What Are Black Spinel Gemstones?


Quick Answer

Black spinel, also known as "Pleonast," is the black version of spinel, a gemstone that comes in a variety of colors. Black spinel is opaque and lustrous, and is often used as a black gemstone.

Continue Reading
What Are Black Spinel Gemstones?
Credit: Harry Taylor Dorling Kindersley Getty Images

Full Answer

Black spinel is one of the rarest spinels, according to Zales' gemstone information page. Black spinel is said to be a protective stone which assists in re-establishing relationships and easing issues. It is also believed to help with sadness. Spinels are rated at eight on Moh's Scale of Hardness, which measures gemstone durability. As a level eight, spinels are considered very durable and suited for everyday wear.

According to Minerals.net, pure spinel is colorless, and impurities are responsible for the wide range of colors of spinel available. In addition to black, spinel also comes in deep red, blue, yellow, pink, orange and purple varieties. Deep red is considered the most valuable color of spinel, due to it's similarity in appearance to a ruby. Because ruby and red spinel are nearly identical and found in the same areas, there was no distinction between the two gemstones until the late 19th century. Many famous "rubies" have been discovered to be spinel, including the large "ruby" which forms the centerpiece of the royal crown of England.

Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems

Related Questions