Some Precious Stone Lore
Precious stones have been the target of many a treasure hunt. Gems are valued because of their decorative qualities. They make things more ornate, more beautify. They have been used as religious symbols, on amulets and in good-luck charms. Scientists know that gems have been used for barter and for medicinal purposes for millenia. Gems are often used to display wealth, status, and power.
In centuries past, royalty often owned the finest gems. The Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby. Both are set in the Imperial Crown of the British crown jewels.
This is how Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy tells the story.
"In 1367, England’s Prince Edward, who was known as the Black Prince, helped a Spanish king win a battle. The grateful king gave him a dark red, irregular gemstone. Legend says King Henry V wore the gem in his helmet crown, and that it saved his life by deflecting a blow in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415."
The Black Prince's Ruby
The Black Prince's Ruby is one of the most famous members of the British Crown jewels, but despite its name, the stone is not a ruby. The Black Prince's Ruby is actually a deep red un-faceted spinel. The stone, which has been in the possession of the British Royal Family since 1367, was named after Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales. It is one of the oldest of gems included in the Royal Collection of Crown Jewels and currently sits in the cross at the front of the Imperial State Crown, just above the Lesser Star of Africa (Cullinan II).
The Timur Ruby
The 361-carat Timur Ruby was a dark red gem among the treasures brought from India to England in 1850. Dr. Krishnamurthy continues with his story of how they came to be.The gem belonged to Timur Lenk, which is how it got the name. He is better known in history as Tamerlane, the Islamic conqueror of much of central Asia and eastern Europe. Names and dates carved on the gem show that it later belonged to five Indian rulers. One of them was Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal...." to read more