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Ten Most Expensive Rubies Sold at Auction

Ruby 1

The most expensive colored gemstone ever sold at auction is a ruby. Earlier this year, a Burmese ruby sold for $30 million, or just over $1 million per carat – a benchmark usually achieved by the rarest and most exceptional colored diamonds. That ruby, dubbed the Sunrise Ruby, weighed an astonishing 25.59 carats – an extraordinarily rare size for a ruby of its caliber. The singular stone set new auction records across the board when it sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in May, including a record price for a ruby, record price per carat for a ruby, and record price for a Cartier jewel – even ousting the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Bead Necklace which previously held the record price for a Cartier jewel.

Auction records these days seem to be short-lived placeholders for the next most expensive magnificent stone or jewel. The Sunrise Ruby bested the Graff Ruby for the record price and price per carat for a ruby set by the Graff six months prior in November 2014. The 8.62-carat Burmese stone set in a ring by Graff sold for $8,600,410 at Sotheby’s Geneva, roughly $2,200 shy of the $1 million per carat mark. As these two back-to-back records attest, the prices for the highest quality rubies will continue to rise. In fact, six of the top ten most expensive rubies sold at auction were sold in the last year and a half.

The rubies fetching such sky high numbers are those hailing from the reputed deposit of Mogok in Burma and exhibiting the vivid but saturated color referred to as “pigeon’s blood” red. Large specimens from the Mogok mines with this rarefied hue are exceedingly rare, just as the prices achieved at auction indicate. Even smaller rubies, under 10 carats, certified as pigeon’s blood red rubies from Mogok are equally as rare. Case in point, a SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute lab report noted on a 10.10-carat ruby from Mogok deemed pigeon’s blood red: “A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and thus can be considered a true treasure of nature.”

Since the ruby is the birthstone of July, I have compiled the Ten Most Expensive Rubies Sold at Auction to date. Happy Birthday, July babies!

10. A 12.46-carat Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring – $3,721,415

$298,669 per carat

Sotheby’s Geneva, May 2014

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 12.46 carats, between triangular diamond shoulders. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 1003105 and SSEF report no. 74442, each stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating, together with an appendix letter from the SSEF expressing the rarity of this stone.

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 12.46 carats, between triangular diamond shoulders. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 1003105 and SSEF report no. 74442, each stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating, together with an appendix letter from the SSEF expressing the rarity of this stone.

 

9. A 8.99-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Harry Winston – $3,935,105

$437,720 per carat

Christie’s Hong Kong, November 2013

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing approximately 8.99 carats, flanked by triangular-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18k yellow gold. Accompanied by report no. CS 82969 dated 24 September 2013 from the American Gemological Laboratories stating that based on available gemological information, it is the opinion of the Laboratory that the ruby weighing 8.99 carat is natural, the origin of this material would be classified as Burma (Myanmar), heat enhancement: none, clarity enhancement: none; also accompanied by a letter from the American Gemological Laboratories stating that the ruby possesses a richly saturated colour that is typical of fine quality rubies from the historic Burmese locality of the Mogok valley. Traditionally, rubies of this colour have been described as having a "pigeon blood" hue. The beautiful colour of this ruby is further complemented by a fine cut resulting in bright, internal colour reflections and brilliance. The lack of enhancement further accentuates the rarity and desirability of this fine gemstone. Gem rubies of such provenance and quality are rare.

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing approximately 8.99 carats, flanked by triangular-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18k yellow gold. Accompanied by report no. CS 82969 dated 24 September 2013 from the American Gemological Laboratories stating that based on available gemological information, it is the opinion of the Laboratory that the ruby weighing 8.99 carat is natural, the origin of this material would be classified as Burma (Myanmar), heat enhancement: none, clarity enhancement: none; also accompanied by a letter from the American Gemological Laboratories stating that the ruby possesses a richly saturated colour that is typical of fine quality rubies from the historic Burmese locality of the Mogok valley. Traditionally, rubies of this colour have been described as having a “pigeon blood” hue. The beautiful colour of this ruby is further complemented by a fine cut resulting in bright, internal colour reflections and brilliance. The lack of enhancement further accentuates the rarity and desirability of this fine gemstone. Gem rubies of such provenance and quality are rare.

 

8. A 30.20-carat Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring – $4,265,586

$141,245 per carat

Sotheby’s Geneva, May 2011

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 30.20 carats of exceptional colour, flanked by pear-shaped diamonds weighing respectively 2.00 and 2.02 carats, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 0911024 stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with indications of heating.

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 30.20 carats of exceptional colour, flanked by pear-shaped diamonds weighing respectively 2.00 and 2.02 carats, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 0911024 stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with indications of heating.

 

7. The Regal Ruby – A 13.21-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring – $5,967,465

$451,738 per carat

Christie’s Hong Kong, November 2013

Set with an oval-shaped ruby weighing 13.21 carats, flanked by half-moon diamonds, mounted in 18k white and yellow gold. Accompanied by report no. 69183 dated 17 July 2013 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the 13.21 carat ruby is of Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of heating; also accompanied by an appendix stating that the ruby possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits special mention and appreciation. The ruby exhibits a vivid red colour, combined with an excellent purity and an attractive cutting style. The few tiny inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the classical ruby mines in the Mogok valley in Burma (Myanmar). Its saturated and vivid red colour is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in the stone, characteristic for the finest rubies from Mogok. The ruby has been spared exposure to heat treatment and its colour and purity are this all natural. A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional.

Set with an oval-shaped ruby weighing 13.21 carats, flanked by half-moon diamonds, mounted in 18k white and yellow gold. Accompanied by report no. 69183 dated 17 July 2013 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the 13.21 carat ruby is of Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of heating; also accompanied by an appendix stating that the ruby possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits special mention and appreciation. The ruby exhibits a vivid red colour, combined with an excellent purity and an attractive cutting style. The few tiny inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the classical ruby mines in the Mogok valley in Burma (Myanmar). Its saturated and vivid red colour is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in the stone, characteristic for the finest rubies from Mogok. The ruby has been spared exposure to heat treatment and its colour and purity are this all natural. A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional.

 

6. The Queen of Burma – A 23.66-carat Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Cartier – $6,084,559

$257,166 per carat

Christie’s Geneva, November 2014

Centering upon an oval-shaped ruby, weighing approximately 23.66 carats, the claws set with inverted baguette-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum, 1937,  Signed Cartier London. Accompanied by Premium Report no. 72285 dated 27 January 2014 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating, and an appendix letter indicating that "The rarity of this ruby ring lies not only in the beauty, quality and Burmese origin of the ruby, but certainly also in the historic provenance of this jewellery item. This makes the 'Queen of Burma' ruby ring a very exceptional treasure."

Centering upon an oval-shaped ruby, weighing approximately 23.66 carats, the claws set with inverted baguette-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum, 1937,
Signed Cartier London. Accompanied by Premium Report no. 72285 dated 27 January 2014 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating, and an appendix letter indicating that “The rarity of this ruby ring lies not only in the beauty, quality and Burmese origin of the ruby, but certainly also in the historic provenance of this jewellery item. This makes the ‘Queen of Burma’ ruby ring a very exceptional treasure.”

 

5. The Patiño Ruby – A 32.08-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Chaumet – $6,736,750

$209,998 per carat

Christie’s Geneva, May 2012

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby, weighing approximately 32.08 carats, to the trapeze-cut diamond shoulders. Signed and with maker's mark for Chaumet.  Accompanied by report no. 61748 dated 11 January 2012 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; and a letter indicating that 'Its vivid red, poetically referred to as 'pigeon blood', is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for fine rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract.'

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby, weighing approximately 32.08 carats, to the trapeze-cut diamond shoulders. Signed and with maker’s mark for Chaumet. Accompanied by report no. 61748 dated 11 January 2012 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; and a letter indicating that ‘Its vivid red, poetically referred to as ‘pigeon blood’, is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for fine rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract.’

 

4. A 29.62-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, mounted by Cartier – $7,379,953

$249,154 per carat

Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 2014

Centring on an oval ruby weighing 29.62 carats, to a stylised mount set with brilliant-cut diamonds together weighing approximately 2.50 carats, mounted in platinum, signed MT. Cartier. AAccompanied by Gübelin report numbered 13105228, dated 26 October 2013, stating that the 29.62 carat ruby is natural, of Burmese (Mogok) origin, with no indications of heating. Also accompanied by AGL report numbered CS 57161, dated 26 September 2013, stating that the 29.62 carat ruby is natural, of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating and clarity enhancement, and an AGL Jewelfolio and Letter stating that 'weighing an impressive nearly 30 carats, this ruby is in a weight class that is very exclusive for this source (Burma). Furthermore, this gem possesses a richly saturated, homogenous colour that is typical of fine quality rubies from this famous locale...This exceptional ruby is set in a ring from one of the world's most prestigious jewelry houses: Cartier. A gem-quality unheated Burmese ruby of 29.62 cts is extraordinary rare and distinguishes this gem as being uniquely significant.'

Centring on an oval ruby weighing 29.62 carats, to a stylised mount set with brilliant-cut diamonds together weighing approximately 2.50 carats, mounted in platinum, signed MT. Cartier. AAccompanied by Gübelin report numbered 13105228, dated 26 October 2013, stating that the 29.62 carat ruby is natural, of Burmese (Mogok) origin, with no indications of heating. Also accompanied by AGL report numbered CS 57161, dated 26 September 2013, stating that the 29.62 carat ruby is natural, of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating and clarity enhancement, and an AGL Jewelfolio and Letter stating that ‘weighing an impressive nearly 30 carats, this ruby is in a weight class that is very exclusive for this source (Burma). Furthermore, this gem possesses a richly saturated, homogenous colour that is typical of fine quality rubies from this famous locale…This exceptional ruby is set in a ring from one of the world’s most prestigious jewelry houses: Cartier. A gem-quality unheated Burmese ruby of 29.62 cts is extraordinary rare and distinguishes this gem as being uniquely significant.’

 

3. A 10.10-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Brooch, by Cartier – $8,428,127

$834,468 per carat

Christie’s Hong Kong, November 2014

Set with a cushion-cut ruby weighing approximately 10.10 carats, within an openwork octagonal plaque, set with square and rectangular-shaped diamonds, accented by triangular-shaped diamond quarters, mounted in platinum. Signed Cartier. Accompanied by Premium Report No. 74530 dated 20 May 2014 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the approximately 10.00 carat ruby is of Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of heating and the colour of this ruby may also be called 'pigeon's blood red' in the trade; also accompanied by an appendix stating that the ruby possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits special mention and appreciation The ruby exhibits a saturated and vivid red colour combined with a fine purity and a very attractive cutting style. The tiny inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of rubies from the classical ruby mines in Mogok Valley in Burma (Myanmar). Well known for its wealth in gems since historic times. Its saturated red colour - poetically referred to as "pigeon's blood red" - is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in this gemstone, characteristic for the finest rubies from Mogok. The ruby has been spared exposure to heat treatment and its clarity and colour are thus all natural. A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and thus can be considered a true treasure of nature.

Set with a cushion-cut ruby weighing approximately 10.10 carats, within an openwork octagonal plaque, set with square and rectangular-shaped diamonds, accented by triangular-shaped diamond quarters, mounted in platinum. Signed Cartier. Accompanied by Premium Report No. 74530 dated 20 May 2014 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the approximately 10.00 carat ruby is of Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of heating and the colour of this ruby may also be called ‘pigeon’s blood red’ in the trade; also accompanied by an appendix stating that the ruby possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits special mention and appreciation The ruby exhibits a saturated and vivid red colour combined with a fine purity and a very attractive cutting style. The tiny inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of rubies from the classical ruby mines in Mogok Valley in Burma (Myanmar). Well known for its wealth in gems since historic times. Its saturated red colour – poetically referred to as “pigeon’s blood red” – is due to a combination of well-balanced trace elements in this gemstone, characteristic for the finest rubies from Mogok. The ruby has been spared exposure to heat treatment and its clarity and colour are thus all natural. A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and thus can be considered a true treasure of nature.

 

2. The Graff Ruby – A 8.62-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Graff – $8,600,410

$997,727 per carat

Sotheby’s Geneva, November 2014

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 8.62 carats, set between triangular diamond shoulders within a mount decorated throughout with brilliant-cut diamonds, size 59, signed Graff. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 11060194, dated 29 June 2011, and SSEF report no. 45948, dated 20 February 2006, both stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. The SSEF report together with a letter stating: "The Graff Ruby ...The described gemstones exhibits an impressive weight and purity, combined with a very pleasant shape and cutting style. The faint inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the reputed deposit of Mogok in Burma (Myanmar). The stone has been spared to exposure of thermal treatment and its clarity and colour are natural. Its vivid red, poetically referred to as 'pigeon blood' is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract. Natural Mogok rubies from this size, colour and clarity represent a great rarity and the Graff ruby with its combination of outstanding characteristics is a very exceptional gemstone."

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 8.62 carats, set between triangular diamond shoulders within a mount decorated throughout with brilliant-cut diamonds, size 59, signed Graff. Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 11060194, dated 29 June 2011, and SSEF report no. 45948, dated 20 February 2006, both stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. The SSEF report together with a letter stating:
“The Graff Ruby
…The described gemstones exhibits an impressive weight and purity, combined with a very pleasant shape and cutting style. The faint inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the reputed deposit of Mogok in Burma (Myanmar). The stone has been spared to exposure of thermal treatment and its clarity and colour are natural. Its vivid red, poetically referred to as ‘pigeon blood’ is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract.
Natural Mogok rubies from this size, colour and clarity represent a great rarity and the Graff ruby with its combination of outstanding characteristics is a very exceptional gemstone.”

 

1. The Sunrise Ruby – A 25.59-carat Mogok Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Cartier – $30,335,698

$1,185,451 per carat

Sotheby’s Geneva, May 2015

Ruby 1

Set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 25.59 carats, between shield-shaped diamonds weighing 2.47 and 2.70 carats, signed Cartier. Accompanied by SSEF report no. 78414 and Gübelin report no. 15020105, each stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating, ‘pigeon blood colour’, together with appendix letters; together with gemmological reports for the diamonds.

 

Auction HouseSale DateRubyCarat WeightAttributes (from Certs)Price (USD)Price Per Carat
Sotheby's GenevaMay 2015The Sunrise Ruby25.59Pigeon's Blood Red (PBR), Mogok, Burmese$30,335,698$1,185,698 ppc
Sotheby's GenevaNovember 2014The Graff Ruby8.62PBR, Mogok, Burmese$8,600,410$997,727 ppc
Christie's Hong KongNovember 2014A Ruby & Diamond Brooch, by Cartier10.10PBR, Mogok, Burmese$8,428,127$834,468 ppc
Sotheby's Hong KongApril 2014A Ruby & Diamond Ring, mounted by Cartier29.62Mogok, Burmese$7,379,953$249,154 ppc
Christie's GenevaMay 2012The Patiño Ruby32.08PBR, Mogok, Burmese$6,736,750$209,998 ppc
Christie's GenevaNovember 2014The Queen of Burma23.66Burmese$6,084,559$257,166 ppc
Christie's Hong KongNovember 2013The Regal Ruby13.21Mogok, Burmese$5,967,465$451,738 ppc
Sotheby's GenevaMay 2011A Ruby & Diamond Ring30.20Burmese$4,265,586$141,245
Christie's Hong KongNovember 2013A Ruby & Diamond Ring, by Harry Winston8.99PBR, Mogok, Burmese$3,935,105$437,720 ppc
Sotheby's GenevaMay 2014A Ruby & Diamond Ring12.46Burmese$3,721,415$298,669 ppc

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Jyoti shokeen
    August 3, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Wow, These are the most beautiful rings i have ever seen in my life. The rings are just out of the world. The combination of ruby and diamonds is just superb. Great post i must say.

  • Reply
    Sonal Sherawat
    August 4, 2015 at 4:08 am

    30 MILLIONS ????? it would be very precious ruby. it would be look very attractive ruby…

    • Reply
      rana tariq mehmood
      November 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

      yes i have the same ruby in my fingure now, i want to sale it

  • Reply
    anuj
    November 27, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Really,These are the very beautiful and designer rings.Ruby gemstone looking very beautiful. Its a great post.

  • Leave a Reply