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A rose-red Spinel used as a semiprecious gemstone. Balas stones were named for the region of Balascia (now called Badakhshan) in Afghanistan where they were mined. However, because their color and general appearance resemble rubies, the balas stones were often mislabeled as rubies. The Black Prince ruby and the Timur ruby in the British crown jewels are both balas spinels.

Synonyms and Related Terms

balas ruby; spinel


Properties of Gemstones

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • R.F.Symmes, T.T.Harding, Paul Taylor, Rocks, Fossils and Gems, DK Publishing, Inc., New York City, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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