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The Sunrise Ruby


(The Sunrise Ruby Ring by Cartier; image courtesy of Sotheby’s)

I am like a ruby held up to the sunrise.

Is it still a stone, or a world

made of redness? It has no resistance

to sunlight. The ruby and the sunrise are one.

  • Rumi (excerpt from Sunrise Ruby)


Sufi poet of the 13th Century, Jalaludin Rumi (1207-1273) wrote the poem Sunrise Ruby, after which this famous gem has also been named. The Sunrise Ruby weighs 25.59-carats (5.1 g) and is pigeon blood red in colour. Burmese in origin, discovered in Mogok, this gem is considered one of the most rare of its kind. The stone is mounted on a ring in the middle of two heptagon-shaped diamonds that weigh 2.47 carats (0.49 g) and 2.70 carats (0.54 g) respectively and the design credited to Cartier. The ruby ring was auctioned off to an anonymous Swiss buyer at a Sotheby’s auction for US$30.42 million on the 12th of May 2015  in Geneva, Switzerland. It is quite the record for a ruby as rare as this one; in comparison to diamonds.


The Liberty Bell Ruby

Liberty Bell Ruby

(Jim Stein, owner of Stuart Kingston Jewelers, poses with a custom case holding the Liberty Ruby; image courtesy of The Daily Mail.)

This ruby in particular is carved from a single stone in the shape of the Liberty Bell (an iconic representation of American Independence) the carved bell is bordered by 50 white diamonds (standing for the 50 different states) and above the bell is an eagle (another symbol of the United States). It is the largest mined ruby of its size and weighs close to 4.5 pounds. It was discovered in the mines of Africa. The ruby was carved by Alfonso de Vivanco for the Kazanjian Brothers jewellery company. Unfortunately, the Liberty Bell Ruby was stolen among other valuables worth more than $4 million while it was being held at the Stuart Kingston jewellery store in Wilmington, Delaware. The thieves were arrested later on but the whereabouts of the Liberty Bell Ruby remain unknown to this day.


The Rosser Reeves Ruby

(L to R: The Ruby on display at the Smithsonian; image courtesy of Hyper Physics.edu and Rosser Reeves the advertising mogul; image courtesy of Branding Strategy Insider.)

This particular gem is of Sri Lankan origin and is named after Rosser Reeves who was an American advertising executive and a pioneer in his field, he published a book called Reality in Advertising which is taught at Harvard Business School. It is said that this stone weighing 138.7 carats (27.74 g) was carried around by the advertising mogul as a lucky stone. The Rosser Reeves Ruby is a six-rayed (well-defined) star ruby; one of the finest of its kind with vivid colour and clarity. Rosser Reeves donated this gem to the Smithsonian in 1965 where it has been put on display since then.


DeLong Star Ruby


(The Delong Star Ruby in the American Museum of Natural History in New York; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

This gem is a 100.32-carat (20.064 g) oval cabochon (shaped and polished but not faceted) star ruby. A ruby of Burmese origin, it is named after the Manhattan dowager Edith Haggin DeLong who donated the ruby to the American Museum of Natural History, New York in 1937. In 1964, a heist took place wherein the DeLong Star Ruby among other precious jewels was stolen, it was exchanged for a ransom and has been returned to the custody of the museum.