The collection

Imperial Spinel Necklace

North India, spinels inscribed and dated to between 1607-1608 and 1754-1755.
Spinels, pearls emerald, modern stringing; 51.8cm.

The spinels in this necklace bear multiple inscriptions including to emperor Jahangir, as well as his father Akbar. For the Mughal emperors, spinels were especially significant and ranked above all other gemstones. Being the colour of blood, they were associated with vitality and wearing them was believed to enhance life force and stamina. They were often inscribed with dynastic inscriptions and worn as pendants, rings and beads. Dynastic gemstones of this size and quality would have originated in the Mughal Imperial Treasury where they were prized not only for their material value and physical properties, but also also because of their distinguished provenance.