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.

The Alan Caplan Ruby

The Alan Caplan Ruby broke records when it sold in…