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The Record-Breaking Ruby: The $34.8 Million The Estrela de Fura

In a dazzling display of luxury and rarity, a remarkable 55.22-carat ruby recently soared to unprecedented heights in gem auctions, commanding an awe-inspiring $34.8 million. Not only did this remarkable stone secure its place as the largest ruby ever to grace an auction stage, but it also claimed the title of the most valuable gem ever to be sold under the hammer.

The gem resounded at a vibrant auction in the bustling city of New York in June, just a short time after the revered Canadian firm Fura Gems unearthed it from one of its mines in Mozambique’s heart.

REUTERS/ Lam Yik | “The Estrela de Fura”, meaning “Star of Fura”, was cut from a 101-carat rough stone

The Majestic Unveiling

The story of this breathtaking gem began with a serendipitous discovery by Fura Gems, a renowned Canadian company. The gleaming ruby was found in the fertile grounds of Mozambique, nestling within one of the company’s mines.

To honor its origins, it was bestowed the name “Estrela de Fura,” which translates to “Star of Fura” in the official language of Mozambique, Portugal. The anticipation leading up to the auction was palpable as Sotheby’s, the venerable auction house, described this jewel as “exceedingly rare” and “the most valuable and important” ruby to debut on the market.

Radiant Rarity

While the world of record gemstone sales often bows to the dominance of diamonds, especially their colored variants, it’s essential not to overlook the resplendent allure of rubies. Renowned as some of the most valuable and rarest gemstones globally, these crimson treasures have a well-earned place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Notably, the illustrious Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat gem discovered in Myanmar, had held the prior record for the highest price ever fetched at auction for a ruby, attaining an astonishing $30.3 million in the enchanting city of Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

BBC | The Estrela de Fura is more than a gemstone; it’s a narrative of wonder and aspiration.

Transformation Into Brilliance

Estrela de Fura embarked on its journey from a rough, uncut stone that captured global attention when miners unearthed it in July of the preceding year. Initially weighing an impressive 101 carats—almost twice its present size—it stood as the largest gem-quality ruby ever found.

Meticulously sculpted into a symmetrical shape and meticulously polished, these processes unveiled the gem’s brilliance by removing impurities and heightening its color and sparkle. According to Sotheby’s, the Swiss Gemmological Institute’s report illuminated that this intricate process bestowed the ruby with “vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections.”

The Legacy of Estrela de Fura

Dev Shetty, Fura Gems’s visionary founder and CEO, expressed that discovering a stone of such size and quality is a rarity that scarcely finds parallel. Through meticulous analysis, cutting, and polishing, the team at Fura Gems handled this treasure with utmost reverence and appreciation, recognizing its significance in the world of gemology.

Mozambique’s Ruby Renaissance

The breathtaking Estrela de Fura is one of many gems from Mozambique, which has embraced its own ruby renaissance. While rubies were initially discovered in the nation several decades ago, it wasn’t until 2009 that a significant industry emerged, catalyzed by unearthing a rich deposit of stones near Montepuez, a vibrant city in the northern region.

AFP File | A 55.22-carat ruby has become both the largest and most valuable gem

This discovery transformed Mozambique into one of the world’s foremost ruby-mining nations, with Estrela de Fura taking center stage as a shining testament to the nation’s ruby legacy.

African Stones vs. Myanmar Treasures

Sotheby’s Head of Jewelry for the Americas, Quig Bruning, eloquently noted that the emergence of Estrela de Fura could serve as a symbol of African stones’ ability to not only compete with but even outshine their counterparts from Myanmar, historically known as Burma.

A Glimpse into Luxury

This illustrious ruby was a star attraction in Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale, which saw extraordinary gemstone convergence. Among them was The Eternal Pink, a mesmerizing 10.57-carat pink diamond with the same impressive price tag as Estrela de Fura. This “ultra-rare” diamond was celebrated for its unparalleled color and luminosity.

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