Cobalt Blue Spinel. Such an enigma! It’s neither purple nor blue. It tricks the eye in different lights. It’s Royal Blue, Indigo, and Imperial Purple. It is aristocratic, rare, and luxurious. The colour depicts wealth, power, and dignity. It was the colour of the rich and noble and worn by the upper-class people of society.
Spinels feature in Royal Crowns of England. Such is their magnificent beauty and lustre, even the world’s best jewellers advising the British royal family could not distinguish between the glorious red spinels and rubies, nor the deep blues and sapphires.
Purple is well known to signify royalty and when used by prophetic artists, the colour symbolises divinity, the saints and the Trinity. In the Bible, King Solomon requested a specialist worker of purple dye [2 Chron 2:7] from Tyre’s King Hiram to supervise building the temple. The merchant Lydia of Thyatira is identified as a seller of purple cloth [Acts 16:14], as a way of signifying her wealth and social power. Making purple dye was a difficult, costly, and time-consuming process. Therefore, purple dyed cloth was purchased only by royalty, high priests, elites, and the very wealthy, who would emulate Roman Senators and border of the hem of their togas with a stripe of purple. Mark [15:17] and John [19:2] report the robe placed upon Jesus at the crucifixion was purple.
Cobalt blue is a high-energy colour. Violet light has the shortest wavelength, which means it has the highest frequency and energy, however, there is no wavelength assigned to Indigo. Newton divided the spectrum into seven colours to match the days of the week, but people have great difficulty distinguishing between blue-violet-indigo. Newton’s indigo is our modern deep blue!
It’s easy to vanish in the chaos of life in these stressful times we live in. The blue Spinel represents a counterbalance. It is believed to be the gemstone of mental fortitude. It enhances peace, tranquillity, and harmony. It has been esteemed as the bringer of purpose and attributed with properties of realignment, returning to a balanced perspective to thinking and paving the way to fulfilment. Blue Spinel is exceptional for healing and calming the mind, overcoming trials and anxiety, and restoring trust in communications. It is the gemstone of cultivating healthy self-esteem.
Spinels run the spectrum when it comes to beautiful tones and hues, from pink to red to purple to blue. The blue Spinel is mined in Burma (Myanmar), Tanzania, Tajikistan (Pamir), and Sri Lanka. The colour of the blue Spinel is derived from the mineral Cobalt in the crystal lattice. Darker stones also contain iron. Cobalt Blue is the rarest of Spinels and it is one of the few blue gemstones that occur naturally. Unlike the other blue gemstones, there is no known treatments for Spinel. This means that every Spinel is completely natural without modifications.
Blue Spinels are usually large stones, ‘eye-clean’ and free from inclusions. High saturation in colour with a medium tone are the most expensive type of blue Spinel. The more vibrant the colour the higher the price will be. Gem lovers and collectors looking for a less expensive alternative to Sapphires are often surprised at the high prices Spinels command.
The immaculate gemstone pictured is a fine example of the depth of colour for Cobalt Spinel in a cushion cut, weighing 6.08 carat and priced at $32,186.