Fura Gems Unveils 101-Carat Gem-Quality Ruby, a 'Once in a Century' Discovery

Fura Gems just unveiled "Estrela de Fura," a rough 101-carat, gem-quality ruby that's being described as a "once in a century" discovery. The company's chief executive believes the rough gem, which was unearthed in Mozambique, could eventually yield a faceted stone weighing 50 carats or more.

If that's true and the quality of the stone is on par with the 25.59-carat, cushion-cut “Sunrise Ruby” that sold at auction in 2015 for $30.4 million, Estrela de Fura (Portuguese for "Star of Fura") may be worth $50 million or more in its final polished form.

Estrela de Fura will be looking to unseat the Sunrise Ruby, which currently holds two auction records: The largest sum ever paid for a ruby and the highest price-per-carat ever paid for a ruby ($1.19 million).

The international press got its first look at the pigeon-blood-red Estrela de Fura during yesterday's press conference at the lavish 68-story Almas Tower in Dubai.

Dev Shetty, Fura Gems' chief executive, told thenationalnews.com how he received a call from the company's master sorter, Balbir, on July 24. He had unlocked a storage box and spotted something large, red and shiny. The sorter told Shetty, who was in Bangkok at the time, "I think we found something amazing."

Dr. A. Peretti, CEO of GRS GemResearch Swisslab, confirmed the sorter's hunch.

"This ruby shows characteristics normally encountered only in the classical Mogok mines of Burma," he told khaleejtimes.com. "It possesses a fluorescence and vivid red color, and even excels in its excellent clarity. Estrela de Fura provides the potential to achieve the new world record of being the finest gem-quality ruby ever found with a size of over 50 carats once it goes through the final cutting process."

For the next 45 days, Fura Gems, which is billing Estrela de Fura as "the world's largest gem-quality ruby ever mined," will be setting up appointments for potential buyers to view and assess the stone at the Dubai Diamond Exchange. Shetty told thenationalnews.com that the potential buyer could represent a cutting house, jewelry brand, collector or even a museum. A private auction is set to take place in October.

The UAE-based Fura Gems currently mines rubies in Mozambique, emeralds in Colombia and sapphires in both Australia and Madagascar.

Credits: Estrela de Fura image courtesy of Fura Gems. Screen shot closeup via Twitter.com / Furagems.