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Frequently called “Balas Ruby”, a term derived from Badakshan, the name of the district in Afghanistan which is said to have been the source of the finest stones in mediaeval times. Spinels are often mistaken for rubies, perhaps the most famous of these is the “Black Prince”s Ruby” in the Imperial State Crown which is actually a red spinel and the “Timur Ruby” in the private collection of the Queen.

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