Spinel is a hard vitreous magnesium aluminum oxide that has been used as a gemstone for centuries. The beauty of spinel has caused it to be mistaken for ruby and sapphire in the past. However, spinel deserves to be recognized as a gemstone that is worthy of appreciation in its own right. Spinel occurs in a range of colors, such as rose pink to rich red; lavender to deep violet; light to deep blue, orange, yellow, brown and black.
The name spinel is thought to have come from either the Latin word, "spina", meaning thorn, due to its pointed crystal form, or the Greek word for "spark", in reference to its bright color.