Estrela de Fura Shines Light on the Ruby World – an Exclusive interview with Dev Shetty, Founder and CEO of Fura Gems
Estrela de Fura, a 101-carat extremely rare vivid red ruby rough from Mozambique, was discovered by the leading coloured gemstone mining company FURA Gems Inc. in July 2022. Established in 2017, FURA Gems is the first truly pioneering, creative and ethical enterprise to cover the entire spectrum of coloured gemstones, with 3 mining operating subsidiaries in Colombia, Mozambique, and Australia for emeralds, rubies, and sapphire respectively. Developing from one person to 1,200 employees, this young company with the sole objective of ensuring stability and traceability of ethically mined coloured gemstones from rough to retail.
In this exclusive interview, you will learn from Dev Shetty, Founder and CEO of FURA Gems on the significance of Estrela de FURA, and how their rubies mined in Mozambique will benefit the world-wide jewelry industry.
What is the significance of the discovery of the 101-carat Estrela de FURA ruby?
Dev Shetty : For centuries, the finest of rubies have been synonymous with Mogok in Burma. Today, the discovery of Estrela de FURA is an unprecedented occurrence and places the spotlight on Mozambique as a source of premium quality rubies. With over two years of production, FURA has proven its ruby mine in Mozambique to be a world-class deposit.
Not only is it the biggest gem-quality ruby rough ever discovered, industry experts have confirmed the exceptional characteristics and potential of Estrela de FURA, which is likely to yield an intense, saturated red color faceted ruby of over 50 carats.
Larger-sized rubies exist in a handful of collections worldwide, however, most of them are specimen or exhibition pieces with significant impurities or low cutting yield. They aren’t considered gem-quality crystals in the same league with the 101-carat Estrela de FURA ruby.
What is the importance of the rubies from FURA Gems? What is the production level? How do you value the exposition of the FURA Gems in the world of Ruby?
Shetty : FURA rubies have come on to the market at the right time. Earlier the markets rarely saw such qualities in high volumes. We plan to produce 8 million carats of Mozambique rubies in 2022. FURA’s 62,853-hectare mine in Mozambique has an expected life of three decades and is expected to yield 30 million carats of rubies by December 2023. This makes FURA one of the largest ruby suppliers in the world, and signals the return of the marvelous era of the best of Burma : the fabled Mogok ruby.
The biggest opportunity is the potential lifespan of our mines. It is data from geological sampling that tells FURA about a mine’s potential lifespan. FURA’s ruby mine will secure a steady supply of fine quality rubies for a decade to come, therefore it will continue to benefit the worldwide market by making both jewelry lines and customized pieces feasible.
What are typical characteristics of the rubies from your mining operations in Mozambique? Apart from the 101-carat Estrala de FURA, are there other important gemstones discovered in the mining operations?
Shetty: The produce from FURA’s mines is unique and unmistakable. FURA’s rubies have a significantly higher fluorescence high chromium content.
Their radiance and glow are excitement in trade circles for a particular reason: these qualities are strongly associated with Mogok rubies.It is the high chromium-to-iron ratio,because of which rubies from both the regions glow.
In the past we have unearthed a fascinating and significantly large high-grade glowing red ruby of 35.05 carats in rough! It is a rare find considering the average size of a Mozambican ruby rough is below 3 carats, though the mine has in the past produced exceptionally large roughs of over 40 carats. Lately, we have been discovering many large size rubies averaging 30 – 40 carats.
How do you market and sell your rough gemstones? Who are the main target clients?
Shetty : We sell our rough gemstones on auction platforms. Every year we organize 2 auctions each of our emeralds, rubies and sapphires. At each of the auctions, which runs for about 10 days, we have 50 companies participating. Our buyers are mainly gemstone cutters and polishers from Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, USA etc.
The Estrela de FURA ruby was unveiled in the Dubai Diamond Exchange of DMCC in September 2022. It will be showcased in Dubai for a month and then go through a private auction in October. Let’s make an appointment by contacting Rupak Sen (firstname.lastname@example.org)of our company to view the stone!
FURA Gems Inc. is a young colored gemstone mining and marketing company established in 2017, however, it has emerged as a successful company with mining activities for the Big Three. Which factors have contributed to the success of the company?
Shetty: Yes, it’s true FURA has grown at a phenomenal pace, unprecedented in the history of gemstone mining. When FURA began, it had one employee. Now based in the United Arab Emirates, FURA has more than 1,200 employees across its three mining subsidiaries, in Colombia, Mozambique and Australia, that produce emeralds,rubies and sapphires, respectively.
The most distinguishing factor and key to FURA’s success have been its approach to mine selection. It has allowed us to set a record for the fastest turnaround of a mine from exploration to production.
FURA Gems always picked discovered mines with abundant scalable resources across the countries. This helped us to save significantly on time allotted for exploration, in comparison with other miners, some of whom have taken over a decade in mine exploration. The journey of FURA’s roughs from mine to market has been the fastest and also fundamental to its meteoric success.
Additionally, FURA has steadily ramped up production in each of its verticals to bring larger volumes on the market.
“Ensuring stability and traceability of ethically mined coloured gemstones from rough to retail” – why is FURA Gems’ company objective? How do you use advanced, sustainable and environmental mining technology to achieve goals?
Shetty : The company plans to ramp up production in each of its verticals. The rising curve is intended to solve the biggest bottleneck of the colored gemstone trade: stability of supply. Uncertainties in supply are what have, hitherto, deterred large investments in the sector. FURA is determined to change this game.
Buyers today want traceability and accurate provenance, particularly in luxury goods. More than ever, the colored gemstone industry needs to be seen as a clean trade. Realizing this early, FURA has been working on bringing its mines and products into compliance with the standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council, based in London.
Our products are not only mined responsibility, but also managed and tracked all along the chain, right from the origin. Trade transparency will be the biggest game-changer for the industry. The market in larger colored gemstones still operates without much product credibility. Certification and guarantee-of-origin are still rare. This doesn’t go down well with millennial buyers, who expect any gem they buy to be clean, honestly procured and to have caused no harm.
Our standpoint and core responsibility stem from this face. We want to ensure a complete chain of custody. Our mine-of origin certification is designed to be worthy of consumer trust. We know that retail chains would prefer to source reliable, conflict-free gemstones from FURA.