Timur Ruby

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The Timur Ruby is kept in a special room 40 feet below Buckingham Palace. This closely guarded vault, about half the size of a football pitch, contains all the Queen of England’s personal jewelry: the total value of which is a cool $57 million. The Timur Ruby’s journey to the British ‘Crown Jewels’ was accompanied by another infamous gemstone, which now features in the Queen’s jewelry inventory: The Koh-I-Noor diamond.

In 1849, both the ‘Koh-I-Noor' and the ‘Timur Ruby' made their way to England via the ‘The British East India Company': a trading company established by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 A.D. However,
it was only after the Timur Ruby had spent 60 years locked away in obscurity, that it was finally recognized by the inscriptions carved into the gem. The longest of the six inscriptions is written in Persian: "This is the Ruby from the twenty-five thousand genuine jewels of the King of Kings the Sultan Sahib Qiran, which in the year 1740 A.D. from the collection of jewels of Hindustan, reached this place (Isfahan)."
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To many “…the King of Kings the Sultan Sahib Qiran…” is known as Timur or Tamerlane: the world’s last great nomadic conqueror born in 1370 A.D. He was a direct descendant of Mongol emperor Genghis Khan, and up until his death in 1405 A.D. Timur had annexed more lands than anyone in history save for ‘Alexander the Great’. Timur lead his multi-ethnic army from Delhi to Moscow, from the Tien Shan Mountains of Central Asia to the Taurus Mountains in Anatolia. It was during Timur’s 1398 attack and capture of Delhi in India, that he acquired the gemstone, hence its name the Timur Ruby.
Unfortunately for the Queen, the 352.50-carat Timur Ruby is not a Ruby at all, in fact it turned out to be a spinel. The origin of this mistaken identity, whether due to accident or deliberate duping, is not known. And as if this were not enough bad news for the Queen, the equally famous 170 carat Black Prince’s Ruby, set into the Imperial State Crown, is also a spinel. However, both the Timur Ruby's and Black Prince’s Ruby's erroneous classification and lesser financial value is meaningless when compared to their priceless wealth of history.
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