From diamonds and rubies to rare signets, auction houses acquire some of the  largest-ever gemstones in the world. Here we take a look at the magnificent features and stories behind the gemstones.

The Pink Star Diamond

Mined by De Beers in South Africa in 1999, the Pink Star Diamond is one of the greatest gemstone treasures in the world.. The rare pink colour of this diamond makes it remarkably unique. Weighing 132.5ct before it was cut,it took De Beers two years to cut and polish the magnificent stone due to its incredible size. After being cut, the Pink Star was deemed the largest internally flawless diamond by the GIA, weighing 59.60cts. It was sold at Southeby’s auction house in 2017 for a record $71.2 million.

The Pink Star Diamond on a hand

The Oppenheimer Blue

The Oppenheimer Blue is a 14.62ct emerald cut vivid blue diamond. The stone was unearthed in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century and was named after its owner, and former chairman of De Beers diamond company, Philip Oppenheimer. He had it cut and set into a ring for his wife. It is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction and was sold at Christies auction in Geneva in 2016 for approximately $58 million after a 20-minute bidding war.

The Oppenheimer Blue displayed on a model

The Winston Pink Legacy

The Pink Legacy was sold at a Christies auction to  Harry Winston in 2018, for approximately $50.7 million. This set a new highest record for price per carat for any pink diamond sold at auction. It has since been renamed after its owner as  the Winston Pink Legacy. The fancy vivid pink diamond was cut in 1920 and set in an 18.96ct wearable rose gold and platinum ring.

The Winston Pink Legacy in a workshop

The Rare Ruby

The Rare Ruby is also known as the Cartier Sunrise Ruby Ring, and the desirable 25.59ct ruby is deeply saturated with  a rich and rare ‘pigeon-blood red’ colour. It is believed that rubies of this colour are so rare due to a lack of optimum geographical conditions for them to form, making it an incredibly special gemstone. Set between two diamonds marked by Cartier, the Rare Ruby was sold in Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2014 for $30.4 million.

The Rare Ruby Presented in a ring being worn

The Hope Spinel

Before it went to auction, the Hope Spinel was owned by a banker named Henry Philip who had a large collection of precious jewels. The Red Spinel was a particularly special piece in his collection, as they are desirable gemstones which are often mistaken for rubies due to their similar chemical structure. The Hope Spinel was set with rose-cut diamond claws and framed with round brilliant diamonds. The beautiful 50.12ct stone was sold at Bonhams auction in 2015 for around $1.5million.

The famous Hope Spinel gemstone


Thank you for taking the time to read about some of the largest ever gemstones sold at auction.

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