The Estrela de Fura, a 55.22-carat Mozambique ruby, sold for $34.8 million at Sotheby’s on Thursday, establishing a world-record auction price for any colored gemstone.
Fetching $630,288 per carat, it is also the largest ruby to be sold at auction. Its pre-auction estimate was more than $30 million. It was one of two record-breaking lots at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction on June 8 in New York.
The finished ruby was cut and polished from a 101-carat rough that Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Fura Gems discovered. It unearthed the stone at its ruby mine in Montepuez, Mozambique, in July 2022. Fura Gems chose to cut and polish the gem and send it to auction, as opposed to selling it through the trade, explained Dev Shetty, the company’s founder and CEO.
The Estrela de Fura. (Sotheby’s)
“Estrela de Fura is a once-in-a-generation discovery,” he told Rapaport News. “A gem-quality ruby of this size, quality and clarity has never been discovered…. We initially considered selling the rough ruby last year, with interest from some of our clients. However, we eventually decided, after consulting trade experts, that this ruby is so remarkable that we should cut it and realize its full potential.”
The Eternal Pink. (Sotheby’s)
The Eternal Pink, a cushion-cut, 10.57-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink, internally flawless diamond, set the second record. It also sold for $34.8 million, translating to $3.3 million per carat — which, for that color, is both a world-record total and an unprecedented per-carat price. It had a presale estimate of $35 million.
De Beers discovered the diamond at the Damtshaa mine in Botswana. Diacore cut and polished it.
The sale in New York set a couple of auction records for Sotheby’s. It was the first time two gems sold for more than $30 million in the same auction. In addition, the auction achieved $95.9 million, which is a record for a Sotheby’s New York jewelry sale.
Eleven jewels from the collection of Constance Prosser Mellon and Constance Barber Mellon were 100% sold, achieving $6.9 million. The most valuable pieces were the number three and four lots in the sale. They were:
A Cartier diamond ring centered with an emerald-cut, 33.51-carat Burmese sapphire. It realized $3.2 million, well above its $2.5 million high estimate.
A 1950s Cartier necklace with five Kashmir sapphires weighing a total of approximately 34.95 carats and round, baguette and square-cut diamonds. It fetched $2.8 million, within estimates.
Colorless diamonds also performed well in the sale. Among the highlights were:
A pear-shaped, 38.17-carat diamond with D color and VS2 clarity, which brought in $2.7 million, beating its $2 million high estimate.
A Harry Winston ring with a marquise-shaped, 17.39-carat diamond of D color and VVS2 clarity flanked by tapered baguette diamonds. It fetched $1.2 million, exceeding its $1 million high estimate.
A ring set with an emerald-cut, 20.60-carat diamond flanked by two triangular-shaped diamonds. It was formerly from the collection of Barbara and Frank Sinatra. It yielded $985,250, missing its $1 million low estimate.
Main image: The Estrela de Fura. (Sotheby’s)