World Famous Rubies
by Yuman Hussain
There are some amazing rubies which are world famous for their beauty, color, cut and clarity. A stone renowned for passion and power it has been remained favorite with royalty and dynasties since antiquity. The beauty of this stone had been extolled in several books, travelogues and memoirs of travelers, poets and writers.
Summary: There are some amazing rubies which are world famous for their beauty, color, cut and clarity. A stone renowned for passion and power it has been remained favorite with royalty and dynasties since antiquity. The beauty of this stone had been extolled in several books, travelogues and memoirs of travelers, poets and writers.
Do you know that rubies are most sought after jewel right from antiquity? The royalty and wealthy classes had exquisite collection of rubies. There are many references to these magnificent stones in Bible and ancient Indian Sanskrit texts. The rarity and red brilliant color with fiery flashes have attracted passion and love .It was the symbol of power for the mighty rulers. Burma has continued to be famous for producing world class rubies since antiquity. In ancient and medieval period the Mogok mines were controlled by Burmese kings therefore all stones were part of royal treasury. A giant ruby of 77 ct was discovered by Burma Ruby Mines Ltd in 1899.King Mindon Min sold one stone weighing more than 36 ct to western traders in exchange of cash. However not much is known about the existence of these stones except mention in the literature.
During the reign of King Thebaw in 1878- 1885 a beautiful stone weighing 100 ct was discovered at Mogok an area famous for many magnificent rubies. This stone was presented to the King by the governor of the ruby mining district as a mark of respect. King Thebaw believed to have stunning Burmese rubies collection. There can be no doubt that all large stones were the property of the state. Jean Baptiste Tavernier a 17th century traveler had written extensively about some of the largest rubies in his famous book ‘Travels’. However in those times every red stone was considered ruby. So it is likely that some of these stones could be spinel. It is interesting to know about some of the exceptional rubies who guided the fate of rulers and dynasties world over.
Stunning Star Rubies
Rosser Reeves Star Ruby
It is a finest and largest 138.7 carat star ruby placed at Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C. This brilliant stone was found at Sri Lankan mines. Named after Mr Rosser Reeves who donated it this stone is clear almost translucent with six rayed star. In 1966 it was insured for $150,000.
De Long star Ruby
It is a 100 carat oval cabochon displayed at American Museum of Natural History New York. Martin Ehrmann sold this piece of beauty to Edith Haggin De Long for $21,400.
Brilliant Burmese Rubies
Named after Major General Sir Herbert Benjamin it was 167 carat Burmese ruby donated by John Ruskin in 1887 to British Museum of Natural History.
A 25 carat (43carat uncut) brilliant stone was found at the end of World War I hence the name. This magnificent ruby was mined in 1919 from Mogok mines. It had an irregular hexagonal shape with a flat apex. The color was amazing perfect red as deep as pigeon’s blood. A beautiful stone with unblemished clarity it was purchased by Indian trader in Burma and cut in Bombay into exquisite flawless appearance. This stone was bought and sold several times over the years. However present location of this stone is unknown.
Anne of Brittany Ruby
A beautiful but irregular 105 carat stone is displayed at Louvre Paris.
Maung Lin Ruby
It was one of the greatest Burmese Rubies discovered in Momeit in King Mindon Min’s rule in 1853-78. A stunning 400 carat stone was unsurpassed in beauty. The historical records say that the owner of the stone broke the stone into two gifting one to the King Mindon Min and sent the other half secretly to Calcutta. When King came to know about it he ordered its return. The second stone was purchased at an enormous price and returned to Burma. These stones were again recut with one stone with 98 ct named Nga Mauk and the other stone weighed 74 ct came to be known as Kallahpyan. These were taken to England when British annexed Upper Burma.
Alan Caplan’s Ruby or the Mogok Ruby
It is really impossible to find out about the finest ruby ever present. However this stone holds the distinction of being finest with a highest per carat price. It is 15.97ct untreated Burma beauty auctioned by Sotheby in 1986 .It was reportedly purchased by Graff and later sold for a whopping sum to Sultan of Brunei.
J.N Forster Rubies
The two most important Burmese rubies in Europe were a red cushion shape weighing 37 ct and drop shaped 47 ct stones. James N. Forster of London later recut these stones into somewhat smaller pieces. These stones traveled from Burma to England under tight military security and it is widely believed that Burmese King under duress allowed there shipment.
Nga Boh (‘Dragon Lord’) Ruby
It is a 44 ct uncut ruby found at Bawbadan, and 20 ct, when cut. It was one of the finest of its size ever found .It was presented to King Tharawadi. This stone went missing during British conquest of King Thebaw’s palace.
Chhatrapati Manik Ruby
A magnificent Burmese oval cabocarbon with deep red color, this stone has an oldest history dating back to almost 2000 years to the reign of Vikramaditya King of Ujjain. He proclaimed himself as Chatrapati a ‘Supreme King’ and upon advise of his astrologers put the stone in the centre of his crown.
A representation of the gem said to be the Chhatrapati Manik Ruby. At left is a view of the gem mounted in a diamond tiara.This magnificent ruby then was passed to Traders and other rulers from the descendents of the King Vikramaditya. The ruler of Golconda Tara Shah loved the stone so much that he engraved his name on it and ordered a book of poetry to be written extolling its virtues. Later when Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb defeated Tana Shah he ordered to remove his name and put his name instead. Aurangzeb later presented this stone to the bankers of Murshidabad in recognition of their services to Mughal Empire. Later this stone was sold in England and mounted on a diamond tiara.
Another fine Mogok ruby crystal it is displayed at Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Weighing almost 196.1 ct it has flawless surface.
One of the largest rubies was discovered at Thailand. A giant brilliant 150 ct stone was publicly displayed during gem fairs.
Several brilliant pieces of ruby stones are displayed in some of the world’s leading museums. The British Museum has on display a hexagonal prism of 10×7″ weighing 34lb from North Carolina. Another specimen is 12x9x4 cm weighing 105 lb. It is a single crystal piece.
Rubies have continued to hold fascination of the people. A rare stone it is amazing to know about some of the brilliant pieces which have emerged in the history of mankind generating feelings such as passion, love, envy, greed and love. Ruby will remain have special place of honor among the lovers of finest jewelry and gemstones.