Great Ruby Rings of the World, Part 1

By Yaĝé Enigmus

The allure of ruby has always made this gem one of the world’s most fascinating treasures. The burning red stone has appeared in countless notable artifact collections and today remains a popular choice for custom gemstone rings. Over the last century, a number of bespoke gemstone rings featuring rubies have shocked the world with their beauty. These rings feature stunning red corundum stones and truly exemplify the beauty of ruby.

One of the most well known ruby rings is the Puertas Ruby ring once owned by Elizabeth Taylor. This breathtaking ruby halo ring was given to Taylor by her husband Richard Burton in 1968 as a Christmas gift. Burton had long promised Taylor that he would buy her “the most perfect ruby in the world.” He may have indeed fulfilled that promise when he purchased the Puertas Ruby from Van Cleef & Arpels. This deep red oval shaped 8.24 carat unheated Burmese ruby was prong set in a yellow gold ring surrounded by a halo of eight brilliant cut diamonds. Among Taylor’s most prized pieces of jewelry, this ring was frequently worn by the actress and can even be seen on her finger in the 1975 film Ash Wednesday. The Puertas Ruby ring eventually was sold along with many of Taylor’s other custom jewelry pieces on December 13th, 2011 as part of a Christie’s auction, where the final price was a whopping $4,226,500, making this ruby ring one of the most expensive gemstone rings in the world.

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Elizabeth Taylor’s famous Puertas Ruby ring. Image: Christie’s


A lesser known but highly prized ruby ring was given to the Smithsonian Institution by the Slattery family. This gorgeous ruby ring features a 3.89 carat rounded cushion shaped Thai ruby surrounded with a halo of four octagonal diamonds and eight round diamonds mounted in an 18K white gold setting. The ruby was originally mined in Tingsongkhla, Thailand during the 1970s and is a top quality example of Thai ruby, exhibiting high clarity and dark juicy red colour. The Slattery family donated the ring to the Smithsonian in 1980, where it has been on display ever since.

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An absolutely phenomenal ruby ring which currently sits in the Smithsonian Institution features the Carmen Lucia Ruby as its centre stone. The Carmen Lucia Ruby was unearthed in the Mogok mining district of Burma sometime in the 1930s and possesses high clarity for its size. This magnificent blazingly bright ruby is prong set into a platinum ring and accented with two triangle shaped diamonds. The impressive 23.10 carat pigeon blood red ruby was named after the wife of philanthropist Dr. Peter Buck, who purchased the ring after the death of his wife in 2003, knowing that she was aware of the ruby’s existence before her passing and that she had been fond of it. Buck later gave the ruby ring to the Smithsonian Institution in honour of Lucia where it has resided since 2004.

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See more great ruby rings of the world in the second half of this series. Read more: Great Ruby Rings of the World, Part 2

Here are more of our favourite ruby rings from the Skyjems catalog:


© Yaĝé Enigmus a.k.a. Kevin Back

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