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    Spinel

    Spinel naturally occurs in a stunning range of hues like, pink, lavender, blue, orange, even brown and black.  The most famous spinel are from Afghanistan just south of the Oxus river adjacent to a small village named Eshcashim in Badakshan as opposed to the Kul-i-lal mine, Tajikistan.  Prior to modern gemstone testing capabilities, red spinel was often mistaken for ruby aka "Balas Ruby." Examples include the Black Prince Ruby and the Queen Elizabeths Crown Jewels.  'Balas Ruby' are hard to buy.  Most are in the museums.  

    The second top origins are Burma for all colors, followed by Vietnam and Tanzania for the blues and pinks.