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The Black Prince's Ruby is not a ruby

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1333009.  Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:34 pm Reply with quote

In QI S17E06 Quests part 1 Sandy claims that The Black Prince's Ruby is the worlds largest uncut ruby - but it is in fact not a ruby. It is a spinel and the name is just a result of people not being able to differentiate between them until they could be tested chemically.

The spinel is a compound of magnesia, iron, oxygen, and chromium, while a ruby is a type of aluminium oxide.

In the top of The Black Prince's Ruby there is however a very small true ruby embedded to fill a hole drilled when it was worn as a pendant.

I remember this fact from a documentary about the British Crown Jewels that was the first thing I ever recorded on a VHS tape... Probably in the first half of the nineties when I was in my teens.

1333095.  Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:28 pm Reply with quote

You are exactly right about that - thank you!


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