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Oct 19, 2023

The Ruby –Nature’s Ever-Burning Flame

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In July of 2022, a mine in Mozambique produced a startling 101-carat ruby.  The stone was cut into a spectacular 55-carat gem bearing the name “Estrela de Fura” (“Star of Fura”), which sold in June 2023 for an incredible $34.8 million at Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale.

Since ancient times, rubies have been valued by many cultures to be the most precious of stones.  Ancient Hindus believed offering rubies to Krishna would make them emperors in their next lives.  Warriors in Burma (now Myanmar) carried rubies to make them unbeatable in battle; medieval Europeans considered them tokens of wealth, health, and wisdom.

Our fascination with this intensely colored stone, glowing in the color of love, passion, and fury, dates at least as far back as 2500 BCE.  Stone Age tools have been discovered at an ancient mining site in Myanmar.  Records indicate that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BCE.  During the Age of Exploration, while Europeans initially ventured into Burma for spices, they found the fascinating ruby to be an even greater treasure to carry back to the rich and powerful in their homelands.

Rubies continue to captivate us in modern times.  Many of us grew up dreaming of Dorothy Gale’s magical ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. Queen Elizabeth was gifted a collection of rubies from the people of Myanmar on the occasion of her wedding.  She later had these crafted into a glorious tiara.  According to Hollywood legend, Marlene Dietrich had only one piece of jewelry that she kept throughout her life, a marvelous Van Cleef & Arpels ruby cuff bracelet that she treasured both onscreen and off.  This bracelet later found its way into the amazing collection of Anne Eisenhower (granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower) and then sold at auction for $4.5 million dollars in June of 2023.

With its fiery beauty and otherworldly glow, it’s no wonder that the ruby has been the most prized of all gemstones for much of human history.  Is there a special ruby in your life?  Or would you like to add the glow of rubies to your collection?  If so, be sure to explore our selection of remarkable rubies from our Estate Jewelry Collection.

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