Rare $120 million rough ruby from Tanzania unveiled in Dubai

The Burj Alhamal ruby reportedly from Tanzania on display in Dubai. Owners originally claimed it was worth a whooping $120 million.

What you need to know:

The gem weighs 2.8 kilograms and was mined in Tanzania has been named Burj Alhamal

 A rare rough ruby from Tanzania dubbed one of the world's biggest has gone on display for the first time ahead of an auction in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Never before seen in public, the stone is currently on display at DIFC and will be offered at auction shortly after Ramadan.

 Described by Patrick Pilati, managing director of SJ Gold & Diamond, as the company's “crown jewel”, Burj Alhamal is expected to attract strong interest given the GCC's growing appetite for investing in high value, one-of-a-kind gems and jewellery pieces.

However, even as the gem goes public for the first time, authorities in Tanzania are yet to say anything about how the current owner obtained it.

The would-be buyer of the stone will have to decide what to do with it once bought. With more people looking to invest in portable assets in the wake of the pandemic, as opposed to more traditional static investments such as land or property, this might dictate if the stone will be cut up into smaller stones and sold off, or kept in its large, raw state.

The 8,400-carat stone - nicknamed Burj Alhamal and weighing 2.8 kilogrammes - was mined in Tanzania and made its debut at a Dubai hotel on Friday (April 15) as part of SJ Gold and Diamond's Callisto collection.

The gem weighs 2.8 kilograms and has been named Burj Alhamal on display for the first time

The company says it is "one of the biggest" rough rubies in the world, with managing director Patrick Pilati calling it among the "rarest rubies ever found".

 He said the Tanzanian stone was "not heated", meaning "it has not been treated, so it's natural and that's why it's precious".

Local reports have suggested the rough ruby with greenish and dark-purple hues could fetch up to US$120 million.

The stone will be on display at different locations in Dubai for the next 30 days before going to auction, Pilati told Agence France-Presse.

Late last month, a giant diamond nicknamed "The Rock" went on display for the first time in Dubai.

The 228.31-carat pear-shaped gem, which was mined and polished in South Africa more than 20 years ago, is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction, according to Christie's.

The diamond is expected to fetch over US$30 million.