Published: April 22, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s recorded the sale of the most expensive colored gemstone sold at auction in the United States on April 20 as the Jubilee Ruby, a 15.99 carat ruby and Burmese ring by Verdura realized $14,165,000, including buyer’s premium. It was the top lot in the firm’s Magnificent Jewels sale, which posted a sales total of $57,029,250.
Set with an oval-shaped ruby within a circular-cut diamond and polished gold surround to the trifurcated gold hoop, the size 7¼ ring featured a platinum and 18K gold mount and was signed Verdura.
To say such a gem is worthy of a king would be no exaggeration. Until the middle of the Nineteenth Century, only the sovereign of Burma or an individual deemed worthy by him would have been allowed the privilege of possessing such a magnificent gemstone.
Although rubies can be found in various countries, the mines of Burma have yielded the most beautiful gems over the centuries. Brought to the attention of the Europeans at the beginning of the Fifteenth Century, Burmese rubies have not been surpassed in quality by any other mine. Historically they have been mined in the Mogok Valley in the northern part of Burma, which is only two miles long and a half a mile wide. One of the main reasons is due to the high chromium content in the ground which accounts for the very specific color, an extremely saturated red often referred to as pigeon’s blood. Another factor is their natural fluorescence, which has the effect of making the stone “come alive” and appear internally illuminated.
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