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‘Sunrise Ruby’ Poised To Break Price Record At Sotheby's Geneva; Gem Should Fetch $12m To $18m

The 25.59-carat, pigeon-blood-red “Sunrise Ruby” is expected to crush an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a ruby when it fetches between $12 million and $18 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva next month.

The hammer price on The Sunrise Ruby should easily eclipse Laurence Graff's $8.6 million winning bid last November for the current record holder — the Graff Ruby.

The Graff Ruby is expected to retain its record for the highest price-per-carat ever paid at auction for a ruby. That record of $997,727 per carat will only be in jeopardy if The Sunrise Ruby far exceeds Sotheby’s estimates and sells for more than $25.6 million. Graff has called his treasure “the finest ruby in the world.”

Sotheby’s described The Sunrise Ruby — Lot 502 of the May 12 sale — as a superb and extremely rare ruby and diamond ring by Cartier. The cushion-shaped ruby is set between two shield-shaped white diamonds weighing 2.47 carats and 2.70 carats, respectively.

A grading report by Gübelin states that the ruby is of Burmese origin and exhibits a well proportioned cutting style.

Notes the report, “Its vivid but saturated color, poetically referred to as pigeon blood red, is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for the finest rubies of Mogok.”

It goes on to say that rubies of this quality are generally found in small crystals. “Based on our records,” the report continues, “we can conclude that a natural ruby from Burma of this size and color is extremely rare. Thus, the described gemstone with its combination of outstanding characteristics can be considered a unique treasure of nature.”

Other top lots at the upcoming Geneva sale include the following:

• “Ivresse” Diamond Necklace. Cascading with round, pear-shaped and marquise-shaped diamonds, this extraordinary necklace by Cartier has a total weight of 190.77 carats and an estimated price of $6 million to $10 million. The three largest diamonds in the piece — 10.25, 12.04 and 20.38 carats — all are D in color.

• The Historic Pink Diamond. A fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats is the focal point of this ring accented with two cushion-cut white diamonds, each weighing a little over a carat. The center diamond was once the property of heiress and philanthropist Huguette Clark and weighed 9 carats before it was repolished. The ring has an estimated price range of $14 million to $18 million.