From Mine to Rostrum: Sotheby’s to Auction One of the Greatest Gem Discoveries of the Century

Estrela de Fura
Estrela de Fura_Gem

Estrela de Fura – Gem

AT 55.22 CARATS, THE RARE GEMSTONE IS THE LARGEST & MOST VALUABLE RUBY TO EVER APPEAR AT AUCTION

EXPECTED TO ACHIEVE IN EXCESS OF $30 MILLION UNEARTHED IN MOZAMBIQUE AND CUT FROM A 101 CARAT ROUGH

THE WORLD’S LARGEST GEM-QUALITY RUBY IN EXISTENCE – THE ESTRELA DE FURA 55.22 WILL HIGHLIGHT SOTHEBY’S MAGNIFICENT JEWELS AUCTION THIS JUNE

Already in its rough state, the Estrela de Fura showed its extraordinary quality traits with a potential to become a one-of-a-kind gemstone.
The cutter was able to realize this potential and created a faceted ruby with an astounding 55.22 ct weight, displaying a saturated and homogeneous red color, combined with a degree of clarity unseen in any other unheated ruby of comparable size.
To see a natural ruby of this size, with such a combination of quality characteristics spared from treatment was considered almost unimaginable.
The natural ruby of 55.22 ct is setting a new record not only for Mozambican rubies, but also for rubies in general.”
The Gübelin Gem Lab

NEW YORK, April 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — When FURA Gems announced its historic uncovering of the world’s largest gem-quality ruby ever discovered in September 2022, the news dominated headlines the world over, prompting tremendous excitement and taking the gemstone market by storm. Unearthed from FURA’s ruby mine in Montepuez, Mozambique in July of 2022, the gemstone – weighing an astonishing 101 carats – was subsequently named Estrela de FURA (Star of FURA in Portuguese), in a nod to its outstanding depth of color and size, and to shine a spotlight on Mozambique as a rich source of premium quality rubies. Even in its rough, untouched state, Estrela de FURA was considered by experts as an exceptional treasure of nature for its fluorescence, outstanding clarity and vivid red hue, known as ‘pigeon’s blood’ – a color traditionally associated only with Burmese rubies.

Estrela de Fura _ Raw gem
Estrela de Fura _ Raw gem

Estrela de Fura _ Raw gem

Now seven months after its initial debut, as the hammer fell on the final lot of The Exceptional Luxury Evening Auction in Hong Kong, speculation on the ruby’s whereabouts were finally put to rest when Sotheby’s auctioneer, Uni Kim, officially unveiled Estrela de FURA 55.22 to the world. Weighing a sizable 55.22 carats, this exceptionally important and rare Mozambique gem is the largest gem-quality ruby to ever appear at auction. Its combination of rich saturation of color, untouched by heat treatment, highly crystalline appearance and incomparable size that – with an estimate in excess of $30 million – places Estrela de FURA 55.22 as the most valuable and important ruby ever to come to market.

Following an initial series of studies of the 101 carat rough crystal to determine cutting options in the beginning of year, Estrela de FURA was masterfully cut and faceted by a team of artisans – with the rough transformed into a beautiful cushion-shaped stone, which according to a report from the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), “resulted in vivid red hues due to multiple internal reflections.” The report further states, “a natural ruby from Mozambique of this size and quality can be considered very rare and thus anexceptional treasure of nature.” The aforenamed gem is profoundly rich in chromium which, when exposed to ultraviolet light – as found in sunlight – causes the stone to radiate a fiery red fluorescence, further enhancing the stone’s vibrancy, as though lit from within.

Estrela de Fura _ lifestyle
Estrela de Fura _ lifestyle

Estrela de Fura _ lifestyle

The ruby has become one of the most sought-after colored gemstones at a time when color dominates the world of jewels and rarity drives the market. Rubies of this importance and magnitude are exceedingly rare, with only two examples having ever broken the $15 million barrier at auction, making the appearance of the present gem a landmark event in itself. The Gübelin Gem Lab states further that the ruby “is setting a new record not only for Mozambican rubies, but also for rubies in general.” Estrela de FURA 55.22 is poised to make history as it sets to surpass The Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59 carat ruby of Burmese origin, which sold for $30.3 million ($1,185,451 per carat) at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2015, and still holds the world auction record for a ruby*.

The stone’s new journey commences today at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, where it will then embark on a worldwide tour, with exhibitions scheduled in Taipei, China, Singapore, Geneva and Dubai (full dates will be released in due course) before it stars in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on 8 June.

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The miraculous discovery last year of the 101 carat Estrela de FURA at the FURA mine in Mozambique was of immense importance, shocking all those in the jewelry world. Now, in its newly transformed state of 55.22 carats, Estrela de FURA 55.22, is a true wonder of nature and sensational stone of perfect color and exceptional clarity, combined with a superb cushion shape. It is undoubtedly positioned to become the standard bearer for African rubies – and gemstones in general, bringing global awareness to their ability to be on par with, and even outshine, those from Burma, which have traditionally been the most desirable and recognizable source for rubies,declares Quig Bruning, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry, Americas.

We, at FURA, are incredibly proud of the discovery of Estrela de FURA at such an early part of our Mozambican journey. Important gemstones, such as Estrela de FURA, are extremely rare, and a beautifully faceted gem-quality ruby of 55.22 carats is almost unheard of. From the in-depth analysis and study of the stone – through the process of cutting and polishing – we have worked with the utmost care and respect for the Ruby, recognizing its importance and stature. Witnessing the completion of Estrela de FURA 55.22 was a monumental achievement for all of us, and we are excited that a new page in the story of this incredible gem and Mozambican rubies is about to be written with Sotheby’s,declares Dev Shetty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FURA Gems.

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RUBY MINING IN MOZAMBIQUE

Ruby mining in Mozambique beholds a long, rich history, with the first significant discoveries of ruby deposits in the country dating back to the 1960s. However, it was not until the early 2000s that the mining of rubies in Mozambique gained real momentum, with the discovery of the Montepuez ruby deposit in the northern part of the country, where the Estrela de FURA rough crystal was originally found. The best of these rubies from Mozambique are characterized by an outstanding transparency and rich color, resulting in extraordinary overall quality. The Montepuez ruby deposit is one of the largest ruby deposits in the world, attracting significant interest from international mining companies.

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A NOTE TO EDITORS

*The current world record for a ruby sold at auction is held by the ‘Sunrise Ruby,’ a 25.59 carat Burmese stone, which was auctioned at Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2015 for $30.3 million. This price also established a new record for any ruby per carat ($1,185,451 per carat), at the time

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ABOUT FURA GEMS

FURA Gems Inc. is a young coloured gemstone mining and marketing company established in 2017. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, FURA has over 1,200 employees across continents. It is the first truly pioneering, creative and ethical enterprise to cover the entire spectrum of coloured gemstones.

FURA has three mining operating subsidiaries in Colombia, Mozambique, and Australia, that mine emeralds, rubies, and sapphires respectively. It is the fastest growing coloured gemstone mining company with the sole objective of ensuring stability and traceability of ethically mined coloured gemstones from rough to retail.

FURA Gems will allocate a portion of the proceeds of the sale towards setting up the Fura Training Academy to support the community where it operates in Mozambique.

The key objective is to promote access to qualified education and technical training to the local population in different work streams such as mining, carpentry, engineering, and agriculture to provide them with a sustainable income. www.furagems.com

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CONTACT AT FURA GEMS INC. FURA COMMUNICATION

MR GIANLUCA MAINA | GIANLUCA.MAINA@FURAGEMS.COM

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Gourma: The IRA pays tribute to a former teacher Fada N’Gourm

The Regional Institute of Administration (IRA) of the East, paid on Tuesday, March 4, 2023 to Fada N'Gourma, a tribute to its former management admitted retired, Labiri Ouali, by baptizing an amphitheater in his name.

The IRA of the East opened its doors in the city of Yendabili since 2011 with as focal point of the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), Labiri Ouali. This institute has approximately 3,000 agents who have been trained in cycle B and in several sectors.

"Thus, since its opening, work has been carried out over the years by men and women fully committed to the fight, that of providing the State with qualified personnel and, in turn, of meeting the needs of the nation", indicated the Director General of ENAM, Dr. Jacob Yarassoula Yarabatiourala.

Mr. Yarabatiourala added that among the people who fought for the influence of this prestigious school, is the former regional director of the IRA-East, admitted to retirement since December 2022, Labiri Ouali.

For him, the achievements of the IRA-East are due to the combativeness and leadership of this man, who spent twenty-eight (28) years in the service of ENAM.

“Of these achievements, we could note the acquisition of the land on which this institute is built, its electrification, the installation of a telephone line and the internet connection of this school”, he mentioned.

the director general of ENAM, the former regional director of IRA-Est, Labiri Ouali, also carried out the construction of a fence on the part housing the premises of the IRA and benches, the fixing of signs indicating the speed bumps on the way leading to the IRA and the construction of a human-powered water pump transformed into an electronic borehole with the contribution of many partners such as the Eastern Regional Council, FICOD, Coris Bank, his friends, brothers and his address book.

The minister in charge of the public service, Bassolma Bazié, accompanied by his counterpart in charge of higher education Pr Adjima Thiombiano recognized the values of humanism, bravery, combativeness, humility and integrity of the Former director of the IRA-Est.

He invited the younger generations to imitate this great man in order to be more useful to “our whole nation”.

To immortalize the works of the man, the minister in charge of the public service baptized an amphitheater of the IRA-Est "Ouali Labiri".

The former regional director of IRA-Est, Labiri Ouali, expressed his gratitude to the authorities who honored him by dedicating a special day to his modest person.

He also gave advice to young people. “Try as much as possible to be in tune with yourself, it's very important. Avoid appearing because people want everything right away. So sometimes you have to be a little patient, ”he urged.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Burkina: The government declines its priority projects

The government declined yesterday Wednesday in Burkinabè, the priorities of the Emergency Program of the Transition.

According to the head of government, Apollinaire Joachimson Kyelem de Tambèla, each minister will unveil, during this working session, the five priority projects to be implemented by his department.

Me Kyelem asked to take into account the projects for which the financing has already been acquired and which must be carried out within a period of at least one year.

He was speaking yesterday Wednesday in Ouagadougou during a meeting on the Emergency Program of the Transition.

At these exchanges, the Minister of National Education, Joseph André Ouédraogo recalled that his department intends to integrate or reintegrate more than 2 million students who are in the wild, affected by the security crisis which is shaking the country.

For his colleague in charge of Foreign Affairs, Olivia Rouamba, mentioned the completion of the construction works of the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

The Minister in charge of the Economy, Aboubacar Nacanabo, dwelt on the acceleration of the humanitarian response in fragile areas.

He also mentioned the Patriotic Support Fund, intended to support the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP) and the project to digitize procedures.

Mr. Nacanabo returned to the project to consolidate the development of socio-economic infrastructure and that of the reform of the mobilization of State revenue.

The minister in charge of health, Lucien Robert Kargougou, wanted the regulation of the session of health workers in the private sector.

He also announced the completion of several hospital construction projects over the next 12 months. These are the regional university hospital centers (CHUR) of Gaoua and Fada N'Gourma.

"The same is true in Lèna and Karangasso Vigué in the province of Houet, where district hospitals will be built," he said.

In the opinion of Simon Pierre Boussim of the mines, the project to set up a processing plant for mining residues such as fine coal has already been started and the construction work is very advanced.

Mr. Boussim mentioned the project to create a national gold refinery in our country, as well as the electrification of 95 localities, by connection to the national interconnected network.

This government meeting ended with two communications.

This concerns the organization of direct and professional civil service competitions, and the “Thomas Sankara Memorial Project” which is overdue according to the Minister in charge of Communication, Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Seychelles to support Mauritius for seat at UN Security Council

Seychelles will support Mauritius' bid to secure a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2025-2026 as well as and its candidature for the Executive Board of UNESCO for the term 2023-2027, said a top official on Thursday.

Foreign affairs minister Sylvestre Radegonde made the statement at the end of the 13th Session of the Seychelles-Mauritius Commission on Bilateral Cooperation.

Radegonde and his counterpart from Mauritius, Alan Ganoo, signed the minutes of the ministerial meeting of the joint commission on bilateral cooperation.

The Mauritian Minister called on Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan on Thursday afternoon.

During the ministerial session, the key issues addressed were trade links, the Blue Economy, fisheries, tourism, health, education, climate change and maritime security, among others.

"While our countries share a vision for a peaceful and prosperous Indian Ocean region, and we are committed to working together to achieve this goal, we need to be mindful of the increasing complexity of maritime security challenges within our region, hindering our aspirations of attaining a sustainable ocean-based economy," said Radegonde.

He emphasised that the two countries should have a more integrated approach for addressing jointly common concerns and interests on international platforms.

These include maritime security threats, climate change-related issues, and the adoption of a multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI), which strives to increase the eligibility for small island developing states (SIDS) to access concessional financing for their development needs.

Radegonde seized the opportunity to congratulate his counterpart for his recent and well-deserved elevation to 'Grand Commander of the Order of the State and Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK), as well as for Mauritius assuming the presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

He expressed his conviction that under the Mauritian leadership, the IOC will be further energised to achieve the common goals of all its member states.

On the Mauritius side, Minister Ganoo said that this long-anticipated session of the bilateral commission is a testament to the two countries' common resolve and determination to work towards the strengthening of their relationship.

According to a press release from the Foreign Affairs Department, Ganoo said that "the meeting was neither to negotiate, nor to bargain, but rather to build complementarities, synergies and resilience in all desired areas and at all levels."

He also thanked Seychelles for its support to Mauritius for its candidatures for the UNSC and UNESCO.

Ganoo also expressed satisfaction that in building synergies between Mauritius and Seychelles, the two countries are exploring various proposals for economic collaboration in many domains including ease of doing business, handicraft, ICT, financial services and tourism.

He said that since the ocean is the guardian of the common future which unites Mauritius and Seychelles, critical issues like maritime security and the preservation of marine resources will always figure prominently in bilateral engagements.

Ganoo emphasised that the success of Mauritius-Seychelles cooperation does not solely lie in jointly agreeing on programnes and projects but to a very large extent in the execution and implementation of such agreed joint projects and programmes.

The Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, which takes place every two years, is a platform where discussions focus on strengthening and expanding cooperation between the two countries.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties that last met in Port Louis in 2017, had to postpone their meeting until 2023.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

FADs, stocks, overfishing: Regional members of IOTC meet in Seychelles to consider proposals

Seychelles met together with high-level government officials of the fisheries sector from Tanzania, Kenya and Comoros to discuss draft proposals for the upcoming Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting, seeking these countries' consideration for co-sponsoring proposals.

The fisheries minister from Seychelles, Comoros and Tanzania, and the fisheries principal secretary of Kenya met in the second Ministerial Summit of Fisheries Ministers of the South-West Indian Ocean on Thursday.

Seychelles' fisheries minister, Jean-Francois Ferrari, outlined that during this year's Ministerial Summit, eastern African coastal countries were included "as we want to bring them together as they are all countries that use purse seining as a method of fishing."

As with the previous summit, the aim of the second one is to have an exchange of ideas for the upcoming 27th Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to be held between May 8 to May 12, in Mauritius this year.

"We cannot afford to continue working in isolation in the face of the many common challenges that confront us today. By collaborating, we can find solutions to these challenges and ensure the long-term sustainability of our fisheries and the well-being of our communities," said Ferrari.

The issues he outlined were the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), fish stock, catching of undersized fish around purse seine fishing, which were raised once more in the last IOTC meeting held in Mombasa, Kenya in February.

This resulted in the Commission voting to adopt a proposal for a 72-day ban on FAD fishing by purse seiners in the Indian Ocean, as the devices have been shown to contribute to overfishing because they attract juvenile fish as well as endangered turtles, sharks and marine mammals that get caught up in purse seiner nets.

"Seychelles objected to these measures that we considered to be a bit arbitrary and without a scientific base. We are now bringing all the countries that have the same interest as us together so we can hold discussions and see how we can move forward. We want to have frank and honest discussions, and that decisions are taken off a scientific base," said Ferrari.

Speaking to the press, the fisheries minister of Zanzibar, Tanzania, Suleiman Makame, shared the view of Ferrari to base decisions on scientific data.

"It doesn't matter whether somebody likes it or not, but if science allows us to use the ocean scientifically using our purse seine fishing, we don't have any problem," said Makame.

The principal secretary for the State Department of Blue Economy and Fisheries of Kenya, Betsy Njagi, outlined that "Kenya is willing to work with like-minded countries so that we can be able to discuss the issues that have been addressed on the socio and economic issues in the South-West Indian Ocean countries in relation to the purse seiners and FADs and so forth."

"The importance of us member countries coming together is to discuss the governance, the policy, the resolutions, the recommendations in the Indian Ocean space, the reason being that these are factors that affect our communities. If we don't look at these factors critically and we base our argument on the scientific, part of it will be misleading our communities and will not be just to our communities," said Njagi.

The deadline for submission of proposals to the Commission for the upcoming meeting is on April 8.

The first Indian Ocean Fisheries Ministerial Summit Meeting was held last year on May 5 and saw the participation of the fisheries ministers from Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros and Madagascar.

FADs or no FADs?

Seychelles' tuna fisheries industry relies heavily on French and Spanish purse seiner fishing fleets that use FADs and there are fears of the effects the ban would have on the income of the main port activity and tuna cannery operations, which would impact the economy in general.

However, when the Seychelles' position was announced, the CEO of Nature Seychelles, the country's oldest nature conservation organisation, Dr Nirmal Shah, harshly criticised the government's stance, saying that it was "hypocritical", given that the country is a champion of ocean conservation internationally, yet is against a ban on harmful fishing practices.

Furthermore, the Federation of Artisanal Fishermen of the Indian Ocean (FPAOI) condemned the IOTC ban on FADs as a "sham".

The president of the FPAOI, Keith Andre from Seychelles, said the ban only concerns international waters and therefore leaves all the room in the world for industrial vessels to sacrifice the future of fish stocks in the exclusive economic zones of their flag countries in the Indian Ocean.

"For the FPAOI, only a total ban on the use of drifting FADs by tuna seiners would be a courageous and effective measure for the preservation and recovery of stocks, particularly yellowfin tuna," said Andre in February.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Carolina Cerqueira highlights African parliament´s commitment to peacekeeping

The Parliament Speaker, Carolina Cerqueira, reiterated Thursday in Luanda the engagement of African parliamentarians in the continuous efforts to maintain peace, development and social justice on the continent.

Speaking to the press after attending the 14th conference of the leaders of the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Francophonie in Africa, Carolina Cerqueira said that these are the principles that Angola follows in its current parliamentary diplomacy.

According to the official, the three days meeting served to assess issues related to fighting hunger, poverty, and misery in Africa, problems that affect the sustainable development of communities.

Carolina Cerqueira, who considered positive and successful Angola´s participation in the event, stated that it also served to strengthen bilateral relations with parliaments in the Francophone zone, as well as with Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe, delegations whose members agreed on the need for strategies for greater intervention by Portuguese-speaking parliamentarians on the continent.

She said that during the event, the Angolan Parliament delegation presented information on the actions of the Head of the State towards consolidation of peace in the Central African Region (CAR), in particular in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Carolina Cerqueira stressed that she took the opportunity to explain to the Francophone parliamentary leaders the purpose of the Angolan military contingent that will soon be sent to the DRC to help in the quartering and demobilization of the M23 forces, given Angola´s experience in peace and security.

During the event, the parliamentarians analyzed issues such as climate change, autonomy and youth participation in political life, the promotion of democracy, gender equality, energy and water, among others.

The National Assembly delegation included the deputy Ângela Bragança, Alcides Sakala, Milonga Manuel Bernardo, consultants and employees of the Angolan Parliament.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Angolan president gets message from Comoros counterpart

Angolan head of State João Lourenço received Thursday a message from his counterpart of the Union of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

The message was delivered by Comoros’ minister of defence, Yossoufa Mohammed Ali, in his capacity as special envoy of the Head of State of this southern African country.

Speaking to the press, after the audience, Yossoufa Mohammed expressed his government availability to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the social and economic fields, based on mutual benefits.

Solutions to conflicts in Africa

According to the special envoy, the Comorian head of State, Azali Assoumani, current President-in-Office of the African Union (AU), is seeking Angola's support in the search for solutions to the conflicts in several regions of Africa, with stress to the Great Lakes Region and the Sahel.

“The President of the Comoros relies heavily on the support and advice of his Angolan counterpart for the stability of the continent in general, given his experience”, he explained.

In view of diplomatic commitment demonstrated in the prevention, management and resolution to conflicts in Africa, the President João Lourenço was named “AU Champion for Peace and Reconciliation in Africa” at the 16th African Union Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on May 28, 2022.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Angola elected a member of EXCOM

Angola was elected Wednesday, in New York, as the 108th member of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (EXCOM), according to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution 77/197.

The election, made by acclamation, took place during the 17th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York.

The Executive Committee of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (EXCOM) meets annually in Geneva, Switzerland, to review and approve the agency's programs and budget.

It reviews the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees´s (UNHCR) financial requirements for the following year and approves the annual program target.

EXCOM also adopts conclusions, mainly on international protection, as well as decisions on a range of administrative, financial and procedural matters.

Angola, as a state party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, attaches particular importance to the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

It was determinant for the election of Angola, its experience in the management of refugees and internally displaced persons, acquired during more than 30 years of internal armed conflict and the reception of refugees from various countries.

According to UNHCR data, in Angola there are 56,000 refugees under control, of which 30,000 are asylum seekers.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Uganda: In 2022, international tourist arrivals up by 59%

In 2022, foreign tourist arrivals in Uganda reached 814,508, an increase of 59% compared to 2021. The information was revealed on Wednesday 29 March 2023 by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. It indicates that tourism receipts reached about 717.7 million dollars during the period under review. Africa is the main source of these arrivals at 87.8%, ahead of Asia and Europe.

As a reminder, before the health crisis, the tourism sector represented about 10% of the country’s GDP. In 2019, the country received 1.5 million tourists. In 2020, the number of foreign visitors fell to 473,000, due to health restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, before starting to rise again little by little since 2021.

Source: Africa News Agency