The ruby has long been revered as the “King of Precious Stones.” In ancient Sanskrit, it is called “Ratnaraj,” which means “king of gems.” Rubies are prized for their rich, fiery color, alluring depth, and healing properties. They have been worn by warriors for protection and by royalty to demonstrate wealth.

In recent years, collectors and luxury houses alike have begun looking beyond the more traditional sources of rubies, such as Burma and Thailand, to embrace the extraordinary crystals now being found in Africa, most notably in Mozambique. In 2017, FURA Gems began its journey in Mozambique and today holds nine ruby mining licenses in the country.

In July 2022, FURA miners in Montepuez made a remarkable discovery: a 101-carat rough ruby that was dubbed the “Estrela de FURA,” or “Star of FURA” in Portuguese. The ruby was stunningly vivid, with a deep, pigeon’s blood red hue. It was clear and transparent, with no flaws.

The Estrela de FURA quickly garnered the attention of the world. It was unveiled in Dubai in September 2022, and it was expected to fetch a price of $30 million USD. However, the auction surpassed all expectations, and the Estrela de FURA sold for a record-breaking $34.8 million USD at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in New York on June 8, 2023.

The sale of the Estrela de FURA was a major coup for FURA Gems. It helped to put Mozambique on the map as a major source for top-quality rubies. The company has invested heavily in infrastructure and in nearby communities to ensure that mining in Mozambique is done ethically and responsibly. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Estrela de FURA will be allocated toward setting up the FURA Training Academy, with the goal of promoting access to education and technical training in the fields of mining, engineering, carpentry, and agriculture.

The Estrela de FURA is a truly remarkable gem, and its sale is a testament to the beauty and value of rubies from Mozambique. It is a fitting symbol of the country’s growing importance in the global gemstone market.

The Estrela de FURA shares the spotlight with another record-breaking gem that was sold at the Sotheby’s auction: the “Eternal Pink.” This 10.57-carat jewel in a vivid rosy tone also raked in another $34.8 million USD, effectively tying with the iconic ruby.

Overall, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction held the record as the auction house’s highest-grossing New Yorkbased event, earning $95.9 million USD in revenue and surpassing April 2015’s total by almost double the amount.

The auction was a success for both FURA Gems and Sotheby’s. It helped to raise awareness of Mozambique as a source for top-quality rubies, and it also generated a significant amount of revenue for the two companies. The sale of the Estrela de FURA is a major milestone in the history of rubies, and it is sure to be remembered for years to come.


The name ruby comes from the Latin “Rubrum,” meaning red. The ruby, along with the sapphire, is in the corundum group. Rubies are made of corundum with chromium present as an impurity. The brightest red – and thus most valuable – rubies are usually from Burma. Dark and violet red rubies come principally from Thailand. Small quantities of rubies are also found in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, and Tanzania. Rubies have long been cherished among the world’s most beautiful and valuable gems. The hardest mineral after the diamond, the ruby’s brittleness requires care when cutting.

The quality of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, and clarity, which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red, called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is usually pinker than garnet, although some rhodolite garnets have a similar pinkish hue to most rubies.