Ruby Ring Sells for $3.3M at Artcurial Auction

AuctionsAug 02, 2023

Ruby Ring Sells for $3.3M at Artcurial Auction

The natural Burmese stone is the second-most expensive ruby sold at auction in 2023.

Artcurial 7.1-carat Burma natural ruby ring by Guillemin & Soulaine
This 7.1-carat Burmese ruby set in a daisy-style ring by Guillemin & Soulaine set a sales record for Artcurial this week, going for more than $3 million. (Image courtesy of Artcurial)
Monaco—A 7.1-carat Burmese natural ruby and diamond ring sold at auction this week for €2.9 million ($3.3 million), eclipsing its pre-sale estimate of €150,000 - 250,000 ($164,000 to $273,000) by nearly 12 times.

The sale makes the jewel the second-most expensive ruby sold at auction in 2023, going for approximately $459,000 per carat, according to French auction house Artcurial. It set a sales record for the house’s jewelry department as well.

Artcurial offered the ruby ring during its Monaco Auction Week sales, held July 16-19 at the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. 

Set in an 18-karat yellow gold daisy-style ring by Guillemin & Soulaine, the stone is surrounded by 10 diamonds weighing between 0.4 and 0.5 carats each. According to its SSEF report, the ruby is unheated and received a "pigeon blood" color grade, consistent with the finest rubies from the legendary Mogok mines in Burma (Myanmar).

“A natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality can be considered very rare and exceptional,” the report reads.

The industry has long regarded Burmese rubies as the standard for high-quality rubies.

However, the record-setting price of the ruby ring comes amid a seemingly faltering market for rubies from the region, which are currently banned from the U.S. due to Treasury Department sanctions in 2021 barring U.S. companies from trading with select entities related to Myanmar’s mining ministry.

A Burmese ruby, the 25.59-carat pigeon’s blood “Sunrise Ruby,” once held the record for the world’s highest priced ruby, selling for $30.3 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2016 to Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten.

 Related stories will be right here … 

This past May, the jewel reappeared on day one of Christie’s multi-day Geneva auction of the late philanthropist’s jewels. It sold for more than 13 million Swiss francs ($14.6 million), less than half of its original purchase price.

While many speculated that the pricing was affected by controversy surrounding the Horten family, another ruby seemed to shine regardless.

At the second Horten sale two days after the first, Harry Winston’s “The Star of Africa” was up for sale. Set in a pendant, the 54.95-carat ruby from Mozambique went for $3 million, well above its high estimate.

Barely one month later in June, at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York, the Mozambican ruby “Estrela de Fura 55.22” sold for $34.8 million ($630,288 per carat), topping its pre-sale estimate of $30 million, and clearing the world record for a ruby or any colored gemstone at auction.

Prominent Mozambican ruby miners are also indicating a rebound in the market.

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