The highly anticipated auction of “Jewels for Hope: The Collection of Mrs. Lily Safra,” held on Monday, May 14, 2012 at Christie’s Geneva raised nearly $38 million with 100 percent sold by lot and by value, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate.

The top lot of the sale was a 32.08 carats cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring, known as “The Hope Ruby” by Chaumet, which sold for more than $6.7 million, well above its $5 million high estimate. It is a world record price for any ruby sold at auction.

A group of 18 jewels by JAR, the largest ever seen on the market from a single-owner collection, sold 100 percent by lot and by value, totaling more than $11.4 million—the most valuable private-owner collection of JAR jewels ever sold at auction.

“Mrs. Safra received a standing ovation as she walked into the saleroom at the end of the sale to thank every buyer and bidder who contributed to this evening’s great success,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of Christie’s Geneva and New York Jewelry Departments.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who participated in this evening’s success,” Safra said. “I am overjoyed, knowing that so many people in need around the world will benefit.”

The 32 organizations that will benefit from the sale are as follows:

* Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda

* ALEH: Caring for Israel’s Disabled

* Alfredo J. Monteverde School, Natal, Brazil

* A Window to Tomorrow – A Computer for Every Child, Israel

* Children Action, Geneva, Switzerland

* Claude Pompidou Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease, Nice, France

* Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

* Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Israel

* Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland

* Elton John AIDS Foundation (worldwide)

* Fight AIDS Monaco

* Henry Street Settlement, New York

* Hope and Homes for Children, Romania

* Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève

* Imperial College, London: Edmond J. Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology & Edmond J. Safra Chair in Radiochemistry

* Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris

* Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

* Jordan River Village Camp for seriously ill children

* Keren Shemesh, Israel

* King’s College, London: Edmond and Lily Safra Parkinson’s Research Fellowships

* Le ballet de l‟Opéra national de Paris

* Les Restaurants du Coeur, France

* Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, USA

* Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York

* New York University, Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center

* Royal Opera House, London


* Université Joseph Fourier, Institut des Neurosciences, Bâtiment Edmond J. Safra & Institut Clinatec, Centre de Recherche Edmond J. Safra, Grenoble, France

* University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital, Canada: Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease (Dr. Anthony Lang & Dr. Andres Lozano)

* Water Treatment Program, Amélia Rodrigues (Bahia), Brazil

* Yad Vashem International School, Israel

* Yahad-In Unum, France


In May of 2012, American-born billionaire Lily Safra auctioned off her Chaumet’s carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring, affectionately called “The Hope Ruby.” The design highlight includes the gemstone’s vivid red (pigeon’s blood), typical and characteristic for fine rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract. The most expensive cushion-shaped ruby ring weighing 32.08 carats and had a recorded auction price of $6.74 million. The auctioned price was the highest ever price for a ruby sold at auction.