Spinel is the magnesium aluminum member of the larger spinel group of minerals. Its hardness is 8, its specific gravity is 3.5–4.1, and it is transparent to opaque with a vitreous to dull luster. It may be colorless, but is usually various shades of red, blue, green, yellow, brown, or black.
Glass Bead have been dated back to at least the Roman times. They are usually categorized by the method used to manipulate the glass - wound beads, drawn beads, and molded beads. There are composites, such as millefiori beads, where cross-sections of a drawn glass cane are applied to a wound glass core. A very minor industry in blown glass beads also existed in 19th-century Venice and France.