“The gemstone will set a new benchmark for the quality of African rubies and endorses the Montepuez deposit in Mozambique as the world’s most significant deposit presently in development,” the company said in a statement. “At 340 square kilometers, Montepuez is the largest ruby mining concession in private hands in the world today, and has already proven to be one of the most productive of all ruby mining concessions.”
Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle said the ruby is “possibly one of the finest rubies to have been discovered in recent generations”. Gemfields own 75% of Montepuez, with local partner, Mwiriti, owning the remainder.
Gemfields said that given the significance of the find, the ruby has been appraised in advance of Gemfields’ December ruby auction in Singapore by the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland.
“Although difficult to judge in the rough state, the transparency and color of the crystal indicate an important gemstone might be cut from this piece of rough,” says Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director of Gübelin.
Following the appraisal, jewelry expert and historian, Joanna Hardy, examined the gemstone. She said a ruby gemstone of such quality, size and color is rare. “It is not surprising that record-breaking prices are being achieved today as awareness and appreciation grows of just how rare these crystals are. The knowledge that the earth will not produce crystals of this outstanding quality and beauty very often, if ever again, has instilled in them the value that reflects their rarity.”