(Spanish) Natural spinel is a beatiful gem, hard (8 in the Mohs scale, similar to topaz) and durable, but for whatever the reason it has never come to the fore in the gem trade as a good contender.
It is true that spinel has historically occured along with ruby and sapphire in the same deposits, and in many many occasions mistakenly considered as ruby and sold as that -in rough state both spinel and ruby might look pretty much the same-, so this could be one of the reasons for that “bad name” of the spinel.
Another reason for that “bad name” is the everywhere pervading synthetic spinel, a cheap man-made procduct used to imitate almost all kinds of natural gemstones, whether it is in the form of single stones, single stones cracked and dyed or triplets of all colors.
A good spinel, clean inside, with good color, is rarer than ruby. However, it is much cheaper, and what is more, to date no treatment is known that could enhance spinel appereance, they don’t allow themselves to be tamed, so all colors rendered by natural spinels are natural, as they came off the ground: is there anything more attractive than natural, untamed beauty?