Mineral Species: Spinel
Mineral Group: Oxides
Chemical Formula: MgAl2O4
Crystal System: Cubic (Isometric)
Colour: Black, blue, red, violet , green, brown, pink.
Typical Appearance: Typically as octahedral crystals. Also massive or granular.
Birthstone: Secondary birthstones for Sagittarius and Aries
Chakra Alignment: Heart (red), Root (black), Third Eye (lavender)
Element: Fire (red), Earth (black), Spirit (lavender)
Origin of Name & Mythology: Named in 1779 by Jean Demeste from the Latin spinella, meaning “little thorn”, alluding to its sharp octahedral crystals. The earliest known treatment of spinel as a gemstone was discovered in a Buddhist tomb dating from 100 BC near Kabul, Afghanistan. Red and blue crystals were known during the Roman period in Europe, including some blue stones found in England from that time. Spinel was often confused with carbuncle (garnet) and ruby, and therefore much of the lore associated with it is confused with these gemstones. Hindu tradition divides ruby into four castes, two of which, Vaisya and Sudra (also known as bala), are, in fact, spinel. Two of the “rubies” in the British Crown Jewels – the Timur Ruby and the Black Prince’s Ruby – are bala spinels. See information on Ruby and Garnet for traditional uses of spinel.
Spinel commonly occurs as octahedral crystals. In Sacred Geometry, the octahedron is aligned with the element Air, and the Heart Chakra. It is symbolic of humanity, compassion, heaven/earth connection, the natural world, and the purified state of matter, and is used to alleviate stress, and bring clarity in confusion. Some authors recommend spinel for renewal of energy and to encourage further attempts at difficult tasks.
Members of the Spinel Group include: