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  • Catalogue Essay

    The Immortal Mogok Crimson

    An old myth in India describes the gifts made by the elements worthy of the deity: the air offered the rainbow, the fire a meteor, the sea a pearl and the earth a ruby. The rainbow formed a halo about the god, the meteor served as a lamp, the pearl was worn upon the heart, and the ruby decorated the forehead. Ruby is not only known as the ‘King of Gemstones (ratnaraj)’, but also the ‘Gemstone of Kings’.
    A powerful symbol of the sun, ruby is believed to contain the bloodline of humanity. Its glowing radiance suggests an inextinguishable flame within the stone that cannot be hidden. In Hindu folklore, the fire within the ruby burns so hot, it would cause a liquid to boil. The Greeks likewise believed if ruby were carved and impressed on wax, it would cause the wax to melt.

    One of the main reason ruby has been revered in many cultures throughout history is its vibrant feisty red colour, in particular Burmese rubies from the Mogok Tract, coveted by rulers for their ‘pigeon’s blood red’ hue. Rubies from Mogok possess the unrivalled crimson red body colour together with a red fluorescence, both induced by the element chromium. In addition, the beauty of Mogok ruby is further augmented by the multitude of tiny, fine needles, commonly known as ‘silk’, which cause light to diffract and scattered evenly throughout the facets and crystal, affording the gemstone an extraordinary fire and a desirable saturated colour. Such a colour is referred to as ‘pigeon’s blood red’ in the trade.

    The term ‘pigeon’s blood red’ in today’s market is synonymous with the most exceptional Burmese rubies. Many seasoned gem collectors seek out only the best ‘pigeon’s blood red’ rubies available, easily taking years, if not decades, to locate one fine gem. Leading international gemmological laboratories, on the other hand, are extremely stringent with this ‘title of honour’ and set their standards to a limited hue span. It is very uncommon for a ruby to receive ‘pigeon’s blood red’ grading from two or more major laboratories.

    It is also worth noting that Mogok are yielding fewer and fewer rubies in recent decades, even more scarce are rubies from the region that are of impressive size like this one on offer. Any unheated Burmese Mogok ruby in the market today that weighs over 5 carats after cutting and polishing is considered a true rarity. A ruby from the same pedigree weighing over a stunning 10 carats is without doubt, a collector’s gem. Such exceptional specimens command unfathomable per carat prices at international auctions in the past five years, only surpassed by coloured diamonds.

    This current ring is set with a ruby weighing an impressive 10.02 carats, certified to be a classic example of specimen from the Mogok Tract of Burma. The ruby exhibits a red hue so captivating and intense that it is granted ‘pigeon’s blood red’ by both AGL and SSEF, two of the most respected gemmological laboratories in the world. This blood red ruby, glowing and blazing from within, is definitely an exemplary embodiment of passion, power, and prosperity.

648

An Exceptional and Rare Ruby and Diamond Ring

Size 6

Estimate
HK$23,000,000 - 28,000,000 
$2,900,000-3,500,000

Contact Specialist
Terry Chu
Head of Jewellery, Asia, Senior Director
+852 2318 2038

Jewels and Jadeite

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018