A ruby sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday for $34.8 million, setting a new record price at auction for the precious stone.
The 55.22-carat gemstone named Estrela de Fura was already the largest ruby ever to go under the hammer.
It was cut from a 101-carat rough stone discovered in July last year at the Montepeuz ruby mine in Mozambique operated by the Fura Gems company.
The stone was the star attraction of a sale offering 100 different pieces of jewellery.
Offered at a starting price of $21 million, it sold for $30 million plus fees and commissions to an anonymous telephone buyer.
The previous record belonged to a 25.59-carat Burmese ruby, which sold for a total price of $30.33 million by Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2015.
“This is really a true wonder of nature," said Quig Bruning, head of jewelry for Sotheby’s in the Americas.
“Any ruby that comes out of the ground that ends up over five carats as a polished ruby is something that’s rare. Ten carats is really rare. Twenty carats is almost unheard of.
“Any ruby really over 50 carats is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he added.
Sotheby’s also sold “The Eternal Pink," a rare 10.57-carat diamond from a mine in Botswana, for the same price of $34.8 million.
That set a record per carat of $3.29 million for a stone of its colour.
The most expensive pink diamond sold to date was the $71.2 million paid for the 59.60-carat “Pink Star" in Hong Kong in 2017.