A mineral occuring in octahedrons of great hardness and various colours, as red, green, blue, brown, and black, the red variety being the gem spinel ruby. It consist essentially of alumina and magnesia, but commonly contains iron and sometimes also chromium.
Origin: F. Spinelle, or LL. Spinellus, perhaps from L. Spina a thorn, a prickle, in allusion to its pointed crystals.
(01 Mar 1998)
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