‘Ratnaraj’ Ruby, Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Costar at Christie’s Hong Kong Sale

The 10.05-carat “Ratnaraj” ruby and a flawless, 4.29-carat, fancy vivid blue diamond each sold for more than $10 million and were the costars of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong last week.

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The stunning Ratnaraj, which means “king of precious stones” in ancient Sanskrit, was one of the most significant pigeon’s blood rubies ever to be offered at a Christie’s auction. The oval gem, which was sourced in the famous Mogok Valley in Burma, sold for $10.2 million, or just over $1 million per carat.

The result was the third-highest price per carat ever paid for a ruby. The record holder remains the “Crimson Flame,” a 15.04-carat ruby that sold at Christie’s Hong Kong in December of 2015 for $18.3 million ($1.21 million per carat). The 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a ruby at auction — $30.3 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May of 2015.

Ratnaraj’s selling price was in the midrange of the pre-sale estimate of $8.8 million to $12.5 million. Had it sold at the high end of the range, it would have competed with Crimson Flame for the price-per-carat record.

“Top-quality Burmese rubies are rare, especially ones that are more than 5 carats in size,” explained Christie’s Hong Kong jewelry specialist May Lim. “In recent years we’ve been lucky enough to find a number of amazing rubies for our sales.”

The Ratnaraj is the centerpiece of a ring designed by Faidee. The setting places the oval ruby within a radiating surround of oval-shaped diamonds. Smaller, round diamonds adorn the band. The pigeon’s blood classification represents the most desirable, highly saturated color for a ruby.

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Yielding an impressive $2.7 million per carat was a marquise-cut, 4.29-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless diamond. The selling price of $11.8 million made the blue diamond the top lot of Christie’s Hong Kong auction. The pre-sale estimate had been $9.7 million to $12.3 million.

The impressive blue gem is set in a platinum ring by Moussaieff and is flanked by triangular-shaped diamonds. The center diamond earned a purity rating of Type IIb, a rare category representing less than 0.5% of all diamonds.

Fancy vivid blue diamonds continue to yield the highest prices at auction.

“The Blue Moon of Josephine” established a new record for the highest price paid per carat for any gemstone when the hammer went down at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2015. The internally flawless, 12.03-carat, cushion-shaped, fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $48.5 million, or $4.03 million per carat.

In May 2016, “The Oppenheimer Blue” became the priciest gem ever auctioned when it sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva. The fancy vivid blue, step-cut, rectangular-shaped diamond weighed 14.62 carats and earned a clarity rating of VVS1. Its price per carat was $3.96 million.

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie’s.

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