Spinel is a gemstone mineral that was confused by early Gem Traders with ruby and sapphire for over 1,000 years.
Several of the most spectacular spinels ever discovered have been mounted in "crown jewels" and other "jewelry of significance" under the assumption that they were rubies or sapphires.
Spinel occurs in the bright red and blue colors as rubies and sapphires. Spinel forms in the same rock units, under the same geological conditions and is found in the same gravels.
The most famous example of a spinel being identified as a ruby is a 170-carat bright red spinel named "The Black Prince's Ruby." The first known owner of this beautiful stone was Abu Sa'id, the Moorish Prince of Granada, in the 14th century. The stone passed through several owners and eventually made its way into the Imperial State Crown of the United Kindgdom, where it is mounted immediately above the famous Cullinan II diamond.
The "Timur Ruby" is a 352.5-carat bright red spinel that is currently in a necklace of The Royal Collection that was made for Queen Victoria in 1853. The stone was found in Afghanistan and is inscribed with the names and dates of its owners back to 1612. It was part of a group of spinels from the Lahore Treasure presented to Queen Victoria by the East India Company in 1849.
Browse our Handmade Collection of Spinel Gemstone Jewelry below.