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Largest Ruby Ever Auctioned Could Command $30M

On June 8, a 55.22 carat ruby discovered by Canadian company Fura Gems at one of its mines in Mozambique will be up for auction in New York. Named Estrela de Fura (or Star of Fura in Portuguese) it’s expected it to fetch “in excess of” $30 million.

“Most valuable and important”

If the gem sells for over $30.3 million, it will not only become the largest but also the most valuable of its kind to ever appear at auction. Sotheby’s has described the jewel as “exceedingly rare” and “the most valuable and important” ruby ever to be offered for sale. While diamonds dominate the record sales of gemstones, colored stones – especially rubies – are also considered rare and valuable. The Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat stone found in Myanmar, holds the current auction record for a ruby, selling for $30.3 million in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

Credit: Sothebys

“Almost unheard of”

Estrela de Fura, the largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered, was cut from a rough stone that made headlines when miners unearthed it in July of last year. Originally weighing 101 carats, the rough stone was cut and polished to enhance its color and brilliance, resulting in vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections, according to a report by the Swiss Gemmological Institute cited by Sotheby’s. Dev Shetty, Fura Gems’ founder and CEO, called stones of such size and quality “almost unheard of,” adding that they had worked with the utmost care and respect for the ruby, recognizing its importance and stature.

Estrela de Fura ruby
Credit: Sothebys

Marvelous Mozambique

Rubies have been found in Mozambique for several decades, but it was not until a major deposit was discovered near the northern city of Montepuez in 2009 that a significant industry emerged. Mozambique has now become one of the world’s leading ruby-mining countries. Estrela de Fura is one of the stones that was unearthed from the region. Sotheby’s described it as having “outstanding clarity” and a dark red color known as “pigeon’s blood,” a hue traditionally associated with highly sought-after Burmese rubies.

Estrela de Fura ruby
Credit: Sothebys

 

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