Pigeon Blood Ruby Sold for Record $8.6M

Graff RubyLondon: The 8.62-carat cushion-shaped ‘Graff Ruby’ ring from the Collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis soared beyond pre-sale estimates and set a world auction record for a ruby at $8,600,410, as well as a record price per carat for a ruby at $997,727.

The ring was bought by London Laurence Graff at Sotheby’s Geneva sale of Magnificent & Noble Jewels. The gemstone, which had a pre-sale estimate of $6.8 million-$9.0 million, is ‘pigeon blood’ red color from Mogok in Burma, Sotheby’s commented.

Shortly after the sale, Laurence Graff said: “It was a natural thing to do. Graff deals in the finest gemstones in the world and this is the finest ruby in the world. We are very proud to have it in our possession for the second time.”

A 29.62-carat oval Burmese ruby set the previous record when it was sold for $7,338,462 ($247,754 per carat) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in April, while a 6.04-carat cushion-cut Burmese ruby was sold for $3,331,380 ($551,553 per carat) at Christie’s Hong Kong in May 2012.

Another highlight of the evening was a natural pearl and diamond necklace that was likely once the property of Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Comprising 111 pearls, the necklace sold for $3,426,669, way beyond the pre-sale estimate of $800,000-$1,400,000.

“This result also demonstrates once again the extraordinary appeal of natural pearls which often sold for many multiples of their estimates today,” Sotheby’s said.

There were also exceptional prices for fine diamonds, colored gemstones and jewels, which brought the sale’s total to $95,272,767, with 90 percent of lots sold.

At the heart of the auction was a collection of rare gemstones and jewels from the Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection. All 16 lots were sold and generated a total of $27,861,799 compared with a pre-sale estimate of $18.5 million-$28.3 million.

In addition to the Graff Ruby, the collection included a rare 27.54-carat step-cut Kashmir sapphire with a velvety blue color that was bought for $5,984,474, a world auction record for a Kashmir sapphire. It had a pre-sale estimate of $3.0 million-$6.0 million.

The previous record set by a Kashmir sapphire weighed 28.18 carats and sold for $5,093,000 ($180,731 per carat) at Sotheby’s in New York last April.

There was also a pair of sapphire, ruby and diamond earrings from leading art jeweler JAR which sold for $578,205, in the mid-range of its pre-sale estimate of $400,000-$700,000.