The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History has received one of the world's largest and finest ruby gemstones. The spectacular 23.1-carat Burmese ruby, set in a platinum ring with diamonds, was donated by businessman and philanthropist Peter Buck in memory of his wife Carmen Lúcia. The Carmen Lúcia Ruby will be on view indefinitely in the museum's National Gem Collection, part of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals.
This extraordinary gemstone displays a richly saturated homogenous red color combined with an exceptional degree of transparency. In addition to the pleasant shape, the finely proportioned cut provides many vivid red color reflections. The stone was mined from the fabled Mogok region of Burma in the 1930s. While sapphire, emerald and diamond gems weighing hundreds of carats exist, high quality Burmese rubies larger than 20 carats are exceedingly rare.
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