Items which contain rubies or jadeite originating in Burma (Myanmar) may not
be imported into the U.S. As a convenience to our bidders, we have marked
these lots with Y. Please be advised that a purchaser¹s inability to import
any such item into the U.S. or any other country shall not constitute
grounds for non-payment or cancellation of the sale.
With respect to items that contain any other types of gemstones originating
in Burma (e.g., sapphires), such items may be imported into the U.S.,
provided that the gemstones have been mounted or incorporated into jewellery
outside of Burma and provided that the setting is not of a temporary nature
(e.g., a string).
When a ruby exceeds five carats, and is perfect, it is sold for whatever price is asked for it.'
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India, Vol II (1676) pp.78-79
Named from the Latin word for its hue, rubens, meaning red, the gemstone ruby epitomises the boldest of colours, and has come to represent the values of desire, passion and power. For centuries, the ruby has been regarded as one of the most valuable gemstones. In ancient Sanskrit, the ruby is called 'Ratnaraj' or 'King of Precious Stones.' In the eleventh century, the Persian sage al-Biruni was only conveying the popular wisdom of the time when he wrote that the ruby has "the first place in colour, beauty and rank" among all gems.
The source of the world's finest rubies is Burma or present-day Myanmar, whose pure-red rubies are regarded as precious treasure. For more than 800 years, the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma has remained the classical source for the finest quality rubies. So admirable are the quality elements exhibited by these rubies that they have emerged as the standard by which others are judged. Those over 5 carats, and in particular, those gems that have not undergone any thermal enhancement are extremely rare. This is largely due to the fact that the famous Mogok mines are yielding fewer and fewer stones of an important size. In addition, the market has also seen a diminishing number of antique Burmese ruby stones and jewellery appearing for sale.
Lot XXXX is 6.04-carat ruby and an exemplary Burmese specimen, showing an extraordinary degree of transparency. This cushion-shaped stone displays the coveted 'Pigeon's Blood' red typical of old Burmese material. According to Richard W. Hughes, this well-saturated hue "results from a mixture of the slightly bluish red body colour and the purer red fluorescent emission. It is this red fluorescence which is the key, for it tends to cover up the dark areas of the stone. The best Burmese stones actually glow red and appear as though Mother Nature brushed a broad swath of fluorescent red paint across the face of the stone". Indeed, these Burmese crystals fluoresce strongly under ultraviolet light. In addition, the pure white metamorphic marbles of the Mogok ruby mining districts are iron poor. Its geological conditions are ideal for the formation of ruby crystals that are exceptionally vivid red. The absence of the diluting effects of iron, coupled with fluorescence, gives the Burma ruby a vivid saturation. The minute inclusions of these three stones found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the reputed deposit of Mogok. All three gems have been spared of exposure to heat treatment and its colour and clarity are completely natural. Natural Burmese rubies of this size, colour and high clarity are extraordinary and represent a great rarity in the market today.
Christie's established the world record price per carat for any ruby sold at auction in December 2011 in New York when an oval-shaped Burmese ruby of 8.24 carats from the collection of Elizabeth Taylor sold for US$4,226,500 or US$512,924 per carat. This achievement exceeds a record previously held by an 8.62-carat cushion-shaped ruby, dubbed 'The Graff Ruby' which fetched US$3,637,480 or US$421,981 per carat at Christie's St. Moritz in February 2006.
Richard W Hughes. Ruby and Sapphire. RWH Publishing. Colorado. 1997.
Post Lot Text
END OF SALE