The Hope Spinel Gemstone Goes to Auction for the First Time in Nearly a Century

The Hope Spinel’s history is every bit as colorful as its lustrous rose hue. Often confused for a ruby—although the spinel has fewer inclusions—the plum-size gemstone (about an inch in diameter) was mined from the ancient Kuh-i-Lal mines in Tajikistan and acquired by London banker Henry Philip Hope in the 1800s. After Hope’s death, his gemstone collection (which included over 700 pieces, including the Hope Diamond, the world’s largest deep-blue diamond) became ensnared in a 10-year inheritance feud between two…

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