One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ruby of a delicate rose-red variety.
- ‘Richard II. had a coat, valued at thirty thousand marks, which was covered with balas rubies.’
- ‘In the past, spinel has been referred to as ‘balas ruby’, a reference to the mines of Badakhshan.’
- ‘In the inventory of the crown jewels of France the price of balas rubies is four or five times less than that of spinels.’
- ‘A highlight will also be a visit to Badakhshan's long lost balas ruby mines and a side trip to the Russian emerald mines.’
- ‘Hence, in 1402, Berry convinced the king to open the royal coffers and disburse 14,000 of the 18,000 ecus he needed to purchase a fabulous balas ruby.’
- ‘Composed of three balas rubies and four pearls clustered around a pyramid-shaped diamond, the clasp was twice part of the crown jewels of Britain before disappearing in early Victorian times.’
- ‘The passage offers a poetic description of the Buddhas and their former adornments of painted robes and balas rubies.’
- ‘Set with three balas rubies, pearls, and a central diamond, the Three Brothers passed among European royalty to raise money for armies until bought by the Tudors.’
- ‘The balas, or balas ruby, for example, is a type of spinel.’
- ‘But what is found here is slightly different: balas rubies otherwise known as spinels.’
- ‘Anything goes, including gauds of pearls, of enameled gold, even of balas rubies and sapphires.’
- ‘The crown is lavishly decorated with twenty pearls and ninety-six gemstones including sapphires, rubies, balas rubies, emeralds and lynx sapphires.’
- ‘Some garnets, e.g., Arizona ruby, Bohemian ruby, Cape ruby, and some spinels, e.g., balas ruby, ruby spinel, are ruby colored.’
- ‘But from the middle ages spinel was often referred to as ‘balas ruby’, as you mentioned.’
- ‘The coronation crown featured large balas rubies (red spinel), surrounded by emeralds, pearls, oriental sapphires, and rubies.’
- ‘Ironically red spinels, often referred to in ancient texts as balas rubies, are actually more rare than ruby but, unlike ruby, they can sometimes be found in very large sizes.’
Late Middle English: from Old French balais, from Arabic balaḵš, from Persian Badaḵšān, a district of Afghanistan where it is found.
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