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A Few Famous Fine Rubies

The Sunrise Ruby
The Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby
In May 2015, a new gemstone auction record was set by a ruby; the most expensive ruby. The precious gem is known as the Sunrise Ruby. It is a 25.59-carat, cushion-cut, untreated "pigeon blood" red Burmese ruby, which is set into a Cartier ring and flanked by white diamonds. A Swiss buyer paid $30 million for the red gemstone (over $1 million per carat). The Sunrise Ruby was assessed by the Gubelin Gem Lab in Zurich, where it was concluded that the ruby was a vivid "pigeon blood" red and of rare quality.

The price-per-carat of fine rubies is constantly rising. Previous records include the "Graff Ruby"; an 8.62-carat gemstone which achieved $8.6 million ($997,727 per carat) at Sotheby's in November 2014. The Alan Caplan Ruby (also known as the Mogok Ruby) was also auctioned for a record-breaking price of $227,301 per carat at Sotheby's in 1988. As its other name suggests, the Alan Caplan Ruby is from Mogok, Burma. It is a cushion-cut gem that weighs 15.97 carats and is eye clean. It was acquired by Graff of London. Another price-per-carat record for a ruby was held by the 8.24-carat Richard Burton Ruby, which sold for $4.2 million at Christie's in 2011.

The Liberty Bell Ruby
The Liberty Bell Ruby

The Liberty Bell Ruby
The Liberty Bell Ruby has an appraised value of $2 million. It is a single piece of ruby that was carved into a bell shape, surrounded by a white diamond border and topped by an eagle for the United States 1976 Bicentennial celebration. There are 50 diamonds, which represent the states. The large ruby carving was produced for the Kazanjian Brothers jewelry company by Alfonso de Vivanco. It weighs 4.5 pounds and is said to have come from one of the largest uncut rubies in the world. It was hoped that the Ruby would be sold to a philanthropist and donated to a museum. Unfortunately, while the Liberty Bell Ruby was being kept at the Stuart Kingston jewelry store in Wilmington, Delaware, four men held up the store and stole the precious gemstone, along with other items, in November 2011. Altogether, the jewels stolen in the heist were worth over $4 million. The four were later arrested, but the stolen items including the Liberty Bell Ruby were not recovered.

Another of the largest uncut rubies in the world is a 150 kilogram stone, which was offered for sale by a retired businessman in Dubai in 2012. The incredible gem was purchased from miners in Tanzania by Muhammed Jetha. Mr. Jetha held onto the stone for almost 20 years before deciding to sell it.

The Rosser Reeves Ruby
The Rosser Reeves Ruby

The Rosser Reeves Ruby
The Rosser Reeves Ruby is named after its owner, who carried it around for good luck, referring to it as "my baby", before donating it to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in Washington DC, in 1965. Rosser Reeves was an American advertising executive who wrote "Reality in Advertising" and was responsible for the "Unique Selling Proposition" or USP. The Rosser Reeves Ruby is a 138.72-carat, six-rayed star ruby from Sri Lanka. The qualities which make it a fine gemstone are its translucency, color and centrally-aligned, well-defined star.

Another beautiful star ruby donated to an American museum is the DeLong Star Ruby; a 100.32-carat Burmese star ruby. It is named after Mrs. Edith Haggin de Long, who acquired the gemstone and donated it to the American Museum of Natural History, New York. However, during a jewel heist in 1964, the DeLong Star Ruby, the Star of India and many other priceless jewels were stolen. Luckily, the thieves were caught and these and some of the other stolen jewels were later recovered. The DeLong Star Ruby was ransomed for $25,000 and is now in its rightful place at the American Museum of Natural History.

While the above gemstones are by no means a comprehensive list, they are all equally remarkable. When it comes to record-breaking rubies, new records are always being set, such as, the largest cut rubies, uncut rubies and the most expensive rubies sold at auction. This is because of increasing prices, continuous mining and new discoveries. If you would like to read more about beautiful red rubies, check out our article about the Carmen Lucia Ruby and our ruby gemstone information.

  • First Published: March-07-2016
  • Last Updated: August-17-2017
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