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World’s Largest Ruby To Appear At Auction Could Fetch $30 Million


The world’s largest ruby to appear at auction will be offered at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on June 8. Named the Estrela de FURA, it weighs 55.22 carats. Sotheby’s has placed an estimate of more than $30 million that, if achieved, would likely be the most valuable ruby ever sold at auction.

Sotheby’s auctioneer, Uni Kim, announced the sale of the Estrela de FURA on Wednesday moments after completing The Exceptional Luxury Evening Auction in Hong Kong.

The finished ruby was cut and polished from a rough 101-carat rough discovered by FURA Gems, a colored gemstone mining and marketing company based in Dubai. It was unearthed at its ruby mine in Montepeuz, Mozambique, in July, 2022. The company named the rough gem Estrela de FURA (Star of FURA in Portuguese). Even in its rough, untouched state, the ruby “was considered by experts as an exceptional treasure of nature for its fluorescence, outstanding clarity and vivid red hue, known as ‘pigeon’s blood’ — a color traditionally associated only with Burmese rubies,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.

“To see a natural ruby of this size, with such a combination of quality characteristics spared from treatment was considered almost unimaginable. The natural ruby of 55.22-carat is setting a new record not only for Mozambican rubies, but also for rubies in general,” wrote the Gübelin Gem Lab, one of two laboratories that graded the gem.

The other gem lab, Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), wrote that gem displays “vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections.” The report further states, “a natural ruby from Mozambique of this size and quality can be considered very rare and thus an exceptional treasure of nature.”

Burma has historically been considered the main source of the most sought-after rubies. Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry America, says Estrela de FURA may signal a change of this perception.

“It is undoubtedly positioned to become the standard bearer for African rubies – and gemstones in general, bringing global awareness to their ability to be on par with, and even outshine, those from Burma, which have traditionally been the most desirable and recognizable source for rubies,” he said in a statement.

There are only two examples of rubies being sold for more than $15 million at auction. The current world record for a ruby sold at auction is held by the “Sunrise Ruby,” a 25.59 carat Burmese stone, which was auctioned at Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2015 for $30.3 million. This price also established a new record for any ruby per carat ($1,185,451 per carat), at the time.

With the combination of rich saturation of color, untouched by heat treatment, highly crystalline appearance and incomparable size, Sotheby’s says the Estrela de FURA will challenge that $30 million figure.

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