Sotheby’s Auctions 55-Carat Ruby for $34.8M in New York – ARTnews.com


Sotheby’s has auctioned off a 55.22 carat ruby in New York for $34.8 million.

The unmounted stone was unveiled by the auction house in Dubai in May. It was promoted as the largest and most valuable ruby ever to appear at auction, with sales expectations of greater than $30 Million. The ruby sold as part of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction on June 8.

Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry in New York, told the UK press agency PA Media that he was entranced after seeing the Estrela de FURA for the first time. “With its unprecedented size, piercing colour 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,” Bruning said.

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When the rough red stone was discovered in Montepuez, Mozambique in July 2022, it weighed 101 carats, a record for the largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered. After being shaped and polished in Bangkok, the cushion-cut stone was nicknamed “Estrela de FURA”, or Star of FURA in Portuguese, for the mining company that discovered the precious gem.

Fura Gems was founded in 2009, headquartered in Toronto, and currently holds nine ruby mining licenses in Mozambique.

According to a statement from Sotheby’s, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the stone have been allocated by Fura Gems for an academy that will provide education and technical training in mining, engineering, carpentry and agriculture.

While the large-scale mining industry in Mozambique only started in 2010-2011, the country has quickly become one of the biggest suppliers in the world, with the Montepuez mine holding the largest reserve. A 2019 report from the Gemological Institute of America wrote, “In less than a decade, Mozambique has become the world’s most productive source for gem-quality ruby.”

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