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World’s Biggest Ruby Sold At Auction for $34.8 Million.

Photo credit: Sotheby's. THe largest ruby ever found was sold at auction last week. The ruby was found last year in Mozambique. Originally 110 carats, after cutting about 55 carats remain.

By Jonathan Mason-June 10th, 2023.

Thursday’s Sotheby’s jewel auction in New York set multiple record prices both for the market and for the auction house itself.

An extraordinary 55.22-carat Mozambique ruby, known as the Estrela de Fura, was acquired by a Middle Eastern collector for $34.8 million (or $630,288 per carat). Sotheby’s says this sale price is a new world record for a ruby and any colored gemstone ever sold at auction.

“It’s difficult to express the range of emotions I felt when I first laid eyes on the Estrela de Fura, but to put it simply, I was entranced,” Quig Bruning, Head of Sotheby’s Jewels, Americas & EMEA, said after the sale. “With its unprecedented size, piercing color, and rare degree of optical transparency and clarity, it truly deserved the record-breaking price today, as it now joins the ranks of the world’s most legendary gemstones.”

The stone went under the hammer in New York in June, less than a year after Canadian firm Fura Gems discovered it at one of the company’s mines in Mozambique.

Ahead of the sale, Sotheby’s described the jewel as “exceedingly rare” and “the most valuable and important” ruby ever to come to market. It was named Estrela de Fura — or Star of Fura in Mozambique’s official language, Portuguese.

Although record gemstone sales are dominated by diamonds — coloured ones, in particular — rubies are also considered among the world’s rarest and most valuable gemstones. The previous auction record for a ruby was set by the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat stone found in Myanmar that fetched US$30.3 million in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

Estrela de Fura was cut from a rough stone that made headlines when it was unearthed by miners last July. Originally weighing 101 carats, almost twice as much as in its current form, it was the largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered.

The huge stone was cut into a smaller symmetrical shape and polished, processes that remove impurities and enhance the colour and brilliance of a gemstone before it is put onto the market. According to Sotheby’s, a report from the Swiss Gemmological Institute said 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.”

“From the in-depth analysis and study of the stone — through the process of cutting and polishing — we have worked with the utmost care and respect for the ruby, recognizing its importance and stature,” he added.

Source: Sotheby's, Agencies.