For August’s Jewel of the Month, Hancocks London has chosen a beautiful spinel and diamond ring. Spinel is one of the birthstones for August and we are great fans of this somewhat underappreciated gem. Spinel occurs in a range of colours, from various shades of blue through purples and pinks to hot vivid reds like this one. Hancocks London’s spinel and diamond ring is set with a wonderfully rich vivid red Burmese spinel which is step cut in an unusual hexagonal shape and held in a geometric rub over rose gold setting surrounded by a separated frame of round brilliant cut diamonds.
The Burmese spinel weighs 0.92ct and is certified unheated. Historically, spinels were thought to be the same as rubies and it wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that they were correctly identified and recorded as a separate gemstone species. One of the best-known examples of this is the ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ in the Crown Jewels which is actually a spinel. It is one of the oldest gems in the Crown Jewels, having been acquired in 1367, by the Prince of Wales – Edward of Woodstock (who came to be known as The Black Prince) as payment for a battle victory abroad. Weighing about 170 carats it is set above the Cullinan II diamond in the Imperial State Crown.
Red spinel, like other red gems, was traditionally believed to help calm anger and promote harmony. It was used as a remedy for blood loss and inflammatory diseases and was also thought to inspire love and passion. Guy Burton, Director, Hancocks London, comments: “We can’t promise any of these benefits to the person who buys our ring, but it is certainly a fiery jewel that they’d be sure to love passionately every time they wore it!”