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Rare Burmese ruby sells for £19.4m

A rare Burmese ruby set in a platinum ring with diamonds has sold for 30.3 million US dollars (£19.4 million), setting a world auction record for any ruby and for any stone by Cartier, according to Sotheby's.

The buyer and history of the piece, with the ruby weighing in at 25.59 carats, was not disclosed. It was auctioned as part of the annual Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale by Sotheby's in Geneva.

The price of the cushion-shaped "Sunrise Ruby" had been estimated prior to the sale at 12 million US dollars (£7.7 million) to 18 million US dollars (£11.5 million).

It is known for its "pigeon blood" red colour and is set between heptagon-shaped diamonds weighing 2.47 and 2.70 carats. The piece is signed Cartier.

The auction house called a natural ruby from Burma of this size and colour extremely rare. The ring also broke an auction record for any ruby per carat.

In all, the sale totalled 160.9 million US dollars (£103 million) and included three other centrepieces from Cartier.

A pink diamond ring once owned by Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, the niece of Napoleon I, sold for 15.9 million US dollars (£10.2 million).

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