Record-breaking $120 million rough ruby unveiled in Dubai

The gem weighs 2.8 kilograms and has been named Burj Alhamal

Rough ruby worth $120 million unveiled in Dubai

Rough ruby worth $120 million unveiled in Dubai
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A huge 8,400-carat rough ruby weighing 2.8 kilograms has made its debut in Dubai.

Called Burj Alhamal, the uncut stone, which weighs almost the same as a brick, was unveiled by British actor Tamer Hassan at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre on Friday.

The gem has a variegated purplish-red hue and was mined in Winza, Tanzania. It has an estimated value of $120 million.

Never before seen in public, the stone is currently on display at DIFC and will be offered at auction shortly after Ramadan. Described by Patrick Pilati, managing director of SJ Gold & Diamond, as the company's “crown jewel”, Burj Alhamal is expected to attract strong interest given the GCC's growing appetite for investing in high value, one-of-a-kind gems and jewellery pieces.

The would-be buyer of the stone will have to decide what to do with it once bought. With more people looking to invest in portable assets in the wake of the pandemic, as opposed to more traditional static investments such as land or property, this might dictate if the stone will be cut up into smaller stones and sold off, or kept in its large, raw state.

The arrival of the stone in Dubai solidifies the region's status as a leader in the gemstone market. In recent months, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have chosen Dubai as the launch pad for global touring exhibitions of important watches and jewellery. Sotheby's presented one of the rarest diamonds in the world, the 15.10-carat fancy De Beers Cullinan Blue, in Dubai ahead of its sale in Hong Kong. Christie's, meanwhile, presented The Rock, a 228.31-carat pear-shaped gem that is the largest white diamond to ever come to auction.

Owned by SJ Gold & Diamond, Burj Alhamal is only one of the gems in the company's Callisto collection, a selection of rough and cut stones that includes rubies and white and yellow diamonds. The collection includes 12 rough rubies that together weigh an astonishing 236,000 carats.

So important are the rubies that they have been given their own logo. The motif for the Callisto collection features 12 red astral points to represent the stones, which are linked by golden threads. Even the name of the collection is a nod to the beauty of the stones, with the title taken from Greek mythology. Callisto was the nymph and a companion of the goddess Artemis.

Updated: June 01, 2023, 9:48 AM