Less than a year after being found in one of the company's mines in Mozambique by Canadian firm Fura Gems, the stone was put up for auction in New York in June, as reported by CNN.
Sotheby's referred to the gem as "exceedingly rare" and "the most valuable and important" ruby to have hit the market before the auction. Its Portuguese name, Estrela de Fura, translates to "Star of Fura" in Mozambique.
Rubies are regarded as among the world's rarest and most valuable gemstones, despite the fact that colored diamonds, in particular, dominate record gemstone sales. The Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat stone discovered in Myanmar that cost $30.3 million in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015, broke the previous auction record for a ruby.
The rough stone from which Estrela de Fura was carved grabbed headlines when it was discovered by miners in July of last year. It was the biggest gem-quality ruby ever discovered, weighing 101 carats at its discovery, almost twice as much as it does now.
Before being sold, a gemstone must be polished, cut into a smaller, symmetrical shape, and cleaned to eliminate impurities and enhance its color and brightness. The Swiss Gemmological Institute's analysis, according to Sotheby's, stated that this had "resulted in vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections."
In a statement, Fura Gems’ founder and CEO, Dev Shetty, said stones of such size and quality are “almost unheard of.”
“From the in-depth analysis and study of the stone, through the process of cutting and polishing, we have worked with the utmost care and respect for the ruby, recognizing its importance and stature,” he added.
Despite the fact that Mozambique was where rubies were originally discovered many years ago, a big business didn't start to develop there until 2009 when a sizable deposit of the stones was discovered close to the northern city of Montepuez. One of the most successful nations in the world now for mining rubies is Mozambique.
Among the stones found in the area was Estrela de Fura. It was characterized as having "outstanding clarity" by Sotheby's with a "pigeon's blood" color, which is more frequently connected to highly prized Burmese rubies.