Spinel: Fit for a King (or Queen!)
Spinel has been called the Impostor Stone because through the ages it has been mistaken for other gemstones, most notably ruby, such as the Black Prince's Ruby, which is set on the front cross pattée in the center of the British Imperial State Crown. Similarly, the 352.50 carat Timur Ruby is not a ruby at all, but a red Spinel. This confusion is understandable as Spinel is generally found in the same gravel deposits as corundum (ruby and sapphire) and share similar physical characteristics.
Red isn't the only color Spinel comes in, although it is the most sought after. You can also find this magnificent gemstone in orange, hot pink, mauve, blue, dark green (Gahnite), brown, and black. Spinels have lively color and few inclusions, and will rarely be found larger than 5 carats.
The finest and most famous examples of red and pink stones are from Myanmar (Burma) while the greatest production of Spinel is from the gem gravel of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Thailand. The origin of the name Spinel is unclear, but may have come from Latin spina meaning a thorn, or from the Greek word spintharis meaning a spark.
Natural Spinel is one of the few stones that are not normally enhanced or heat treated in any way.