The Carew Spinel. Spinel, drilled and set on a gold pin, with a diamond at top and bottom. India, 17th century. Bequeathed by the Rt. Hon. Julia Mary, Lady Carew. IM.243-1922. © V&A Images

This gemstone is a spinel, a stone gemmologically similar to a ruby. It is inscribed with the titles of the Mughal emperors Jahangir (r.1605–1627), Shah Jahan (r.1628–1658) and Alamgir (r.1658–1707), who is usually known in the West by the name Aurangzeb. It was bequeathed to the V&A in 1922 by Julia Mary, Lady Carew. Information supplied by her family stated that it had been bought by a relative in Tehran before 1870.