The Most Expensive Ruby in the World

A 55-carat ruby is now the most expensive colored gemstone ever sold at auction.

The Estrela de Fura is a 55.22-carat cushion-cut ruby that was discovered in 2022 in Mozambique. It is the largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered and is also one of the most expensive rubies ever sold.

The Estrela de Fura was cut from a 101-carat rough ruby that was discovered by miners at the Fura Gems mine in Montepuez, Mozambique. The rough stone was immediately recognized as a special gem, and it was sent to the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland for grading. The Gübelin Lab awarded the stone a flawless grade for clarity and a vivid red color, which is known as "pigeon's blood."

The Estrela de Fura was unveiled to the public in September 2022 at a gala event in Dubai. The stone was immediately met with rave reviews from gem experts and collectors alike. The Estrela de Fura was then put up for auction at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale in New York.

The Most Expensive Ruby in the World
Estrela de Fura is the world's largest rough, gemstone-quality ruby.
Photo: Fura Gems

The Estrela de Fura quickly became the star of the auction. It was expected to sell for at least $20 million, but it ultimately fetched a record-breaking price of $34.8 million. The buyer of the Estrela de Fura was a private collector from the Middle East.

The sale of the Estrela de Fura is a major milestone for the ruby industry. It is the first time that a ruby has ever sold for more than $30 million. The sale also highlights the growing importance of Mozambique as a source of top-quality rubies.

Although record gemstone sales are dominated by diamonds — colored ones, in particular — rubies are also considered among the world’s rarest and most valuable gemstones. The previous auction record for a ruby was set by the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat stone found in Myanmar that fetched $30.3 million in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

The Most Expensive Ruby in the World
The ruby, named Estrela de Fura, has been described as “exceedingly rare.”

Here are some additional facts about the Estrela de Fura ruby:

  • The name "Estrela de Fura" means "Star of Fura" in Portuguese.
  • The ruby was cut by the renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
  • The ruby is certified as Type IIa, which is the highest grade of clarity for a ruby.
  • The ruby is a vivid red color, known as "pigeon's blood."
  • The ruby was sold at auction for a record-breaking price of $34.8 million.
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