Sotheby’s sets new records with US$34.8 million sales of Estrela de Fury ruby and eternal pink diamond

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Picture source: Sotheby's

10th June 2023 – (New York) Sotheby’s made history on Thursday in New York with the sale of two precious gemstones for US$34.8 million each, setting records for both. The 55.22-carat Estrela de Fury from Mozambique, the largest ruby to have been sold at a public auction, achieved a hammer price of US$30 million after just 90 seconds of bidding. Moments later, a diamond known as “Eternal Pink,” which is actually a vivid purplish pink, took just two minutes to also hammer at US$30 million.

Both gems were guaranteed with irrevocable bids from a third party ensuring they would sell for a minimum price. Bidding began at US$24 million for the Estrela de Fury and at US$26 million for the pink diamond. The ruby, which was unmounted for the sale, was carved from a 101-carat stone unearthed less than a year ago in a mine owned by Dubai-based Fura Gems. The result was a record for the sale of a ruby and any colored gemstone at auction, Sotheby’s said. The price just exceeded a previous record of US$30.3 million for the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat stone originally from Myanmar, that sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2015.

“With its unprecedented size, piercing color and rare degree of optical transparency and clarity, it truly deserved the record-breaking price today,” said Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby’s jewelry, Americas. “Rubies of this importance and magnitude are exceedingly rare,” Sotheby’s added.

The Eternal Pink gem achieved a world record for a “fancy purplish-pink diamond.” The stone featured a cushion mixed cut and was set as a size six-and-a-half ring. It was flanked by trapezoid-shaped diamonds. The estimate on the diamond, which Bruning, who was auctioneer for the sale, described as having “unparalleled saturation and amazing color,” was US$3.3 million per carat, the highest placed on any prior gem up for auction. Pink diamonds are among the rarest on Earth.

The Eternal Pink, described by Bruning as “breathtaking and extraordinary in nature,” was cut and polished over six months by South Africa-based Diacore from a 23.78-carat diamond mined by De Beers in Botswana in 2019. Sotheby’s didn’t disclose the consignor’s identity.

Some of the sale proceeds will fund a new Fura training academy in various fields for local residents in Mozambique, according to Sotheby’s.

The sale of the two gems was part of a larger Sotheby’s auction of “magnificent jewels” that attracted active bidding, with many pieces selling for levels above presale expectations. Examples include a Cartier sapphire-and-diamond ring from the collection of Constance Prosser Mellon, which sold for nearly US$3.3 million, above a US$2.5 million high estimate, and a Paraíba tourmaline and diamond ring that sold for US$241,300, above a US$80,000 high estimate.