Record Sale of Magnificent Pigeon’s Blood Ruby and Diamond Necklace

A magnificent Burmese Pigeon’s Blood ruby necklace was sold for a total price (including buyers premium) of more than US$ 13 million at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on 2 June 2015 in Hong Kong. The achieved price makes it the most expensive ruby necklace ever sold at an auction.

The outstanding necklace comprises of 48 unheated Burmese Pigeon’s Blood rubies from Mogok and Mong Hsu (majority from Mogok including the 7.02ct ruby). All rubies are certified by GRS (and 2 other laboratories) with sizes ranging from 1.09 up to 7.02 carats with a total ruby weight of approximately 120 carats (48 GRS Reports, as published in the catalogue).





The detailed break down of the ruby sizes is as follows:

> 1ct> 2ct> 3ct> 4ct> 5ct> 6ct
11 pcs.20 pcs.12 pcs.2 pcs.2 pcs.1 pc.

By allocating US$ 2 million towards the cost for the mounting including the diamonds, the paid carat prices (US$) per size have been calculated by us as follows (estimation, based on GRS market research opinion):

> 1ct> 2ct> 3ct> 4ct> 5ct> 6ct

The sale of this special necklace was the highlight of a very successful auction, which yielded a total sales-result of more than US$ 117 million. Thus, it is also the most valuable jewellery auction ever held in Asia.

A closer look to the surrounding factors shows that magnificent jewellery pieces successfully sold at auction comprising rubies need first:

  • Beauty and value of the finished jewelry piece
  • The appropriate color grade of the gemstones, such as the pigeon’s blood label (first introduced by GRS for gemstone reports, see http://www.pigeonsblood.com)
  • At least 3 different lab reports
  • Branded jewelry (additional heritage if possible)
  • Prestigious origin of gemstones
  • Unheated nature of the gemstones
  • Presentation in catalogues and sufficient international viewing system

All these factors in combination with a proper and highly professional auction-environment, where sales are competitive and transparent, can be considered an interesting opportunity for gemstone evaluation for the public (see our analysis above). Buyer’s premium of approximately 25% should not be forgotten in the equation.