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Spinel is the great impostor of gemstone history, as many famous rubies in crown jewels around the world are actually spinel. In ancient Sanskrit writings, spinel was called the daughter of ruby. Now treasured for its own sake, spinel is a favorite of gem lovers because of its brilliance, durability (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale) and range of colors including red, pastel shades of pink and purple and blues sometimes called cobalt.