6ct Unheated Sri Lankan Ruby

Celebrating July’s Birthstone

Ruby has long been associated with the Sanskrit word Ratnarāj, meaning “king of gems”, and has been admired and sought after by royalty, celebrities and collectors throughout history

When Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1947, she was gifted a ruby necklace by the people of Burma. In 1973, Garrard & Co. set 96 fine rubies from the necklace into an iconic tiara. She named this diadem the Burmese Ruby Tiara to honor the generosity of the people of Burma (now Myanmar)

In the 1920’s and 30’s, star rubies and sapphires were very popular amongst the Hollywood elite. The “Star of Burma”, an 83ct cabochon cut star ruby, had a starring role in three 1937 films: Hollywood HotelManhattan Merry-Go-Round and Vogues of 1938, where it was set in a deco bracelet by Trabert & Hoeffer (Mauboussin). These appearances played their part in making it as famous as the actresses it adorned
 Elizabeth Taylor’s vast jewelry collection is known throughout the world, and ruby was one of her favorite gemstones. While on vacation in the Côte d’Azur in 1957, her husband Mike Todd gifted her with a breathtaking ruby and diamond necklace, earring and bracelet set from Cartier. Todd died tragically in a plane crash just one year later. In 1968, her then-husband Richard Burton gave her an 8.25ct ruby and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels for Christmas. Her jewelry collection was sent to auction at Christie’s in 2011, where the 8.25ct ruby and diamond ring sold for $4.22 million, and the ruby and diamond necklace sold for $3.7 million

This short video captures Elizabeth Taylor’s excitement the moment she received
 the Cartier ruby and diamond suite from her husband, Mike Todd, in 1957
6ct Unheated Burmese Ruby

Notable Ruby Auction Results:

  • 2012 – 32.08ct “Hope Ruby” sold for $6.74 million
  • 2012 – 173.09ct total weight, JAR Ruby Flower Brooch sold for $4.5 million
  • 2014 – 8.62ct “Graff Ruby” sold for $8.6 million
  • 2015 – 25.59ct “Sunrise Ruby” sold for $30.3 million
  • 2015 – 15.04ct “Crimson Flame Ruby” sold for $18.3 million
  • 2015 – 48=120ct Etcetera Ruby & Diamond Necklace (rubies ranging from 1-7ct) sold for $13 million
  • 2016 – 15.99ct “Jubilee Ruby” sold for $14.1 million
  • 2016 – 10.05ct “Ratnaraj Ruby” sold for $10.2 million
  • 2017 – 15.03ct Unnamed Ruby sold for $13 million
  • 2019 – 11.20ct “Dupont Ruby” sold for $8.95 million
7ct Unheated Burmese Ruby with Crystals on Matrix

Photo by J. Scovil

The mines in Mogok are still officially closed, so production continues to be minimal, and therefore, prices have remained strong. In contrast, production at the Monte Puez ruby deposit in Mozambique is still producing considerable supply, meeting much of the global demand. Smaller deposits in Vietnam, Tanzania, Madagascar and Afghanistan have had limited production, particularly in recent months, due to health concerns 

179ct Burmese Ruby Crystal

Mineral collectors and museums value crystals like this specimen from Burma, making it worth more as a mineral specimen than the faceted gems it would yield
5ct Unheated Ruby with Crystal on Matrix

Featured in Gems & Gemology: Special Geographic Origin Issue
Winter 2019, Page 461
Photo by R. Weldon