Most Expensive Colored Gemstones: Ruby

Most Expensive Colored Gemstones: Ruby

A select few colored gemstones can reach the heights of prestige and expense usually reserved for diamonds, but ruby is one of them. The “King of Gemstones” is renowned the world over for its bold, fiery color and exquisite rarity.

Although found in a number of locales around the globe, ruby is one of many gemstones that has special ties to a certain source. Burma is historically the land of rubies, and Burmese stones of the highest caliber fetch the highest prices. Rubies from East Africa, Madagascar, Vietnam, and Thailand can be of equally fine quality, but the Burmese pedigree will always command the greatest deference among connoisseurs.

Ruby’s incredible color is due to the element chromium. Many rubies from Burma also display fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light (e.g., the sun), which adds a pronounced glow to the best pigeon blood (a popular trade term) red stones.

The world’s most exclusive jewelry houses feature rubies in their designs. Ruby jewels by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Graff are coveted by noble and notable collectors and often appear on the red carpet, adorning stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren, and Naomi Watts.

The single most expensive ruby ever sold achieved $30.42 million at Sotheby’s Geneva during their Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction in May 2015. The Sunrise Ruby, as it is was nicknamed, is an exceptional stone from Mogok, Burma. As rare as its coloration and intensity are, the Sunrise’s size of 25.59cts make it extremely unique. An anonymous buyer claimed this outstanding ruby for over $1.1 million per carat, crowning it as the most expensive non-diamond gemstone ever sold.

New York Loan Company understands gemstones. Our experts are available to evaluate your fine gems and jewelry in the heart of Manhattan’s Diamond District, whether you are interested in a collateral loan, buying, or selling. We have been committed to providing the highest level of service in a completely confidential, professional environment since 1938. Call us at 212-997-5626 or email us at for more information.

Most Expensive Colored Gemstones: Ruby
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Most Expensive Colored Gemstones: Ruby
Interesting facts about the most expensive colored gemstone: Ruby. Learn the origin of the "King of Gemstones".
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New York Loan Company
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