I've been working on some rings for my upcoming wedding shows this week. The first one isn't until September, but this is my busy period and so I have to be organised.

I thought I'd use the shows as an opportunity to show my clients a few alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring by using some more unusual stones from a company that I work with called Ruby Fair. They have their own mine in Tanzania producing certified fair trade  rubies, sapphires, tanzanite and spinels. Most people have heard of the first three, but when I mention spinel to a client, I often get asked "what is that?" 

Here's a little more info on a stone that is really beautiful, but often mistaken for rubies or sapphires.....

The most famous Spinels are actually in the British Crown Jewels! The Black Prince's ruby that was worn on Henry V's battle helmet,  is now set into the Imperial State Crown and isn't a ruby at all, but a 170 carat red spinel. 

The Black Prince's Ruby 

The Black Prince's Ruby 

The Timur Ruby - a 361 carat spinel is now owned by Queen Elizabeth and has the names of some of the Mughal emperors who previously owned it engraved on its face.

The Timur Ruby

The Timur Ruby

Fine spinels are now rarer than the rubies they used to imitate but this strangely makes them more affordable as they are so rare that not enough people get to know that they even exist!

So, here's my offering, not quite the size of the crown jewel spinels, but still very beautiful as far as I'm concerned....

Silver and gold stacking rings set with a pear shaped vintage ruby, pink fair trade spinel and cubic zirconium.

Silver and gold stacking rings set with a pear shaped vintage ruby, pink fair trade spinel and cubic zirconium.

Silver and gold wedding and engagement rings, set with a fair trade pink spinel.

Silver and gold wedding and engagement rings, set with a fair trade pink spinel.

If you're thinking of going for something a little different to tradition for your engagement ring, a beautiful sparkly fair trade spinel could be just what you're looking for.

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