Royal ruby ring could bring $9 million at Sotheby's
An exceptional ruby and diamond ring with royal provenance will lead a Sotheby's jewelry sale in Geneva next month.
The Queen Maria-José Ruby Ring – featuring an 8.48 carat Burmese 'pigeon’s blood' ruby – is expected to sell for CHF 5.75-8.6 million (US$6-9 million), which could make it the second-most valuable ruby ever sold at auction.
The ring was formerly owned by Princess Maria-José of Belgium, who later became the last Queen of Italy when she marries Crown Prince Umberto II of Italy in 1930.The ring was originally a wedding gift, presented to the new Queen by the Italian bibliophile Tammaro de Marinis.
“A man of great taste, Tammaro chose the perfect ring for this brilliant princess, married to the heir to the throne of Italy, for the royal character of the exquisite “pigeon blood” ruby within its diamond frame," commented the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in their report on the ring.
"Any Burmese ruby in excess of 5 carats is considered very rare even today; thus, in the nineteenth century, one such as this – being over 8 carats and such a fine colour – would have been held as truly exceptional.”
“The “Queen Maria-José Ruby Ring” is a magnificent jewel of exceptional quality with truly outstanding royal provenance," said David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division. "Its “pigeon’s blood” colour is sumptuous - the perfect jewel for a queen - and the jewel’s history, coming from the jewellery collection of Queen Maria-José, of course adds enormously to its romantic appeal.”
The Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale takes place in Geneva on November 11.
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