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spinel,magnesium aluminum oxide, MgAl2O4, a mineral crystallizing in the isometric system, usually as octahedrons. It occurs as an accessory mineral in basic igneous rocks, in aluminum-rich metamorphic rocks, and in contact-metamorphosed limestones. Common spinel usually ranges in color from dark green to brown or black, but transparent red, blue, and green varieties are found and are used as gemstones; Myanmar and Sri Lanka are the principal producing countries. Much gem-quality spinel is now produced synthetically.
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MgAl2O4 A colorless, purplish-red, greenish, yellow, or black mineral, usually forming octahedral crystals, and characterized by great hardness; used as a gemstone.
A group of minerals of general formula AB2O4, where A is magnesium, ferrous iron, zinc, or manganese, or a combination of them, and B is aluminum, ferric iron, or chromium.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.