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Stones We Love:
A completely underappreciated precious gemstone, the spinel is a brilliant gem with history. Spinel was recently added as an August birthstone, sharing this month with peridot and sardonyx. It has long been mistaken for ruby by emperors and monarchs. Many of the famous “rubies” of history were actually spinels.
With the current fixation on the monarchy and the Netflix show: The Crown, it's time to tell the infamous story of a famous crown.
"In 1367, Edward of Woodstock (aka The Black Prince) received a huge ruby from Don Pedro of Seville in payment for a victorious battle. This gem, which is approximately the size of a hen’s egg, has been part of the English crown jewels since that time and is mounted in the Imperial State Crown, above the Cullinan diamond.
When gem testing methods were developed about 150 years ago, what was discovered, and what Prince Edward never knew, is that the “ruby” is actually a magnificent 170-carat red spinel. Until that time, spinels were believed to be a different variety of ruby, often referred to as balas rubies."
~ Commentary by Susan Schube
Fall in Love with The Crown. Watch here.
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