In the past Sardonyx and Peridot were the only birthstones for August. In July 2016 both The Jeweler's of America and The American Gem Trade Association added Spinel as a third birthstone for August. What a fortunate decision for those born in this month!
August Birthstone- Spinel: Stone of Immortality
Nature's Treasures Team
Spinel is composed of magnesium aluminum oxide (MgAl2O4) with a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. It's name origins are debatable. Some believe it stems from the Latin word "spina" or "spinella", which means thorn, in reference to the sharp, pointy crystals it grows. Others believe Spinel comes from the Greek word "spitha" or "spinther", which means spark or sparkle.
Spinel comes in a treasure house of beautiful hues to choose from, with red and pink considered the most valuable. The next most valuable color is cobalt blue. You can also find this stone in the colors of orange, green, white, colorless, violet, yellow, brown, and black. The reds, pinks and oranges get their color from iron and chromium while the deep blue gets its color from cobalt.
All Spinel is beautiful and the quality and clarity of the stone can be breathtaking. Spinel is also a traditional 22nd Wedding Anniversary gift.
Spinel often grows in the same mines as Rubies and Sapphires and look virtually identical to them, which has led to a great deal of confusion. They are found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, the US and Vietnam. The finest quality of the red Spinels come from Myanmar (Burma) and are also known as Burma Rubies even though they are not rubies. The best Spinel from Burma are known as "Nat Thwe", meaning polished by the spirits, because they are so exceptional they are thought to be perfect.
HISTORY & FOLKLORE
It wasn't until the late 19th century that a definitive distinction was made between Spinel and Rubies (Spinel has magnesium in it, Rubies as a corundum do not). However, in 1783 a mineralogist by the name of Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle was the first to determine that Spinel is a totally different classification from Ruby. This discovery was what gave birth to the science of Gemology.
It is notable to point out that Spinel eventually became known as “The Great Impostor” due to the fact that many of the famous rubies and sapphires that are part of various country's royal jewels are actually exceptionally fine and beautiful specimens of Spinel. One such example is the huge “ruby” that is the centerpiece of Britain's Imperial Royal Crown. That 170 carat jewel known as the Black Prince's Ruby is now known to be gorgeously large piece of Spinel. There are many similar examples of this in history, including the crown that Russia's Catherine the Great wore, which has a nearly 400 carat precious Spinel jewel adorning it.
It may have taken awhile to discover, but how wonderful that Spinel was recognized in the geology world as a gem worthy of attention. No longer is Spinel the great impostor; instead it is now valued and treasured for it's numerous and unique merits!
Since Spinel had been considered to be Ruby or Sapphire throughout history there are no mythologies or Gods or Goddesses associated with it. However, one would be safe to assume that those mythologies and Deities associated with Ruby or Sapphire would also be associated with Spinel.
METAPHYSICAL & HEALING PROPERTIES
Melody, author of Love is in the Earth, calls Spinel “The Stone of Immortality, bringing freshness to all endeavors and initiating rejuvenation to that which is beginning to degrade.” Many noted Crystal Healing authors state that Spinel contains the very energy of beauty. Not only is it said to enhance one's own beauty but that it encourages appreciation of the beauty in life and to embrace feelings of gratitude to help positive attributes of your personality to blossom.
This beautiful stone is known to stimulate all chakras and all meridians in the body. Spinel is said to help in recovery from trauma and illness. It is a re-energizing stone that gives one new hope and inspiration and victory. In The Book of Stones, Robert Simmons says it helps with “thinking outside the box”. One can see how this could inspire us to eliminate negative thinking and get creatively inspired to succeed in whatever endeavor or project they are working on.
Spinel is also known to rejuvenate, refresh, reduce fatigue and stress, and detoxify. It is especially good for Type A personalities and workaholics by serving as a balm to calm their energies and central nervous systems. By the same token, these same qualities are excellent to assist those with PTSD, anxiety, depression and stress.
HOW TO USE SPINEL
Spinel is an excellent stone to use in meditation. It enhances other stones you use while meditating because it allows your brain to receive their energies. While Spinel is good for all chakras, you can increase their efficiency by placing one of the colored Spinel with the appropriate chakra.
Black Spinel– use on the Root chakra or Earth Star chakra to increase stamina, to ground and protect you.
Blue Spinel– use on the Throat chakra to enhance communication and Third Eye chakra to help you with clairaudience and channeling.
Brown Spinel– use on the Root chakra for grounding and aura cleansing, assisting with the connection of the physical and etheric bodies.
Colorless Spinel– is good for all chakras, especially the Crown chakra. Use to assist in enlightenment, mysticism and visions.
Green Spinel– use on the Heart chakra for compassion, love and kindness.
Orange Spinel– use on the Sacral chakra to stimulate creativity, encourage emotional balance, and to stimulate fertility.
Pink Spinel– use on the Heart chakra for compassion and kindness.
Red Spinel– use on the Root chakra for strength and vitality.
Violet Spinel– use on the Crown chakra to assist you in your quest for enlightenment and to develop your spirituality. It also helps you to maintain astral travel and retain knowledge you find in that journey.
Yellow Spinel- use on the Solar plexus chakra to stimulate intellect and your own personal power that makes you so unique.
A Happy Birthday is wished for all our friends born in August! You have a most helpful and beautiful birthstone to help you in your life's journey. You are blessed to have a stone that has so many beautiful colors to choose from to assist you on your path. Wear it in jewelry to enhance and beautify your life or have a stone or two in your collection to remind you how truly special you are.
P.S. If you would like to read about one of your other birthstones, Peridot, we have another informative article for you here.