The world’s largest ruby discovered in Mozambique just sold for a record price

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World's largest ruby

New York City witnessed a historic moment in the world of gemstones as the “Estrela de Fura,” a remarkable 55.22-carat ruby, sold for an astonishing $34.8 million at an auction. The sale set a new record for the highest market value ever achieved by a ruby, captivating collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.

Unearthed in the mines of Mozambique, this exceptional gem, known for its immense size and impeccable quality, was discovered less than a year ago by Canadian firm Fura Gems. The remarkable journey of the Estrela de Fura culminated in a highly anticipated auction held in June, attracting global attention.

Experts at Sotheby’s, the renowned auction house, described this ruby as “exceedingly rare” and emphasized its significance as “the most valuable and important” gem of its kind to enter the market. Named “Estrela de Fura,” meaning “Star of Fura” in Portuguese, the gem showcases the magnificence of Mozambique’s rich natural resources.

While coloured diamonds have traditionally dominated gemstone sales, rubies are hailed as one of the world’s most precious and rare gemstones. The previous auction record for a ruby was held by the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat gem discovered in Myanmar, which sold for $30.3 million in Geneva, Switzerland, back in 2015.

The Estrela de Fura gained significant attention from the moment it emerged as a rough stone in July of the previous year. Its colossal size, weighing 101 carats at the time, astounded miners and gemstone enthusiasts alike, making it the largest gem-quality ruby ever unearthed.

Before reaching its breathtaking final form, the gemstone underwent a meticulous transformation. Skilled artisans carefully polished, cut, and cleaned the rough stone, eliminating impurities and enhancing its vivid red hues through multiple internal reflections. The Swiss Gemmological Institute conducted an analysis, affirming the remarkable craftsmanship that resulted in its stunning brilliance.

Dev Shetty, the founder and CEO of Fura Gems, expressed his awe at the rarity of a stone of such size and quality. Shetty highlighted the utmost care and respect given to the ruby throughout its journey, from analysis and study to the cutting and polishing process.

While Mozambique has a historical connection to the discovery of rubies, it wasn’t until 2009 that the country witnessed the development of a thriving ruby mining industry. A significant deposit near the northern city of Montepuez sparked a lucrative business, transforming Mozambique into one of the world’s leading nations for ruby mining.

Among the precious finds in the region was the remarkable Estrela de Fura, which Sotheby’s characterized as possessing outstanding clarity and a mesmerizing “pigeon’s blood” color, often associated with prized Burmese rubies. This extraordinary gem stands as a testament to the immense beauty and value hidden within Mozambique’s rich lands.