Chrysoberyl is a very hard gem mineral (only diamond, ruby or sapphire are harder). It comes in three colours - yellow, green and brown. The pale yellow-green stones from Brazil are extremely brilliant and were popular in Spanish and Portuguese jewellery of the 18th century.
This ring forms part of a collection of 154 gems bequeathed to the V&A by the Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend, a cleric and poet. Sir A. H. Church gave additional specimens in 1913. He also compiled the first catalogue Precious Stones: A Guide to the Townshend Collection. The first edition appeared in 1883. The stones are mounted as rings, although they may not have been intended to be worn.