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Spinel Bracelet [G8832]
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About this object
This Burmese bracelet has 98 natural spinel crystals set in a double row in yellow gold. The high luster and perfect octahedral spinel crystals, found in the Mogok region of Burma, are called by the Burmese “Anyon nat thwe”, meaning spinels that have been cut and polished by the spirits. Historically, there has been much confusion between the ruby and the spinel. It was not until 1783 that spinel was recognized as a mineral distinct from corundum (ruby and sapphire). Ruby is aluminum oxide, while spinel is magnesium aluminum oxide. They both get their reddish color from impurities of chromium. Red spinels are the most popular in jewelry, but in general the gem-buying public is unfamiliar with spinels. Undoubtedly the historical confusion with ruby has led to its reputation as that gemstone’s poor relation. Spinel is also confused with synthetic spinel, sometimes used as a simulant for other gems, commonly seen in less expensive jewelry and widely used in high school and college rings.
denotes specimens currently on exhibit
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