FOUND > Mountain-Man Rubies Worth $90 Million

Discovered by Appalachian Fishing Guide

The four star rubies, unearthed by a North Carolina fishing guide.

April 20, 2018
By Ruthie Bowles, Contributing Author for What Sells Best News

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA - Multiple media outlets report that four extremely rare star rubies, unearthed by a North Carolina mountain man, may garner as much as $90 million at an upcoming New York auction.

THE DISCOVERY

Abbie Bennett for WBTV reported that Jarvis Wayne Messer of Buncombe County mined the four “pigeon’s blood red” star rubies at an undisclosed location outside of Asheville, North Carolina almost 30 years ago.

In an article for Garden and Gun, Caroline Sanders described Messer as a local fishing guide and self-proclaimed “rock-hound”. He was a man who didn’t require much, and he lived in Buncombe County, North Carolina with his wife and son. He discovered trace amounts of corundum during a fishing trip near his home. Corundum can produce, among other stones, either rubies or sapphires depending on what other elements are present.

The discovery of the Star Rubies, as reported by WTVD 11 News.

Guernsey’s, the auction house selling the gems, says that "Volumes could easily be written about the remarkable discovery by a modest mountain man from western North Carolina who, as a self-described 'rock hound,' was constantly in search of rare and unusual stones in his native Appalachia".



Messer dedicated years to mining the four rubies from his secret trove, the location of which he never revealed. After his discovery in 1990, experts from top geological labs in the United States and Europe examined the stones. One of the stones was then held in exhibit for 30 days by the Natural History Museum of London. The museum recorded 150,000 visitors to the star ruby exhibit in just two weeks.

According to Garden and Gun, following Messer’s death in 2008, the family held onto the rubies. Thanks to a recent appraisal, these incredibly rare gemstones have ignited serious interest in many potential buyers. For those of us who can’t afford them, they at least hold us in awe.

WHY THEY'RE RARE

Rubies are rarer than diamonds, and star rubies are even rarer than the “usual” rubies. Myanmar is commonly the place to find rubies along with other southeast Asia countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and India. Finding these rubies in the eastern United States makes this find incredible.

GIA video compares a transparent faceted ruby to a star ruby.

According to Israel Diamonds, the color name, “pigeon’s blood” red, supposedly originates in  Myanmar. The locals determined that the perfect ruby was the same color as the first two drops of blood that came from a dead pigeon’s nose. The Gemresearch Swisslab AG created a scale ranging from 1 to 4. The color pigeon’s blood falls at a 3.

Star rubies have six radiating lines on the face of the gemstone. One of the Messer rubies, The Smoky Mountain Two Star Ruby, has the distinctive radiating lines on its front and back faces.

COMPARABLE FINDS

Most often, we are reporting on flea market jewelry finds. So the story of the gemstone hobbyist mountain man has an element of romanticism and adventure that makes this even more exciting. Among the jewelry discoveries we’ve tracked, this one is in a class all its own.

Details that can’t be perceived by the naked eye can make a huge difference in the price of any gemstone or jewelry find. If you think you have found something, you should check with several of the experts on our free appraisals page.

SALES INFORMATION

The rubies are currently available for a privately brokered sale though Guernsey’s prior to an official auction scheduling.

RUBY PRICES

To monitor the real-time price strength of more common rubies. Keep an eye on the highest bid rubies (below) in the Loose Gemstones category on eBay. To research sold prices for rare or common rubies, click here.


TOP BID RUBIES > Blood Red Star | Heated | Unheated

8.23 Cts GRS CERTIFIED 100% Natural Red Color Cabochon Unheated Borma Star Ruby

Time Left: 1d 17h 29m
$666.00 with 9 bids


Rare! 1.01ct 7x5mm VS Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *GLC Certified

Time Left: 5d 5h 4m
$207.83 with 31 bids


4300 Ct Natural Beatify Ggl Certified Brilliant Quality Pear Cut Red Ruby Gems

Time Left: 3d 2h 4m
$199.99 with 1 bids


7.47 Cts GRS CERTIFIED 100% Natural Red Color Cabochon Unheated Borma Star Ruby

Time Left: 2d 17h 27m
$129.48 with 8 bids


Ruby mixed lot 58.72ct Natural Loose Gemstones.

Time Left: 9h 30m
$120.50 with 29 bids


Rare! 1.94ct 8x6.6mm Oval Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 1d 8h 9m
$76.00 with 10 bids


6.56Ct "GIL" CERTIFIED UNIQUE COLLECTION AMAZING FIRE UNHEATED MOZAMBIQUE RUBY

Time Left: 18h 40m
$69.99 with 1 bids


Rare! 1.01ct 6.8x5mm Pear Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *BGL Certified

Time Left: 6d 10h 39m
$66.00 with 7 bids


Rare! 1.04ct 7.6x5.4mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 7h 44m
$65.00 with 14 bids


24.15Ct.Museum Gem HUGE Purplish Red Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique Pear Cabochon

Time Left: 2d 9h 37m
$64.00 with 15 bids


5.3Ct 12x10mm Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB614

Time Left: 3d 16h 1m
$60.00 with 13 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Rosé du Mozambique 7,60 ct avec Certificat Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 4h
$59.98 with 26 bids


Rare! 1.19ct 6.8x5.3mm Oval Natural Unheated Purplish Red Ruby *GLC Certified

Time Left: 9h 22m
$52.00 with 28 bids


Rare! 0.44ct 5.5x4.2mm VVS Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Rich Red Ruby

Time Left: 6h 26m
$46.00 with 19 bids


6.55 CT RARE MOZAMBIQUE RED RUBY CERTIFIED NATURAL LOOSE CUSHION RUBY NO HEAT

Time Left: 2d 14h 3m
$46.00 with 13 bids


1000.00 CT NATURAL EARTH MINED PINKISH RED RUBY BURMA ROUGH GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 16h 32m
$42.00 with 3 bids


17.45 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT RL 67

Time Left: 4d 12h 42m
$41.69 with 2 bids


UNHEATED! 6.95ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 5h 36m
$41.00 with 12 bids


12.75Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural HUGE Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 5d 8h 7m
$41.00 with 16 bids


Certified 7.40 Ct Natural VVS1 Untreated Cushion Burma Ruby Loose Gemstone C1341

Time Left: 18h 26m
$35.00 with 13 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge du Mozambique de 8,95 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité GGL

Time Left: 3h 3m
$34.11 with 2 bids


Rubis Naturel Rose de Birmanie de 7,20 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 3d 10m
$33.52 with 1 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Rosé du Mozambique 6,50 ct avec Certificat Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 1d 5h 29m
$32.34 with 2 bids


5.13Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural BIG Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 4d 7h 5m
$32.00 with 10 bids


1000Ct EGL Certified Natural Huge Uncut Glorious Red Ruby Gemstone Rough BA1949

Time Left: 2d 19h 46m
$30.86 with 1 bids


6.26Ct "GIL" CERTIFIED ! STUNNING FIRE NATURAL BURMESE RUBY - JUST HEATED

Time Left: 19h 6m
$29.99 with 1 bids


Transparent Nice 19.45 Ct EGL Certified Natural Wonderful Red Ruby Gems BU1609

Time Left: 34m 28s
$29.77 with 1 bids


Certified Burma Ruby Gemstone 24.55 Ct Natural Untreated VS Clarity Oval B6558

Time Left: 6h 39m
$26.00 with 23 bids


Loose Gemstone Certified Natural Ruby 8.12 Ct Pear Shape

Time Left: 1d 21h 32m
$23.50 with 9 bids


1455 Ct Natural Red Ruby Huge Loose Gem Stone AGSL Certified Museum Use Oval Cut

Time Left: 3d 8h 20m
$22.11 with 3 bids


Rare! 107.54ct Lucky Owl Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 2d 6h 17m
$22.00 with 18 bids


58.05 Cts Natural Star Ruby Wholesale Lot UnTreated UnHeated SRL278

Time Left: 4h 59m
$21.25 with 21 bids


Burma Red Ruby Gemstone 6 Ct/8mm Natural VVS1 Untreated Cushion Certified C1422

Time Left: 2d 5h 58m
$20.50 with 14 bids


12.60 Ct Ggl Cert Vivid Natural Cushion Cut Fabulous Red Ruby Manik Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 15m
$19.99 with 1 bids


NICE UNHEATED! 14.10ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 2d 5h 44m
$19.99 with 1 bids


VERY NICE 4.90ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 5d 7h 4m
$19.99 with 1 bids


6.35 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 80

Time Left: 1d 7h 1m
$19.98 with 1 bids


9.37 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT MK 115

Time Left: 4d 5h 23m
$19.98 with 2 bids


33.55 cts. - 2 Amazing Natural African Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT 251

Time Left: 7h 27m
$17.98 with 1 bids


Rare 1.10ct 6x4.6mm Cushion Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *BGL Certified

Time Left: 4d 15h 21m
$17.50 with 10 bids


46.15 Cts Natural Star Ruby Wholesale Lot UnTreated UnHeated SRL275

Time Left: 19h 18m
$16.65 with 25 bids


10.85 ct RARE! PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY VVS EX TRILLION CUT NATURAL LOOSE GEMSTONE

Time Left: 15h 35m
$16.50 with 14 bids


830 Ct Natural Red Ruby Loose Gem Stone AGSL Certified Oval Museum Use

Time Left: 2d 16h 53m
$16.50 with 6 bids


7.2Ct 12x10mm Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB615

Time Left: 4d 16h 1m
$16.50 with 10 bids


600.00 CT NATURAL AFRICA MINE CORUNDUM RED RUBY GEMSTONE ROUGH MINERAL LOT

Time Left: 1d 16h 9m
$16.49 with 2 bids


2.02Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 1d 7h 5m
$15.50 with 7 bids


Rare! 1.00ct 8x4.8mm Pear Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 9h 37m
$15.50 with 7 bids


1000.00 CT Natural OLD AFRICAN MINES Red Ruby Gemstone Tiny Rough Crystals Lot

Time Left: 1d 13h 55m
$15.50 with 8 bids


Rare! 12.78ct Flying Bat Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 3d 5h 23m
$15.50 with 9 bids


1095 Ct Natural Red Ruby Huge Gem Stone AGSL Certified Top Quality Pear Cut

Time Left: 3d 9h 7m
$15.50 with 6 bids


2.91 CT BURMA RUBY 100% Natural GIE Certified EXCELLENT Quality FANTASTIC Gem

Time Left: 4d 20h 2m
$15.50 with 11 bids


Ruby mixed lot Excellent Quality 3.00ct Natural Loose Gemstones.

Time Left: 7d 9h 27m
$15.06 with 22 bids


Ruby Zoisite Trillion Shape Semi Precious Cut Natural Gemstone 12.70 Ct 1 Pc

Time Left: 6d 15h 29m
$15.00 with 1 bids


4.35 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT RL 63

Time Left: 2d 10h 32m
$14.98 with 1 bids


Ruby Gems Beads Natural Facet Melon Rondelle Assortment ~ 37.45 ct

Time Left: 14h 50m
$14.95 with 1 bids


Rare! 0.57ct 5.4x4.5mm Pear Natural Unheated Untreated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby

Time Left: 8h 24m
$14.50 with 9 bids


12.40 ct transparent Natural Burma Dark red ruby gemstone cut Certified SR1797

Time Left: 1d 7h 18m
$14.50 with 14 bids


Rare! 1.01ct 6.6x5mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3d 9h 39m
$14.50 with 14 bids


19pcs Lot 1.54ct t.w Round Brilliant Natural Top Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 12h 42m
$13.54 with 3 bids


Rare! 0.44ct 5.3x3.5mm Oval Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 4h 50m
$13.00 with 10 bids


17pcs Lot 1.55ct t.w Round Brilliant Natural Top Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 1d 6h 27m
$13.00 with 6 bids


12.44Ct. Splendid! Jumbo! Oval Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 14h 37m
$13.00 with 5 bids


Gemstone Burma Ruby 9.10 Ct 100% Natural Emerald Cut VS Clarity Certified B6455

Time Left: 5h 34m
$12.50 with 7 bids


900.00 CT NATURAL EARTH MINED PINKISH RED RUBY BURMA ROUGH GEMSTONE LOT

Time Left: 13h 40m
$12.50 with 4 bids


12.10 Ct Natural Oval Certified VS Clarity Untreated Burma Ruby Gemstone B6532

Time Left: 19h 3m
$12.50 with 3 bids


Marquise 4x2-4.5x2.5mm.Rare Thailand Top Pinkish Red Ruby (No Glass) 50P/5.61Ct.

Time Left: 1d 8h 9m
$12.50 with 7 bids


Rare! 0.53ct 5.8x4.3mm Oval Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 15h 47m
$12.50 with 3 bids


Rare! 1.02ct 7.6x5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 8h 5m
$12.50 with 8 bids


0.53Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 2d 17h 43m
$12.50 with 2 bids


Ruby Gemstone African Rough 721 Ct Natural Pigeon Blood Red Certified C447

Time Left: 6d 20h 20m
$12.50 with 14 bids


620 Ct Natural Huge Blood Red Ruby Loose Gemstone Mozambique AGSL Certified !!

Time Left: 19h 53m
$12.49 with 7 bids


8.00 Ct Certified Natural Burma Mines Red Ruby AAA+ VVS Cut Loose Gemstone R933

Time Left: 1d 4h 13m
$11.99 with 1 bids


Ruby 5.90 CT Square Shape Gemstone Natural Pigeon Blood Color GIE CERTIFIED B534

Time Left: 7h 34m
$11.85 with 14 bids


176.90 Ct EGL Certified Natural Stunning Uncut Red Ruby Gemstone Rough BU2072

Time Left: 2d 5h 42m
$11.85 with 1 bids


2710 Ct Natural Huge Blood Red Ruby Loose Gemstone Mozambique AGSL Certified !!

Time Left: 1d 19h 53m
$11.69 with 6 bids


6.77Ct.Precious Gem&Good Quality Natural BIG Top Red Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 7h 53m
$11.50 with 12 bids


18 Ct AAA+ Quality 9 Pieces Certified Natural Mozambique Ruby Gemstone Lot

Time Left: 1d 18h 13m
$11.50 with 6 bids


9.80 Ct Certified Rare Natural Burma VVS Pink Ruby AA+ Cut Loose Gemstone R1014

Time Left: 4d 17h 6m
$11.50 with 1 bids


5.8Ct Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB192

Time Left: 15h 58m
$10.50 with 7 bids


8.5 Ct Certified Natural Cabochon Oval 6 Rays Red Star Ruby Loose Gems I-102

Time Left: 1d 3h 18m
$10.50 with 10 bids


1002.00 CT NATURAL AFRICA MINE CORUNDUM RED RUBY GEMSTONE ROUGH MINERAL LOT

Time Left: 1d 14h
$10.50 with 2 bids


600.00 CT Natural OLD AFRICAN MINES Red Ruby Gemstone Tiny Rough Crystals Lot

Time Left: 1d 14h 31m
$10.50 with 4 bids


18.35 Ct 14Pieces Certified Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone Lot Sale

Time Left: 1d 18h 12m
$10.50 with 6 bids


Ravishing 918 Ct Natural Splendid Looking Red Ruby Rough Gemstone Best Offer

Time Left: 2d 5h 37m
$10.50 with 3 bids


4.55 CT BURMA MINES RUBY 100% Natural GIE Certified BEST Quality GORGEOUS Gem

Time Left: 3d 18h 36m
$10.50 with 3 bids


10.29ct.Shimmering! 100%Natural 6 Rays Top Blood Red Star Ruby Madagascar Nr!

Time Left: 4d 7h 28m
$10.50 with 9 bids


2.00Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 4d 9h 29m
$10.50 with 4 bids


9.50 Ct. Natural Burmese Red Ruby Square Cut Loose Gemstone Certified Gem VVS1

Time Left: 20h 43m
$10.01 with 14 bids


Rare! 1.03ct 5.6x5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *FREE Certified

Time Left: 5d 5h 2m
$10.00 with 9 bids


UNHEATED! 5.15ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 12h 3m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.58Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 16h 49m
$9.99 with 1 bids


UNHEATED! 5.55ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 21h 39m
$9.99 with 1 bids


Beautiful African 7.15 CT. Natural Dark Pink Ruby Gemstone GIA Certified OA7524

Time Left: 2d 8h 34m
$9.99 with 1 bids


100% Natural Pink Ruby Loose Gem Stone 9.75 Ct AGSL Certified Pear Cut Untreated

Time Left: 2d 16h 51m
$9.99 with 11 bids


50.14 Ct. Oval Cabochon Natural Red Ruby bi415

Time Left: 5d 4h 52m
$9.99 with 1 bids


4.60 Ct Certified Rare Natural Burma VVS Red Ruby AA+ Loose Gemstone R127

Time Left: 6d 17h 9m
$9.99 with 1 bids


6.40 ct Natural transparent pink red Burma ruby gem cut GIE Certified SR1796

Time Left: 1d 7h 12m
$9.92 with 6 bids


4.6Ct Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB197

Time Left: 5d 15h 58m
$9.58 with 6 bids


0.89ct 7x5mm Oval Natural Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 4h 54m
$9.53 with 8 bids


30.55 Cts Natural Star Ruby Wholesale Lot UnTreated UnHeated SRL277

Time Left: 11h 18m
$9.50 with 5 bids