In an extraordinary auction held in New York, the largest and most dazzling ruby ever known to the market has fetched a staggering $34.8 million (£28 million). Sotheby’s, renowned for showcasing exquisite jewels, labeled this 55.22-carat gem as a “once-in-a-lifetime” masterpiece.

Originating from a mine in Mozambique, where vast ruby deposits can be found, this extraordinary jewel started its journey as a rough stone weighing a remarkable 101 carats. Polished rubies of such magnitude are incredibly rare, making this gem all the more extraordinary.

Dubbed “Estrela de Fura,” meaning “Star of Fura” in Portuguese, this remarkable gem received its name from the very mine that unearthed its brilliance. Quig Bruning, the head of Sotheby’s Jewellery in New York, expressed his enchantment upon seeing the stone, noting its unprecedented size, captivating color, and exceptional optical transparency. It is no surprise that the Estrela de Fura now joins the ranks of the world’s most legendary gemstones, earning its record-breaking price.

Amidst the splendor of this gem lies a tale of both riches and challenges. Fura’s Mozambique ruby mine is situated in the Montepeuz district of Cabo Delgado, a region plagued by an ongoing Islamist militant insurgency. Cabo Delgado, although abundant in untapped mineral resources, remains one of Mozambique’s poorest areas. The insurgency, which began in 2017, is said to have been fueled by frustrations stemming from a lack of local job opportunities.

In response to these challenges, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Estrela de Fura will be allocated by Fura to establish an academy. This noble initiative aims to provide technical training in mining, engineering, carpentry, and agriculture, creating new opportunities for the local community. Beyond its dazzling allure, this extraordinary gem will contribute to the empowerment and development of the region, leaving a lasting impact that goes far beyond its monetary value.

As the Estrela de Fura finds its new home, it carries with it the hopes and dreams of an entire community, shining as a symbol of both beauty and resilience.

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