King Henry V is pretty well known for winning the battle of Agincourt. “Once more unto the breach, Dear Friends”, ring a bell? Well, on one of my many trips to visit my friends the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, I engaged a beefeater guard in lively discourse. He told me that the Black Prince’s Ruby was really a Spinel (which, of course, I already knew).
“Oh, really,”, I replied, trying to coax more information from him.
“And do you know why it’s set with a ruby?”, now he had me, that I did not know.
The guard proceeded to tell me a story I’d never heard, about how that same King, Henry V, had the spinel drilled through the center so that he could wear it like a bead on a cord, for luck during the fighting in France. He told me of how the stone was lost during the great battle and of how the King sent his entire army back to the battlefield to look for it. It took 3 weeks for them to find it, under a dead French soldier.
This spinel likely never spent 3 weeks under a dead Frenchman, but it has that same rich, dark, look and luster of the famous stone in the Crown Jewels. It is surrounded by a halo of fabulously bright old European cut diamonds which set the spinel to singing with a fiery glow. The rectangular, cushion cut spinel is a natural stone which measures 8.92 x 7.14 x 5.51 mm and weighs approximately 2.78 carats. It is surrounded by a ring of 12 old Mine cut diamonds which are 0.073-0.092 carats each and weigh about .98 carats in total and the shoulders are each set with a single cut diamond of .03 carats.
This ring was hand crafted in about 1880, most likely in Russia. It has hallmarks to the back of the band which are too worn to totally make out, but under a microscope I find them to be closest to Russian marks. Also, the ring tests as 14 karat gold, which is consistent with Russian jewelry at the time. The face of this ring measures 13.9 mm north to south and 6.6 mm wide and it sits 6 mm off the finger. This ring is a size 7.75 and weighs 3.4 grams, it could be resized to suit.
This ring has been appraised and graded by a GIA Graduate Gemologist who specializes in Antique and Estate jewelry, it has a replacement value of $13,500 USD. Please inquire if you’d like a full copy of the appraisal for review.
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ITEM ID: RGA24015VA