Sunrise Ruby

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The Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby[1][2][3] is the world's most expensive ruby, most expensive coloured gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond.[2][3][4] Originally mined in Myanmar, its current name is derived from a poem of the same name, written by the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi.[5]


It is a 25.59-carat (5.1 g) Burmese "pigeon blood" ruby, mounted by Cartier and set between heptagonal diamonds weighing 2.47 carats (0.49 g) and 2.70 carats (0.54 g).[4][6][7]

It is considered among the rarest of all gemstones.[6][4] The Swiss Gemmological Institute has described it as "a unique treasure of nature" and praised its "well-proportioned cut, highly attractive colour and fine purity".[5] The Gubelin Gem Lab in Zürich stated that "such a combination of characteristics is very rare in Burmese rubies of this size."[5] The global chairman of Sotheby's International Jewellery Division, David Bennett, when interviewed on the ruby, stated "during his 40 years in the industry, he has never before seen a ruby of this calibre".[5] In a Gubelin grading report it notes, "ruby is of Burmese origin" and that "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."[8] Gemstones of the same quality typically form in only small crystals, making this one an "extremely rare" gem.[8]

Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction[edit]

The Sunrise Ruby was part of the annual Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale by Sotheby's Geneva, with sales at a total of US$160.9 million.[7] Other auction items included "The Historic Pink", a pink diamond mounted a ring with a classic non-modified cushion cut.

Price and ownership[edit]

The ruby sold for a record US$30.42 million on 12 May 2015 at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva, Switzerland to an anonymous buyer.[3][6] It was originally estimated to be worth between US$12 and 18 million prior to auction[1][9] and bidding started at 11 million Swiss francs or US$11.8 million. Also known as lot 502 of the evening, bidding lasted approximately 7 minutes with buyers via phone as the main source of bidding.[10] The Sunrise Ruby greatly surpassed the previous record holder, the Graff ruby ring, which sold for US$8.6 million in November 2014.[4][11] Its record-setting price has been attributed to the rapid increase in prices for coloured gemstones and public auctions, with figures often "rivaling the performance of the much-sought-after colored diamonds".[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ginanne Brownell Mitic (13 May 2015). "At Jewelry Auctions, Color Is King". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Ruby sets record, pink diamond and pearls shine at Sotheby's sale". Reuters. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "World's most expensive coloured gem sells for $30m". BBC News Online. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Burmese ruby sells for record $US30 million". The Australian. 13 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Åse Anderson (12 May 2015). "Most expensive ruby world record could be broken at Sotheby's Geneva this May". The Jewellery Editor. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b c O'Connor, Tamison (13 May 2015). "Sotheby's Geneva sale breaks auction world records". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Platinum ring with rare Burmese ruby sells for $30.3 million at auction". US News. The Associated Press. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  8. ^ a b "'Sunrise Ruby' Poised to Break Price Record at Sotheby's Geneva; Gem Should Fetch $12M to $18M". 14 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  9. ^ Corinne Gretler (13 May 2015). "Cartier Ruby Sets Record in $161 Million Sotheby's Jewelry Sale". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ "'Sunrise Ruby' Obliterates Two Records at Sotheby's Geneva With a Hammer Price of $30.4 Million". 13 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  11. ^ Sananda Sahoo (13 May 2015). "$30m Sunrise Ruby steals the show for Sotheby's". The National. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  12. ^ Lareef Samad (12 May 2015). "Sunrise Ruby Outperforms Diamond Lots at Sotheby's Geneva May 12, 2015, Jewelry Auctions". Retrieved 19 May 2015.