- "A ruby that contains that kind of raw, unchecked power? That's the stuff of dime novels and science fiction"
- ―Ballantine Gruber[src]
The Invincible Ruby was a large ruby gemstone, once owned by Emir Ali Bey of the Ottoman Empire. It was believed to have mystical powers that rendered Bey to be invincible in battle, and Bey began conquering parts of Europe including Greece, and Austria and adding them to the Ottoman Empire. Bey later lost the ruby, and his confidence in battle declined, leading to the slow collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
The ruby was eventually stored in a stone box, with carvings made by the artist Wohat, in an underground chamber in Ali Bey's Palace in eastern Africa. Wohat had also carved a series of animal statues, including five mammals who held a map leading to the palace, and could be used as a key when placed in the correct arrangement in the palace door.
In the late spring or early summer of 1931, René Belloq had hired Ali Bey-Faisal to steal the five statues depicting mammals from various museums around the world, as part of a plan to use them to eventually find the ruby. Belloq knew the importance of the mammal figures, but not how to use them, so he devised with Bey-Faisal to trick Indiana Jones into solving the problem for them.
Jones was investigating the theft of the crocodile statue from the New York Museum of History, and had realized that the spree of thefts was probably connected to a search for the ruby. After the theft of the lion statue from the Barcelona History Museum, Jones traveled to Barcelona and eventually recovered the five mammal statues from Belloq's hotel room. Jones found the map and went to the palace, and through trial and error, determined the proper arrangement to unlock the palace door. Bey-Faisal and his henchmen had followed Jones and tried to dispose of him, as Bey-Faisal had hoped to double-cross Belloq and claim the ruby for his own, as a way to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, but Ballantine Gruber intervened and saved Jones.
Inside the palace, Jones and Gruber fell into the chamber containing the ruby's vault and were momentarily knocked out. Jones awoke first and sensing Gruber's inevitable betrayal, emptied the unconscious man's pistol. One of Bey-Faisal's men had located Jones and Gruber, and Bey-Faisal approached their location alone. After opening the box with Jones, Gruber tried to take possession of the ruby for himself. Jones confronted Gruber about the theft of the Wohat crocodile, and Gruber eventually confessed to masterminding the copycat theft and tried to shoot Jones. Unable to get rid of Jones, Gruber then tried to grab the ruby, but was grabbed by Bey-Faisal, intent on claiming the ruby for himself. Gruber punched Bey-Faisal away, and took the ruby. Jones warned him of the dangers of the ruby, but Gruber held it aloft.
A bright red light radiated from the ruby, and with a scream, Gruber was reduced to a pile of ash by the ruby's power. Bey-Faisal began to search the room for the ruby, but Jones warned him of its dangerous powers and the impending collapse of the room. Obsessed with finding the ruby, Bey-Faisal ignored Jones' warnings, and was crushed by a large falling stone. Jones escaped from the palace, but the ruby was either lost or destroyed.