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Tudor goldspinel set ring. Set to centre with a rectangular table cut red spinel in a closed backrubover setting with an approximate weight of 1.00 carats, to a raised rectangular bezel with intricately scalloped decoration, the shoulders richly carved with shell motifs showing traces of dark blue enamel flowing through to a slim solid D-shapeshank. Tested yellow gold, English, circa 16th century, accompanied by 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.