The Sunrise Ruby is the world's most expensive ruby, most expensive coloured gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. It is named after a poem of the same name, written by the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi.
Sunrise Ruby Wikipedia
It is a 25.59-carat (5.1 g) Burmese "pigeon blood" ruby mounted by Cartier and set between heptagon-shaped diamonds weighing 2.47 carats (0.49 g) and 2.70 carats (0.54 g).
It is considered among the rarest of all gemstones. The Swiss Gemmological Institute has described it as "a unique treasure of nature" and praised its "well-proportioned cut, highly attractive colour and fine purity". The Gubelin Gem Lab in Zürich stated that "such a combination of characteristics is very rare in Burmese rubies of this size." The global chairman of Sotheby's International Jewellery Division, David Bennett, when interviewed on the ruby, stated "during his 40 years in the industry, he has never before seen a ruby of this calibre". In a Gubelin grading report it notes, "ruby is of Burmese origin" and that "its vivid but saturated color, poetically referred to as pigeon blood red, is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for the finest rubies of Mogok." Gemstones of the same quality typically form in only small crystals making this one an "extremely rare" gem.
The Sunrise Ruby was part of the annual Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale by Sotheby's Geneva with sales at a total of US$160.9 million. Other auction items included "The Historic Pink", a pink diamond mounted a ring with a classic non-modified cushion cut. The Historic Pink is believed to have belonged to the niece of French Emperor Napoleon, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, according to the Gemological Institute of America. Another former owner was the reclusive American heiress and philanthropist Huguette Clark. The Historic Pink sold for US$15.9 million.
The ruby sold for a record US$30.42 million in 12 May 2015 at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva, Switzerland to an anonymous buyer. It was originally estimated to be worth between US$12 and 18 million prior to auction and bidding started at 11 million Swiss francs or US$11.8 million. Also known as lot 502 of the evening, bidding lasted approximately 7 minutes with buyers via phone as the main source of bidding. The Sunrise Ruby greatly surpassed the previous record holder, the Graff ruby ring, which sold for US$8.6 million in November 2014. Its record-setting price has been attributed to the rapid increase in prices for coloured gemstones and public auctions and often "rivaling the performance of the much-sought-after colored diamonds".