Whether you are born in July, are a collector of fine gemstones, or a jewelry devotee, the Mogok Ruby should be part of your lexicon. Fine Ruby is sometimes known as the “king of gems”. Ruby from this fabled area of Myanmar (Burma) is highly sought after. Some of the premier stones in collections and museums are from this special Mogok region.
One such stone is the “MOGOK RUBY” weighing 15.97 carats. This beautiful cushion cut gem sold at Sotheby’s auction house of New York for $3,630,000.00 in 1988. It was purchased by Graff of London and later resold to the Sultan of Brunei as an engagement ring for his wife. The incredible color and size make this gem ruby a superior collectible. What would it be worth in today’s money? No doubt a lot more. Especially now that it has an interesting provenance…
The famous DeLong Star Ruby has a fascinating history. It was discovered In the Mogok mines of Myanmar (Burma) in the early part of the 20th century. The gem was owned by Martin Leo Ehrmann in the 1930’s. John’s father, an avid mineral collector, met Mr. Ehrmann during his lifetime. The star ruby, weighing over 100 carats and second only in size to the Rosser Reeves Star Ruby, was then sold in 1937 to Edith Hagging DeLong. The elegant six prong star with its asterism is an optical phenomenon. At the time the sale price of the gems was a mere $21,400.00! Wonderfully, Mrs. DeLong donated the incredible star ruby to the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. It was displayed in the J.P. Morgan Hall of Gems alongside the “Star of India,” a light blue star sapphire. These two incredible star corundums were very popular with the public.
A real life drama unfolded in 1964 when the DeLong Star Ruby along with several other valuable gems were stolen from the museum! The robbery was labeled the “Jewel Heist of the Century” by the media. Jack Rowland Murphy, who had two accomplices, climbed in through a window after learning that the alarm system was not operational. At the time the gems were valued at approximately $400,000.00. Most of the jewels were recovered after ransom and all the thieves were eventually arrested.
The Carmen Lucia Ruby is indeed a spectacular 23.10 carat ruby. The ruby is in a ring of platinum with two trillion diamond accent stones. Businessman and philanthropist Peter Buck donated the ruby ring to the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, part of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology. This ruby too was mined from the Mogok region of Myanmar (Burma) around the 1930’s.
The Carmen Lucia is a cushion cut and is exceptionally transparent. The vivid red reflections from the well cut proportions of the gem are amazing. A Burmese ruby of this size and clarity is very rare. Many who have seen this gem have commented on its breathless beauty.
Carmen Lucia Buck was born in Brazil and was a great collector of fine gemstone jewelry. She had learned of the fine ruby from jeweler Frank Capiello in Connecticut. At the time she was fighting cancer and had hoped to obtain the ruby in a celebration of recovery. Alas it was not to be as she passed away March 2003. After hearing from Mr. Capiello about his wife’s wish for acquiring the ruby, Mr. Buck bought the ruby for it to be displayed in her memory at the Smithsonian. Now the Carmen Lucia Ruby is in good company along with the Hope Diamond and many other unbelievable gemstone rarities. The ruby is not only of great monetary value … it also represents the abiding love of a man for a woman.
The Mogok region of Myanmar has produced some of the world’s largest and most important rubies for all time.