In the Ancient Indian language of Sanskrit the term Ratnaraj, or King of Stones, was bestowed upon the ruby. It seems we still agree today as, after diamonds, rubies hold the record for the highest price per carat of any gemstone. Lusted after by warriors and kings, empresses and popes, many of the finest examples hail from the famed Burmese mines and exhibit the legendary ‘pigeon’s blood color’. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights…
The Sunrise Ruby
Named after a poem by the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi, this 25.59 carat cushion-cut Burmese ruby smashed all records in May 2015. The Swiss Gemological Institute called it a ‘unique treasure of nature’ and the Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry stated that he had ‘never before seen a ruby of this calibre’. Set in a ring by Cartier, the Sunrise Ruby was estimated to sell for $12-18 million, but it set a new world record for any colored gemstone when it sold for an astounding $30.3 million.
The Crimson Flame Ruby
The highest price per carat for any ruby belongs to the evocatively named Crimson Flame. This 15.04 carat cushion-cut Burmese stone sold for $18 million at Christies Hong Kong in December 2015 – that works out at $1.2 million per carat! Like the Sunrise Ruby, it too was set in a ring and it too sold to an anonymous bidder.
The Liberty Bell Ruby
The award for the largest mined ruby in the world goes to this enormous example which weighs an astounding 8 500 carats. The stone was discovered in East Africa in the 1950s and was carved into the shape of the Liberty Bell in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States. It was valued at $2 million when it was stolen from a Delaware Jewelry Store in 2011. The thieves were captured and sent to jail, but the ruby is still missing.
The Rosser Reeves Ruby
High quality star rubies are some of the rarest gemstones in the world and have long been believed to act as talismans. One of the most famous belonged to Rosser Reeves, an American advertising executive, who purchased the 138.7 carat Sri Lankan stone (said to be the finest star ruby in the world) in the mid 1950s. He carried it with him everywhere he went, called it his ‘baby’ and credited it with all of his successes. In 1965 however, having accidentally left it in the back of a taxi, Reeves decided the stone would be better off in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
The DeLong Star Ruby
Another star ruby with legendary status, this 100.32 carat stone was mined in Burma in the 1930s. In 1937 it was donated to the American Museum of Natural History by its owner, Edith Haggin DeLong. It was one of a number of jewels stolen in October 1964 in a notorious heist, described by Vanity Fair as ‘New York’s Most Sensational’. While most of the other gems were found in January 1965, the DeLong ruby was not recovered until September of that year after a hefty ransom had been paid.
The Black Prince’s Ruby
Weighing an estimated 170 carats, the Black Prince’s ruby is an uncut stone that sits proudly at the front of the Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom. Its history goes back all the way to the 14th century and it stars in numerous tales of murder, conquest and curses. Technological advances in the late 18th century revealed, however, that this famed ruby was not a ruby after all, but a particularly fine red spinel!
Trust the Experts
You can rest assured that at JupiterGem we know our rubies from our spinels! Our highly trained experts have travelled the world to bring you a superb collection of the finest rubies available. Whether you are after a ready-made piece of jewelry, or a loose gemstone, we have something to suit every taste and budget.