Recently both Christie’s and Sotheby’s held successful jewelry auctions, with diamonds, emeralds and pearls exchanging hands for millions. But this particular gem caught my eye – a stunner of a ruby ring once owned by philanthropist (aka: filthy rich) eccentric, Isabella Stewart Gardner.
Mounted in platinum, the cushion-cut ruby ring weighs 8.66 carats and is flanked by single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .12 carats. The piece sold at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale for (wait for it….) $2.098 million (!) with a pre-sale estimate of only $1 million to $1.5 million.
According to Luxist, Gardner was a visionary patron of the arts whose personal collection of fine jewelry and decorative art is housed in her former home, now an esteemed Boston museum, called the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She was strong-minded and intellectually curious and enjoyed her reputation in Victorian era Boston for leading an avant-garde lifestyle – with a particular penchant for rubies.
This particular ruby was originally purchased with a $50,000 inheritance given to Gardner by her brother when he died as a token of remberance. Now many decades (and quite a few zeros) later, some lucky bidder walked away with her sentimental stone – and let’s hope a few body guards for good meausre.
What kind of jewelry would you buy with $50,000? Are you a diamond diva or a gemstone kinda gal? Weigh in!