In June 2016 Spinel was added as an official birthstone for August as declared by AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) and Jewelers of America (JA). The CEOs of the two organizations had this to say about the announcement:
“At certain moments in history, when there is a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones, Jewelers of America believes in recognizing the importance of historically significant gemstones and giving gemstone lovers a choice that suits their preferences,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “Spinel is a welcome addition to August’s peridot birthstone, sure to be embraced by both jewelers and the jewelry consuming public.”
“Ancient gemstone merchants revered spinel, and it was widely sought after by royalty. It was then known as ‘Balas Ruby’,” says AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker. “It wasn’t until the late 18th century that we developed the technology acumen necessary to distinguish spinel as a separate mineral from ruby. We are very excited to announce it as the newest member of the official birthstone list.”
Many famous rubies in crown jewels have subsequently been identified as spinel. Both ruby and spinel are very similar in color, composition and origin, hence it is only recently that gemologists have been able to accurately discern between the two.
What do you think of the new birthstone?
I wonder why it wasn’t rather added together with the ruby in July… *Mandy