By Brecken Branstrator
The 40.23-carat ruby that’s being called the “Rhino” led Gemfields recent auction in Singapore, which set a new record for the mining company with a $43.3 million total.
London--Gemfields’ auction of predominantly higher-quality rough rubies from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique totaled $43.3 million, a record total for the company propelled by the sale of a big, rare ruby it recently found.

The auction, which took place Dec. 3 to 8 in Singapore, also realized a $689 per-carat price, also a record for Gemfields.

The sale was 74 percent sold by weight and 97 percent sold by value, with a total of 50 companies bidding. Because it was focused on higher-quality rubies, all lots offered were untreated, unlike the first ruby auction this summer when Gemfields offered both untreated and treated material.

At the sale, Gemfields found a buyer for the 40.23-carat rough ruby it recently uncovered--and has dubbed the “Rhino Ruby”--for an undisclosed amount.

To recognize the successful sale of the gemstone, Gemfields said that it will support the anti-rhino-poaching aircraft operated by Game Reserves United by covering a significant portion of its flying costs for the 2015 calendar year.

The poaching of both rhinoceros and elephants for their ivory tusks is a major international issue right now. Earlier this year, New York and New Jersey banned trade in both, and legislation on the ivory trade has been tightened on a federal level.

Gemfields also used the auction to debut changes to its grading system for rough rubies. Additional grades were introduced to provide finer characterization of color tones and clarity, according to a company spokesperson, which were “widely acclaimed by auction participants,” Gemfields said.

This sale was only the company’s second of rough ruby from Montepuez, following the first held in June. The two have generated $76.8 million total.

The next auction of material from Montepuez will consist of predominantly lower-quality ruby and corundum and is slated to take place before June 30, 2015.

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