Medieval garnet ring. Set with a square garnet in a closed back rubover setting, to a quatrefoil design, the raised box shaped collet with four curving cusps, carved decoration to reverse, flanked by finely modeled ornamental shoulders, with traces of red and black enamel intact and flowing through to a slim D-shape shank. Tested yellow gold, circa 14th century, accompanied by an Oxford Labs X-ray fluorescence report stating the composition of the metal.
The term 'ruby' in the Medieval and Renaissance periods encompassed a number of red stones, including garnet and spinel. These red gemstones were highly valued for their magical qualities and were believed to protect the wearer from dangers such as the loss of land and rank or status and were valued for these talismanic powers as well as for their colour and beauty.