When It Comes to Rubies, Is Mozambique the New Star? – by Nazanin Lankarani (New York Times – July 2, 2023)


The $34.8 million auction price for a gem discovered in the East African country has the jewelry industry buzzing.

Rubies are like caviar: Their origin is an important part of their market value. Until a month ago, anyone interested in buying a big ruby knew with certainty that Myanmar, formerly called Burma, produced the most valuable stones.

For eight centuries the gems in a deep red shade known as “pigeon’s blood” found in the legendary Mogok mines had reigned supreme, attracting prices far higher than rubies from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam or East African countries such as Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya.

Then in June, the 55.22-carat Estrela de Fura, mined in Mozambique, sold for $34.8 million at Sotheby’s in New York — what the auction house called “a world auction record for a ruby and any colored gemstone.” The stone, whose Portuguese name means Star of Fura, actually was one of three exceptional rubies auctioned in the past two months.

One, from Myanmar, had been the world’s highest priced ruby, but sold in May for far less than its estimate. (The industry continues to use the term Burmese for rubies from the country.) The other — nearly equal in size to Estrela and also from Mozambique — went for a 10th of Estrela’s price, but an amount in line with previous sales from the country.

For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/02/fashion/jewelry-rubies-mozambique.html