To say the Jubilee Ruby is worthy of a king would be no exaggeration. Until the middle of the 19th 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, it is the legendary mines of Burma which 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.
Whereas emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds regularly appear on the market in important sizes, large rubies of Burmese origin are exceedingly rare. To find an almost circular cut unheated gem weighing more than fifteen carats with near perfect crystallization is the dream of every gemstone connoisseur.
Set in a distinctive gold and diamond mounting by the legendary firm, Verdura, the Jubilee Ruby is the most important ruby of its caliber to be offered for sale at auction in the United States for over twenty five years and Christie’s is proud to present it on our 250th year anniversary.
E. Streeter, Precious stones and gems, 1898