The Carmen Lúcia Ruby
The Carmen Lúcia Ruby

Eight Famous Rubies


Blood red ruby gems have captivated people's hearts and imaginations for centuries. Read about these eight famous rubies and what makes them special.

5 Minute Read

The Carmen Lúcia Ruby

On display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Carmen Lúcia Ruby ring is simply enchanting. At a large 23.1 carats, this ruby is among the finest in the world. Its fantastic, saturated red color is mostly even, and the gem shows an excellent transparency. Miners unearthed the stone in the Mogok region of Myanmar in the 1930s.

Though the details of its original purchase were lost to history, the ring has an interesting story nonetheless. A nuclear physicist by trade, Dr. Peter Buck became wealthy after he loaned a friend $1,000 to start his sandwich shop in 1965. That shop eventually became Subway, rocketing Buck's net worth into the billions.

Buck's wife, Carmen Lúcia Buck, was born in Brazil and later became a U.S. citizen. Her love of jewelry and her adopted country prompted Dr. Buck to donate one of her prized rings to the National Collection after her death. Naming the stone after her, he believes that her memory is best served by putting the stone on display for all the visitors to the nation's capital.

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Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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