In July 2022, Fura Gems discovered a 101-carat ruby at its mine in Mozambique — the largest gem-quality ruby ever unearthed. The mining company named it the Estrela de Fura, meaning “the star of Fura,” and had it cut and polished into an exceptional 55.22-carat gem that’s going under the hammer at Sotheby’s on June 8. Part of the Magnificent Jewels sale in New York, it will be the world’s largest ruby to appear at auction.
Dev Shetty, founder and CEO of Fura Gems, explains the advantages of taking this route to sale.
Why did you choose to cut the Estrela de Fura instead of selling it as a rough?
The Estrela de Fura is a once-in-a-generation discovery. A gem-quality ruby of this size, quality and clarity has never been discovered. Finding [any] ruby of this size is extremely rare. We initially considered selling the rough ruby last year, with interest from some of our clients. However, we eventually decided, after consulting trade experts, that this ruby was so remarkable that we should cut it and realize its full potential.
The Estrela de Fura has helped us not only market this particular ruby, but demonstrate to the world the quality of rubies that Fura mines produce. Since we started selling Fura Mozambique rubies in the past 18 months, their quality has received positive feedback from across the market. Traditionally, Mozambican rubies are known for their deep or dark red color, with less fluorescence.
However, Fura’s rubies are a more open color, very high in fluorescence, resembling the famous Mogok rubies. We feel the Estrela de Fura has made an immediate impact on the quality of rubies that Fura mines can produce. Therefore, we thought it wise to make the Estrela de Fura an anchor product.
Why did you choose the auction route, as opposed to selling it through private means?
We wanted the world to see this unique ruby. Selling it in private was an option, but we would not have been able to highlight the wider quality of Mozambican rubies if we had. We wanted to build demand and aspiration not only for Fura Mozambique rubies, but for rubies from Mozambique as a whole.
Additionally, selling the Estrela de Fura via the Sotheby’s auction platform supports a transparent process
with disclosure requirements.
Will this gem challenge the dominance of Burmese rubies?
The Estrela de Fura will help show the world that Mozambique rubies can produce, in good quantity, high-quality gemstones. We feel confident…that Mozambique rubies are capable of competing with the world’s best, including [Myanmar’s (Burma’s)] Mogok rubies.
Image: The Estrela de Fura ruby. (Sotheby’s)