A Spinel by any Other Name


Every gemologist knows the story of the Imperial State crown,perhaps the most famous historical case of a gemological mix up. The central stone in the crown, visible more than even the whopping 317.4 ct Cullinan II diamond, is the Black Prince’s Ruby. The roughly polished stone weighs an impressive 170 carats, and has a deep saturated red color, however it is not a ruby, but rather a spinel! To be fair, at the time all red gemstones were referred to as rubies, it wasn’t until modern chemistry discovered the atomic differences between spinels and rubies. But it’s hard to get rid of a name as catchy as the Black Prince’s Ruby, and it remains so named to this day!

If only the Black Prince kept a gemologist in his court, as we have a full time GIA graduate gemologist on staff, able to identify and appraise any stone you may have!

For more on gemology and stone identification, check our info page here:


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