The Carmen Lucia Ruby
Many factors distinguish the Carmen Lucia Ruby from other jewels of its kind. It was mined from the Mogok, Burma, a place famed for the beautiful gems it unearths. Its color is known as “pigeon’s blood,” a pure saturated red coveted in rubies. The jewel possesses remarkably few inclusions, allowing a greater display of color and play of light. Deep crimson rubies of great clarity are rare, and high quality stones over 20 carats are rarer still. At 23.1 carats, the Carmen Lucia Ruby is the size of a walnut.
One of the more remarkable aspects of the Carmen Lucia Ruby is its story. Though Ms. Carmen Buck collected and adored fine jewelry, she never possessed her namesake jewel. She learned of the ruby through a gemstone dealer, but died before she could buy it. Her husband, co-founder of the founder of the Subway sandwich chain, donated a large sum of money to the National Gem Collection in order for the ruby to be purchased and displayed under his wife’s name. In this way, the public can know and admire Carmen Lucia’s love of beauty and generosity.
The Richard Burton Ruby
Elizabeth Taylor named Mike Todd, Richard Burton and jewelry as her three greatest loves. Over the years, the actress acquired an astounding number of pieces, some she purchased, and others received as gifts. Her husband Richard in particular loved to buy her jewels, including an 8.24 carat oval cut ruby ring.
Though he had promised his wife a ruby, he insisted that the color be perfect. His search took four years, with Ms. Taylor declaring the piece one of the best colored stones she ever saw. The Richard Burton Ruby, like much of Ms. Taylor’s jewels, grew famous for more than its beauty and star association when it broke auction records. Sold at $4,226,500, the stone achieved the highest price per carat for a ruby.
The DeLong Star Ruby
The DeLong Star Ruby is a hefty jewel, weighing 100.32 carats in its cut state. It contains an uncommon set of inclusions that manifest in the form of a six pointed star of light, with an en cabochon cut to highlight this effect. The ruby was mined from Burma in the 1930s before it was sold to Edith Haggin DeLong. She went on to donate the jewel in 1937 to the American Museum of Natural History, where it remains to this day, despite the efforts of Jack Roland Murphy and others.
The Delong Star Ruby, among others famous jewels, were victims of a heist. On the night of October 29, 1964, Murphy and his accomplices snuck into the museum through an unguarded window and absconded with 22 gemstones. Unlike other stones, which were found at a bus depot, the Delong Star Ruby was ransomed back into safety.