like bleach, sulfur, and chlorine. These can have adverse effects on the color of the stone as well as damage the metal band around it.


At this point, you may be wondering if your black spinel is worth anything. It’s not unusual to hear the price of a gemstone and wonder how it compares to other stones that are more common, such as rubies or diamonds.

Unfortunately, many people believe that a rare stone must also be expensive, which isn’t always the case. Black spinel can be quite valuable (as it should be for its rarity), but it also tends to be much cheaper than similar stones like sapphires or rubies.

The reason for this is that gemstone pricing depends on a variety of factors that aren’t related to its rarity. Instead, some of the most important factors are color saturation and clarity (among others).

Black spinels tend not to have particularly high color saturation – instead, they have deep dark tones with slight hints of purple or blue undertones (celebrity jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz makes beautiful pieces out of black spinel) – so they cannot command extremely high prices as rubies or sapphires would. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable though!


Black spinel is a stone of positive energy and is said to be one of the best stones for healing. It will help you raise your vibration and increase your personal power.

Black spinel has been associated with the root chakra, which relates to security, protection, and foundation. In this way, black spinel is considered helpful in relieving stress, grounding you, and protecting you from negativity. Black spinel will inspire you to become more confident about yourself and help you overcome any negative feelings about not being good enough or worthy enough.

Black spinel will assist you in manifesting ideas into the physical matter by activating your creative energies. It will give you the courage to take action on those ideas and trust that everything happens for a reason even if it doesn’t work out as planned.

Black spinel is also said to bring happiness into your life no matter what situation or circumstances may arise around you because it encourages a positive outlook on life at all times so that nothing will ever seem too bad or overwhelming.


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Spinel has been around since ancient times. The Black Prince’s Ruby (its red color is the result of its iron content), one of the most famous spinels in history, was set in the Imperial State Crown of England for hundreds of years.

As far back as the 1300s, kings were wearing beautiful spinel jewelry! It wasn’t until 1783 that black spinel was formally identified as a different mineral from other gemstones like ruby and sapphire.

The best-known historical black spinel is undoubtedly the Black Prince’s Ruby (pictured above). Two other historical black spinels are known as “the Timur Ruby,” which is actually an unconfirmed red spinel; and “the Great Mughal,” which is also not a true ruby.

When you look at these three gems together, it becomes clear that many people have misidentified black spinel throughout history!

Where to buy black spinel gemstones

Are you ready to buy one of these beauties? Of course, you are! You can find black spinel gemstones at a variety of shops in both the physical and digital worlds. Here are a few places where you may get them.

  • Look at your local rock shop. It’s possible that your town or city has a store with a big selection of gems and minerals, including black spinel stones. Check out their selection and see if they have any good options for purchase!
  • Check out Etsy sellers (or other online stores)! Etsy is a great place to get that unique piece for yourself or someone else—and it’s also easy to use. Just go on the site and type in “black spinel gemstone” into their search bar, and you will be presented with lots of different options from which to choose!
  • Buy from reputable companies online like Amazon, eBay, Overstock… etc.. Many reputable companies sell black spinels online because they are very popular in today’s society due to its healing properties as well as being an affordable alternative to diamonds when it comes time for an engagement ring or wedding band.

What does Black spinel represent?

Black spinel is a powerful grounding stone, helping you to release unwanted energies and reconnect to the Earth’s energy.

Black spinel is also a powerful healing stone that has the ability to purify your energy field while releasing negative emotions. It will assist you in allowing yourself to let go of anything that no longer serves you, bringing about balance in your life.

Black spinel is known as a wealth-attracting crystal when placed in the home or workplace, making it ideal for people who are wanting to achieve success in their career and financial lives.

In crystal healing, black spinel represents protection, and clarity of thought and encourages positive attitudes during difficult times.

Black spinel crystals have strong connections with the root chakra and will help you connect to the earth’s energy with ease, making it an excellent grounding stone for people who are dealing with stress or anxiety.

Is black spinel the same as black onyx?

A question that pops up frequently is whether black spinel and black onyx are the same stone. They both have black coloring, but they’re really two different stones.

Are they the same? No, they’re not! Black spinel is a natural stone while black onyx is a man-made material—which means it’s hardly even a stone at all. Black onyx is technically glass or plastic with colored dye.

Let’s look at some of the differences between these two similar stones:

  • Black spinel: A natural stone that lacks inclusions and has a very high hardness rating (8) which means it will resist scratching.
  • Black onyx: Not actually a stone, but rather man-made glass or plastic with dyed coloring. Onyx tends to have lots of visible inclusions or flaws and has a low hardness rating (6).

How can you know if the black spinel you’re looking at is genuine?

When you’re looking to buy a black spinel, there are several things you can do to see if the gemstone is authentic.

First, check if the stone is a doublet or triplet (a composite of two or three stones bonded together). Next, have it checked by an expert to ensure it’s not a lab-created version.

If the price seems too low though, that might be an indicator of how authentic the stone really is. Even natural black spinels are priced relatively low due to their abundance in nature compared with other precious stones.

Other ways to tell: Look at the cut of the stone; natural black spinels usually aren’t faceted like most gems are. Another option would be to weigh your spinel against another one; those made in labs generally weigh more because they’re denser than naturally occurring versions.

Finally, examine its color under different types of light; synthetic versions often appear bluish and inky whereas natural ones tend toward browns and tans.

What powers does spinel have?

Spinel is a stone that is known to protect the wearer from evil and negative energy. This includes thoughts, emotions, and even those cast by the evil eye or black magic.

Spinel can not only protect you from evil but can also help you to overcome nightmares. It will protect you from being disturbed by negative spirits and psychic attacks.

Why is spinel so powerful?

Spinel is a powerful energy crystal. What makes a spinel so powerful? A good way to think about this is to imagine that crystals are like buckets. They hold energy.

We do the same thing when we experience emotions: we feel love, and our hearts get flooded with warmth and joy; we feel anxiety, and our heads get filled with thoughts of worry, or we have an “aha” moment at work, and everything suddenly feels clear.

A stone-like a spinel holds energy within it—energy that can either help you or hinder you depending on what kind of energy it holds.

Spinel’s ability to hold both kinds of energies means that it can work for everyone in different ways: if you’re going through something difficult at work or school, spinel can bring clarity and focus to your thoughts in order to help you overcome whatever challenge lies ahead;

if there’s something joyful happening in your life right now, such as a new relationship starting up or having just moved into a new apartment, then spinel will be able to amplify those positive energies by radiating its own happiness back toward you (and others too!).

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