There is still
confusion in the trade about the spinel. For years, before cubic
zirconia was introduced, white spinel was the most widely used diamond
simulant. This was a synthetic stone and as such inexpensive. However
more recently natural spinels are being used more and more, and people
are becoming aware of their delicate beauty as a gemstone.
spinels were called spinel-rubies or balas-rubies. In the past, before
the arrival of modern science, spinels and rubies were equally known
as rubies. After the XVIII the word ruby was only used for the red gem
variety of the mineral corundum and the word spinel became used.
"Balas" is derived from Balascia, the ancient name for
region in central
in the upper valley of the
one of the principal tributaries of the
The Badakshan province was for centuries the main source for red and