Jewelry aficionados are expecting a wild ride today at Sotheby’s New York, where two off-the-charts gemstones headline its Magnificent Jewels auction, starting at 10 a.m. EDT.
All eyes will be on Estrela de FURA (Lot 59) and The Eternal Pink (Lot 62). The first is a ruby that has been described as a “once-in-a-century” gem, and the second is a pink diamond that’s “in a stratosphere of its own,” according to the auction house.
Although Sotheby’s didn’t set a pre-auction estimate for Estrela de FURA, jewelry insiders believe the cushion-cut, 55.22-carat gem has a chance to break two auction records that have stood since 2015: The largest sum ever paid for a ruby and the highest price-per-carat ever paid for a ruby.
The records are currently held by the 25.59-carat, cushion-cut Sunrise Ruby, which fetched $30.3 million, or $1.18 million per carat at Sotheby’s Geneva. Experts believe the Estrela de FURA — the largest gem-quality ruby to ever appear at auction — should be able to snatch the first record, but may be hard pressed to capture the second.
Estrela de Fura was cut from a 101-carat rough stone discovered in Mozambique by Fura Gems in September of 2022. At the time, Fura touted the stone as an exceptional treasure of nature for its fluorescence, outstanding clarity and vivid red hue, known as “pigeon’s blood” — a color traditionally associated only with Burmese rubies.
Three lots later, bids for the 10.57-carat Eternal Pink are expected to eclipse $35 million.
Sourced at De Beers’ Damtshaa mine in Botswana in 2019, the 23.78-carat rough diamond that yielded The Eternal Pink was fashioned into an exquisite cushion cut by a team of artisans at Diacore. The cutters worked on the stone for “six intense months” in an effort to bring out the diamond’s electric “bubblegum” color.
The Eternal Pink is rated internally flawless with a color grade of “Fancy Vivid,” the highest possible for a colored diamond. Sotheby’s claims The Eternal Pink is the most vivid purplish-pink diamond ever to come to market.
“This color is the most beautiful and concentrated shade of pink in diamonds that I have ever seen,” commented Quig Bruning, Sotheby’s head of jewelry for the Americas.
The Eternal Pink will be vying for the price-per-carat record currently held by the 11.15-carat “Williamson Pink Star,” which earned $57.7 million, or $5.2 million per-carat, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2022. That selling price was more than 2.5 times the auction house’s pre-sale high estimate of $21 million.
The “CTF Pink Star” still holds the record for any gem sold at auction. The 59.6-carat pink diamond sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $71.2 million in 2017.
Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby’s.