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3 4 Schiaparelli - Robe papillon © Roger-Viollet

Impressive Burmese Mogok ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ ruby and diamond ring. Estimate HK$7,800,000 – 9,800,000 (US$1,000,000 – 1,260,000). Photo Tiancheng International

Centring on a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 5.02 carats, flanked by a heart-shaped ruby weighing 2.12 and 2.03 carats respectively, decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white and yellow gold. Ring size: 6

Accompanied by Gübelin report numbered 14066076/1 to 3, dated 12 June 2014, stating that the 5.02, 2.12 and 2.03 carat rubies are natural, Red colour, of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; along with an appendix to report 14066076/1 to 3, stating that ‘Besides their well-matched appearance, they display high transparency and a richly saturated colour. The colour variety of the two heart-shaped rubies may be called « Pigeon’s Blood Red » in the trade…a set of three natural, non-enhanced rubies from Burma, endowed with such intrinsic qualities is rare.’; report numbered 13036128, dated 28 March 2013, stating that the 5.02 carat ruby is natural, Red colour, of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; along with an information sheet to report 13036128, stating that the ruby is from Mogok, Burma; report numbered 12066025, dated 6 June 2012, stating that the 2.12 carat ruby is natural, Red colour, of Burmese origin,, with no indications of heating. This colour variety of ruby may also be called « Pigeon Blood Red » in the trade; along with a note to report no.12066025, stating that ‘Burmese rubies, especially the ones from Mogok, have since sustained the strongest renown….the natural ruby of 2.12 carat …possesses the properties of Burmese rubies from the areas described above »; report numbered 11076027, dated 13 July 2011, stating that the 2.03 carat ruby is natural, Red colour, of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. This colour variety of ruby may also be called « Pigeon Blood Red » in the trade.

GRS report numbered GRS2013-035165, dated 1 April 2013, stating that the 5.02 carat ruby is natural, Vivid Red (GRS type « Pigeon’s Blood ») colour, of Burmese (Mogok) origin, with no indication of thermal treatment; reports numbered GRS2013-071335 and GRS2008-071332, dated 8 July 2008, stating that the 2.12 and 2.03 carat rubies are natural, of Burmese origin, Vivid Red (GRS type « Pigeon Blood Red ».

The Pigeon’s Blood Red

Red is an auspicious colour to the Orientals. There are myths and legends about people who wear rubies are blessed with flourishing romance, family harmony and longevity. The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Burma was liberally crowned with 2317 pieces of rubies upon its restoration. Ancient warriors of Burma were accustomed to embed a ruby into their bodies, symbolising victories, whereas in Ancient China, the wardrobe and headpiece of the emperors and the highest-ranking officials were adorned with a ruby signifying their distinguished positions during the Qing-dynasty. Since antiquity, rubies have an indispensable imprint in the history of royal jewellery collections across the world.

Natural rubies mostly originated in Asia, including Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka as far as Africa and Australia. Among all, the valley of Mogok in Burma is the most fabled mine in the world. Rubies with true pigeon’s blood red colour is the most precious and treasured. American gemologist, Richard W. Hughes once mentioned, ‘…asking to see the pigeon’s blood is like asking to see the face of God’ in one of his books – A pilgrimage to Mogok – Valley of Rubies. Continuous mining over the millennia has made natural rubies weighing over five carats extremely rare. Most rubies unearthed these days are then treated with heat for quality enhancement but they lost the genuine quality which Mother Nature has brought to our eyes.

Tiancheng International. HONG KONG AUTUMN AUCTION. Jewellery and Jadeite. 7 Dec · 1 pm