The largest ruby in the world to come to auction will be offered by Sotheby's in New York in June, the auction house said at a preview in Hong Kong on Monday, and is estimated to achieve more than $30 million.
That would probably make the 55.22-carat gem, known as the Estrela de Fura, the most expensive ruby ever sold at auction, said Uni Kim, a specialist in Sotheby's jewellery department in the Asian financial capital.
"It is from Mozambique, which is also one of the new and more popular origins that we see for rubies, apart from the more traditional and the classic Burmese pieces," Kim added.
The current world record for a ruby sold at auction was set in May 2015 by "Sunrise Ruby," a 25.59-carat Burmese stone that fetched $30.3 million at Sotheby's in Geneva.
The new stone, whose name means "Star of Fura" in Portuguese, was unearthed from mining company Fura’s ruby mine in Mozambique's northern region of Montepeuz in July 2022.
Kim said the ruby, to be offered at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale, was a 101-carat rough gemstone when first discovered, fuelling excitement among many in the gem industry.
The quality and size of the gemstone "is almost unheard of", Dev Shetty, the chief executive of Fura Gems, said in a statement.
"We estimate Estrela de Fura to be sold in excess of $30 million," Kim added. "Hopefully we'll be able to see it just setting a new record for Mozambique rubies."
After being exhibitied in Hong Kong, the gem will be displayed in Taipei, China, Singapore, Geneva and Dubai, before being auctioned in New York on June 8. (Reporting by Jessie Pang; Editing by Farah Master and Clarence Fernandez)