Christie’s Hong Kong: ‘Crimson Flame’ Ruby Sells for $18.3 Million
Sets Record Price Per Carat for Ruby Sold at Auction
The most important “pigeon’s blood red” ruby ever to be offered at auction in Asia sold for $18,382,385 at Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels on Dec. 1, shattering its pre-auction high estimate of $15.6 million and capturing the world auction record price per carat for a ruby sold at auction (approximately $1.2 million per carat).

Called the Crimson Flame, the ruby is of Burmese (Myanmar) origin, a key source for the highest-quality rubies in the world, with a weight of approximately 15.04 carats and the coveted “pigeon’s blood red” color. Its origin, impressive weight and unenhanced vivid red hue make it an exceptionally rare jewel.

The cushion-shaped stone is set within a cushion-shaped diamond surround, mounted onto a gold band pavé-set almost entirely with circular-cut diamonds.

The second top lot was a superb Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby and diamond necklace (right) from the Mogok’s Fiery Red suite by Faidee, which sold for $7,202,576. The necklace is designed as a line of 32 cushion-shaped rubies, weighing approximately 1.04 carats–5.05 carats, alternating with cushion-shaped diamonds, mounted in platinum and yellow gold.

A pair of Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby and diamond ear pendants from the suite (below left) was the seventh top lot, selling for $3,137,191. The earrings are designed as a line of cushion-shaped rubies, weighing approximately 2.49 carats, 2.51 carats, 5.03 carats and 5.08 carats, spaced by a cushion-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 1.50 carats and 1.52 carats, mounted in platinum and yellow gold.

“It’s the year of the ruby at Christie’s Hong Kong,” says Vickie Sek, deputy chairman and director of the jewelry department at Christie’s Asia. “Following the record-breaking sale of a ruby necklace in June, the Crimson Flame has established a world auction record price per carat of $1.2 million. Totaling $97 million, this sale brings our Hong Kong jewelry auctions total up to $215 million, the highest annual result ever achieved for a category in Asia.”

An exquisite pear-shaped fancy intense pink diamond (right) was the third top lot, selling for $6,258,826. Weighing approximately 7.53 carats, the diamond is a Type IIa stone with VS2 clarity. Type IIa diamonds a rare subgroup of diamonds that includes less than 2 percent of the world’s diamond production. Stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency. The diamond is set in a yellow and white gold ring, flanked by half-moon-shaped colorless diamonds.

The fourth top lot was an exclusive double-strand jadeite bead and diamond necklace (left), which sold for $7,565,557, shattering its pre-auction high estimate of $4,926,168. Composed of 60 jadeite beads, the necklace measures approximately 11.7 mm–14.5 mm and has a detachable circular diamond clasp mounted in platinum.

The Afghan Emerald (right), meanwhile, sold for $2,276,408, establishing a world record price for an Afghan emerald at auction. The exceptional rectangular-shaped stone not only has a beautifully saturated green color combined with flawless clarity, but its 10.11-carat weight makes it even more remarkable considering emeralds originating from Afghan mines tend to be relatively small. It’s mounted in a white gold ring.

Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels achieved a total of $96,904,062, selling 80 percent by lot and 83 percent by value.
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