Largest Ruby ever is expected to sell for a whopping $34.8 million
The largest and most expensive ruby of its kind ever to sell at auction, a 55.22-carat gem brought in $34.8 million on Thursday.
Less than a year after being found in one of the company’s mines in Mozambique by Canadian firm Fura Gems, the stone was put up for auction in June.
Sotheby’s referred to the gem as “exceedingly rare” and “the most valuable and important” ruby to have hit the market before the auction. Its Portuguese name, Estrela de Fura, translates to “Star of Fura” in Mozambique.
The rough stone from which Estrela de Fura was carved made headlines when it was discovered by miners in July of last year. It was the biggest gem-quality ruby ever discovered, weighing 101 carats at its discovery, almost twice as much as it does now.
Before being sold, a gemstone must be polished, cut into a smaller, symmetrical shape, and cleaned to eliminate impurities and enhance its color and brightness. The Swiss Gemmological Institute’s analysis, according to Sotheby’s, stated that this had “resulted in vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections.”
In a statement, Fura Gems’ founder and CEO, Dev Shetty, said stones of such size and quality are “almost unheard of.”
“We have worked with the utmost care and regard for the ruby, acknowledging its value and stature,” he said. “From the in-depth examination and study of the stone—through the process of cutting and polishing.
Although Mozambique was where rubies were originally found some decades ago, the country’s ruby industry didn’t really take off until 2009, when a sizable deposit of the gemstones was discovered close to the city of Montepuez in the country’s north. One of the world’s most successful nations for mining rubies at the moment is Mozambique.
The stones discovered in the area included Estrela de Fura. It was characterized by Sotheby’s as having “outstanding clarity” and a “pigeon’s blood” color, which is typically connected with highly sought-after Burmese rubies.
Quig Bruning, the auction house’s director of jewelry for the Americas, stated in a statement that the ruby may help African stones rival and “even outshine” those from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).
The 10.57-carat pink diamond, The Eternal Pink, which commanded the same price as Estrela de Fura, was the star of Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” auction. The auction house hailed the “ultra-rare” diamond as having “unparalleled color and brightness.”
Before being purchased in New York, both precious stones were displayed in a number of places, including Dubai, Singapore, and Geneva.