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15.99-carat 'Jubilee Ruby' Sets U.s. Record For The Most Expensive Colored Gemstone Ever Sold At Auction

The 15.99-carat "Jubilee Ruby" lived up to its pre-sale hype last Wednesday when it smashed a record for the most expensive colored gemstone ever sold at a U.S. auction. The fiery top lot of Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in New York fetched an impressive $14.16 million.


Billed as the most important ruby to appear at a U.S. auction in 25 years, the oval-shaped Burmese ruby is framed by round white diamonds in an 18-karat yellow gold and platinum mounting by Verdura.

The ruby was mined in the legendary Mogok Valley of Burma, which is famous for yielding world-class rubies that boast the most desirable pigeon's blood color. The extraordinary, saturated red color is attributed to the high chromium content in the ground. The element also gives the gems of that region a natural fluorescence that makes the stone “come alive” and appear internally illuminated.

“Top quality Burmese rubies of over 15 carats are an absolute rarity in the world of colored gemstones, and the record price of $18.3 million achieved for the 15.04-carat ‘Crimson Red Ruby’ at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2015 exemplified the voracious appetite of collectors for these gems,” commented Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry.

While the Jubilee Ruby set a new U.S. record, the $14.16 million selling price is barely half the amount achieved by the 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby, which established a new world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a ruby when it yielded $30.3 million at Sotheby's Geneva in May of 2015.


The other top lots at Christie’s April 20 sale included a 10.07-carat cushion-cut fancy intense purple-pink diamond ring and a perfect D color, flawless round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 40.43 carats. The purple-pink diamond ring, which carried a pre-sale estimate of $8 million to $12 million, sold for $8.84 million, while the flawless diamond fetched $7.22 million, also on the low-end of the pre-sale estimate of $7 million to $10 million.