Two Of The World's Rarest Gemstones Sold In New York
"We are delighted to exhibit these exceptional rarities in our Dubai gallery, solidifying Sotheby's Dubai as the premier platform in the Middle East for the world's most valuable and rare diamonds and gemstones. After its remarkable unveiling as a 101-carat rough stone in Dubai last autumn, it is especially thrilling to witness the triumphant return of Estrela de FURA 55.22, now expertly crafted, as the largest and most valuable ruby ever to enter the market. By showcasing these unique gems at both our DIFC gallery and the unmatched Dubai Diamond Exchange, we continue our commitment to presenting the best of the best in the UAE," said Katia Nounou Boueiz, head of Sotheby's in the United Arab Emirates.
Following the Dubai exhibition, the two extraordinary stones took center stage at Sotheby's flagship Magnificent Jewels auction in New York.
The Eternal Pink, the most vibrant pink diamond ever offered for sale, fetched a price of $30 million at the New York auction. Meanwhile, Estrela de FURA 55.22, a 55.22-carat ruby that holds the title of the largest and most valuable ruby ever auctioned, sold for an impressive $34.8 million.
"With its staggering weight of 55.22 carats, Estela de FURA is a marvel of rarity and size, and its sensational color and clarity are a testament to FURA Gems' meticulous care and respect for the ruby. Equally captivating, The Eternal Pink is positioned as arguably the most significant pink diamond ever to come to market, representing one of the rarest objects in the world with its exquisite luminescent pink hue," said Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby's Americas jewelry department.
Pink diamonds have always held a special allure and reputation among the most sought-after colored diamonds. The Eternal Pink, weighing 10.57 carats, is a cushion-cut, flawless Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond, and it is the most vivid and valuable pink diamond ever to grace the market. In fact, it holds the highest estimated price per carat ever assigned to a diamond or gemstone.
Regardless of their size or color intensity, pink diamonds have always possessed a unique charm. However, the Eternal Pink stands out as truly exceptional. It embodies the quintessential pink, exuding unparalleled color and brilliance that captivate the beholder with its alluring aura. The Eternal Pink represents an epitome of excellence in every aspect.
Photo Credit: Sotheby's
In terms of grading colored diamonds, the "Fancy Vivid" grade is the highest distinction a colored diamond can achieve. This gemstone's endearing and vivid feminine hue is accentuated by a touch of purple. Its cushion-shaped cut, consisting of well-arranged facets, further enhances the beauty of the pink color. With its Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink color and Internally Flawless (IF) clarity, the stone is truly a natural work of art.
The color pink has always been regarded as rare in nature, with encounters limited to the dawn, sunset, flowers, or the plumage of exotic birds in ancient times. This scarcity has contributed to the allure of pink as a color denoting something special, beautiful, and transient. Over the centuries, artists and craftsmen inspired by this rarity have expanded the array of desirable pink objects. The enduring fascination with pink continues, and in the world of gemology, pink diamonds evoke the same awe as the transient dawn skies and spring flowers did for our ancestors. Pink diamonds embody this cherished color in a lasting, eternal form.
However, the Eternal Pink stands in contrast to the softness and subtlety of Fragonard or Boucher's pinks. Its electrifying and otherworldly fuchsia shade is truly mesmerizing, astonishing even the most seasoned gemologists and enthusiasts. This sensational stone commands attention, rendering other Fancy Vivid diamonds pale in comparison.
Throughout history, only a few diamonds have been pink, and they have always been highly treasured. The Agra, the Regent, the Williamson Pink, and the Darya-i-Noor were among the most prized possessions of great rulers. The rarity of the Eternal Pink diamond is difficult to overstate, as highlighted in the GIA's monograph on the diamond. Less than 3% of all diamonds submitted to the GIA are classified as colored diamonds, and less than 5% of those are predominantly pink.
Most pink diamonds fall within the Faint to Fancy color grades and tend to be small in size. A study conducted by the GIA in 2018, which examined 1,000 pink diamonds graded between 2008 and 2016, revealed that 83% of them weighed less than one carat. With its remarkable Fancy Vivid Purplish-Pink color, Internally Flawless clarity, and impressive 10.57-carat weight, the Eternal Pink is arguably the most significant pink diamond ever to appear at an auction.
The availability of newly-mined pink diamonds has become uncertain due to the recent closure of the Argyle mine in Australia. In its report accompanying the Eternal Pink diamond, the GIA states, "Purplish pink diamonds with this level of saturation or intensity have typically been confined to diamonds found in the now-closed Argyle mine in Australia. The contrast is that the Argyle diamonds rarely weighed more than one carat." This statement, featured on Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels website, emphasizes the rarity and uniqueness of this extraordinary diamond.
The current record for the highest price per carat paid for any diamond or gemstone sold at auction is held by the Williamson Pink Star, an 11.15-carat Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond, which fetched $5,178,124 per carat at Sotheby's Hong Kong in October 2022. The Eternal Pink challenges this record.
Estrela de FURA 55.22
The announcement by FURA Gems about the historic discovery of the world's largest gem-quality ruby at the DMCC in Dubai in September 2022 caused a stir of excitement in the gemstone market.
The breathtaking 101-carat gemstone was unearthed in the FURA ruby mine in Montepeuz, Mozambique, in July 2022. It received the name Estrela de FURA (Star of FURA) to honor its remarkable color depth, size, and draw attention to Mozambique as a prominent producer of fine rubies. Experts lauded Estrela de FURA for its fluorescence, exceptional clarity, and vivid red hue known as "pigeon's blood," reminiscent of Burmese rubies, even in its raw, unprocessed state.
Estrela de Fura 55.22, named after its weight of 55.22 carats, is a significant and rare gemstone from Mozambique. It holds the distinction of being the largest gem-quality ruby ever offered at auction, with an estimated value surpassing $30 million, making it the most valuable ruby to ever enter the market. Its remarkable color saturation, unaltered by heat treatment, highly crystalline appearance, and unparalleled size establish it as the largest gem-quality ruby ever presented for auction.
Sotheby's describes this extraordinary ruby as follows:
"Rich and fiery in color, alluring and seductive in depth, the ruby has long reigned supreme in the world of colored gems. In ancient Sanskrit, the ruby is called 'Ratnaraj' or 'King of Precious Stones.' Warriors wore the storied gem for protection, while royalty adorned themselves to showcase their wealth. Rubies were also believed to possess healing properties, and wearing them close to the skin was considered a source of good luck.
FURA Gems embarked on its journey in Mozambique in 2017 and currently holds nine ruby mining licenses in the country. Committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, FURA has become the fastest-growing colored gemstone mining company globally, with sister emerald and sapphire mines in Colombia and Australia. In July 2022, FURA miners in Montepuez unearthed something beyond their wildest dreams—a remarkably transparent, stunningly vivid rough ruby weighing a staggering 101 carats, christened 'Estrela de FURA' or 'Star of FURA' in Portuguese. Unveiled in Dubai in September 2022, Estrela de FURA captured the world's attention as the largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered.
In January 2023, FURA enlisted the expertise of top advisors from around the world, including experts from the French gem company Garaude and a team of 3D engineers from Bellerophon Gemlab, to assess cutting options. After conducting extensive studies to determine the optimal weight, shape, and cutting orientation, the ruby underwent masterful cutting and polishing in Bangkok under the guidance of Master Gem Cutter Chirapat. The result of this international effort is an impressive 55.22-carat cushion-cut specimen poised to become the most important and valuable ruby ever to reach the market. Noteworthy for its size, vivid red color, and exceptional clarity, Estrela de FURA 55.22 is destined to join the ranks of the world's most legendary rubies."
According to zawya.com, the current world record for a diamond or any gemstone sold at auction is held by the 'CTF Pink Star,' a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink, Internally Flawless diamond, which was auctioned at Sotheby's Hong Kong in April 2017 for USD 71.2 million.
The current world record price per carat for any diamond or gemstone is held by the 'Williamson Pink Star,' an 11.15-carat cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond, which was auctioned at Sotheby's Hong Kong in October 2022 for $57.7 million (price per Carat $5,178,124). The previous record was set by The Blue Moon of Josephine, an Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue cushion-shaped 12.03-carat diamond sold by Sotheby's Geneva in November 2015 ($4,028,941 per carat).