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

Big Rare! 3.04ct 9.3x7.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 2d 3h 52m
$1,609.33 with 81 bids


VIVID RED 3.13 Cts Sparkling 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 2d 14h 38m
$1,275.00 with 10 bids


Top! VVS 0.64ct 6.7x4.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Rich Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3h 31m
$238.49 with 20 bids


Big Rare! 3.04ct 7.5x7mm Cushion Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *Certified

Time Left: 6d 3h 43m
$112.50 with 14 bids


Rare! 2.27ct 7.6x6.6mm Cushion Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 4d 6h 28m
$102.50 with 49 bids


11.5 Ct Ruby High Quality Color Treated Gemstone Loose COA Cut Gem $3500.00

Time Left: 4d 14h 52m
$99.95 with 1 bids


Rare! 2.33ct 12x6mm Marquise Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 3d 5h 8m
$80.75 with 21 bids


1.65Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 16h 19m
$79.00 with 6 bids


47.62ct Buddha Head Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 4h 34m
$73.00 with 28 bids


Rare! 1.28ct 6x5.8mm Cushion Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 1d 3h 59m
$59.00 with 25 bids


1.09ct 7.2x4.9mm Oval-Cut Natural Heated Red Ruby Tanzania

Time Left: 2d 16h 31m
$59.00 with 2 bids


0.50ct 4.8x4mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Purple Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 11h 40m
$57.00 with 11 bids


86.24ct Frog Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 4h 55m
$54.00 with 18 bids


4.35CT RARE MINE! NATURAL MOZAMBIQUE PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY *ONLY HEAT NO GLASS

Time Left: 3d 11h 12m
$49.99 with 1 bids


2.75CT RARE! AWESOME MOZAMBIQUE PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY *ONLY HEAT NO GLASS

Time Left: 3d 11h 54m
$39.99 with 1 bids


1.02ct 10x5mm Marquise Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *Free GLC Certified

Time Left: 3d 13h 46m
$39.00 with 19 bids


Rare! 1.01ct 5.7x5.6mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar *GLC Certified

Time Left: 3h 4m
$34.00 with 27 bids


5.70 Ct.Natural Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Square Cut Loose Gemstone Certified Gem

Time Left: 18h 43m
$32.31 with 15 bids


10.84 ct AAA transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut Certified

Time Left: 15h 8m
$30.00 with 11 bids


Burma Red Ruby Gemstone Oval 34.60 Ct Natural AGSL Certified VS Clarity D3102

Time Left: 2h 48m
$26.00 with 12 bids


Rare! 2.06ct 8x6.2mm Oval Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 2d 7h 38m
$26.00 with 12 bids


22.40Ct.Precious Gem! Natural HUGE Top Red Pink Ruby Mozambique Oval Cabochon!

Time Left: 4d 7h 4m
$26.00 with 8 bids


Round&Pear 5x5-5.5x5mm.Museum Gem Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby 4Pcs/2.79Ct.

Time Left: 3h 8m
$25.00 with 6 bids


18.38ct Flying Bat Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 5h 51m
$24.99 with 7 bids


517.85Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby Gem Stone AGSL Certified Museum use Oval Cut

Time Left: 4h 40m
$23.50 with 15 bids


9.53Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Purplish Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 4h 48m
$23.50 with 5 bids


Natural 3.55 Ct True Color Alexandrite Square Cut Gemstone GIE Certified PS220

Time Left: 4d 5h 36m
$22.50 with 7 bids


4.30 Ct 100 % Natural Certified Burma Red Pink Ruby Loose Gemstone PS227

Time Left: 4d 5h 12m
$21.80 with 7 bids


1.98Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 6h 2m
$21.50 with 5 bids


433.20Ct Natural Huge Blood Red Ruby Loose Gemstone Mozambique AGSL Certified !!

Time Left: 1d 16h 34m
$20.50 with 10 bids


Natural Rare 1.95 Ceylon Padpparadscha Sapphire Gemstone GIE Certifited PS223

Time Left: 4d 5h 25m
$20.50 with 2 bids


Natural Rare 2.75 Ceylon Padpparadscha Sapphire Gemstone GIE Certifited PS222

Time Left: 4d 5h 32m
$20.50 with 2 bids


Ruby Burma 4.95 CT Pigeon Blood Color Cushion Shape Gemstone GIE CERTIFIED B1161

Time Left: 3d 4h 3m
$20.00 with 16 bids


VERY NICE 9.35ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 10h 52m
$19.99 with 1 bids


Australian Natural Sapphire parti 5.10 Ct Oval Cut GIE Certified Gemstone PS226

Time Left: 4d 5h 16m
$19.80 with 12 bids


1.52Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 15h 40m
$19.50 with 5 bids


4.65 Ct Color Change Alexandrite Most Rare Precious Gemstone GIE Certified PS231

Time Left: 3d 5h 17m
$19.50 with 4 bids


Australian Natural Sapphire parti 7.40 Ct Oval Cut GIE Certified Gemstone PS224

Time Left: 4d 5h 28m
$19.50 with 10 bids


Australian Natural Sapphire parti 7.55 Ct GIE Certified Gemstone PS225

Time Left: 4d 5h 22m
$18.50 with 6 bids


5.3Ct Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB237

Time Left: 13h 14m
$18.03 with 7 bids


330.45 Ct Natural Huge Pigeon BloodRed Ruby AGSL Certified Pear Museum Use Gem

Time Left: 2d 3h 35m
$18.00 with 10 bids


284.20Ct Natural Huge Blood Red Ruby Loose Gemstone Mozambique AGSL Certified !!

Time Left: 3d 17h 8m
$18.00 with 5 bids


Burma Red Ruby Gemstone Untreated 28.70 Ct Natural Oval Cut AGSL Certified D3109

Time Left: 2h 48m
$17.50 with 12 bids


7.90 ct transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone Emerald cut Certified

Time Left: 2d 4h 39m
$17.50 with 8 bids


JTV 1.15 TCW BURMA RUBY PAIR ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL

Time Left: 1d 13h 3m
$17.00 with 1 bids


100 % Natural 36.00 Cts STAR RUBY Nice Quality Loose Gemstone Free Shipping

Time Left: 3h 35m
$16.99 with 1 bids


4.95 CT TRANSPARENT NATURAL PINK SAPPHIRE GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE PS219

Time Left: 4d 5h 42m
$16.80 with 4 bids


6.1Ct 12x10mm Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB657

Time Left: 13h 17m
$16.75 with 4 bids


Natural 5.10 Ct True Color Alexandrite Cushion Cut Gemstone GIE Certified PS221

Time Left: 4d 5h 26m
$16.60 with 5 bids


Oval 6x4 mm.PAIR! Museum Gem Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby 1.28Ct.

Time Left: 8h 10m
$16.50 with 3 bids


1.12Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 13h 1m
$16.00 with 4 bids


4.20 Ct 100 % Natural Certified Burma Red Pink Ruby Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 4d 5h 4m
$15.70 with 4 bids


Oval 5x4 mm.Museum Gem! Top Pinkish Red Normal Heated Ruby 12Pcs/5.48Ct.

Time Left: 4d 6h 12m
$15.50 with 2 bids


Mixed Round Rubies 12.44ct Natural Loose Gemstones

Time Left: 1d 7h 36m
$15.52 with 10 bids


Australian Natural Sapphire parti 4.15 Ct Oval Cut GIE Certified Gemstone PS229

Time Left: 3d 5h 9m
$15.00 with 4 bids


1.17Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 13h 22m
$14.50 with 3 bids


1.22Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 13h 34m
$14.50 with 4 bids


Rare! 1.09ct 7.6x5.4mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar *GLC Certified

Time Left: 1d 5h 35m
$13.50 with 6 bids


234.55 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby Gem Stone AGSL Certified Museum Use Earth-Mined

Time Left: 2d 2h 56m
$13.50 with 3 bids


Mixed Baguette Rubies 4.89ct Natural Loose Gemstones

Time Left: 1d 7h 7m
$13.48 with 7 bids


6.25 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pink Red Ruby gemstone Oval cut Certified

Time Left: 1d 4h 55m
$12.99 with 4 bids


Ravishing Looking 447 Ct Natural fabulous Red Ruby Rough Gemstone Best Offer

Time Left: 1d 12h 49m
$12.99 with 2 bids


4.40 cts. AAA+ TRANSPARENT NATURAL YELLOW SAPPHIRE ESTATE COLLECTION LOT MK 31

Time Left: 9h 49m
$12.98 with 1 bids


Natural Loose Ruby Gemstones 29.21 TCW

Time Left: 4h 34m
$12.50 with 10 bids


3.17Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Red Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 4h 58m
$12.50 with 2 bids


Pear Shape 6x4 mm.Museum Gem Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby 3Pcs/1.58Ct.

Time Left: 5h 48m
$12.50 with 2 bids


4.80 Ct Color Change Alexandrite Most Rare Precious Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 2d 5h 3m
$12.00 with 5 bids


23.50 Ct Natural Loose Ruby Lot Oval Non-treated Cabochon For Setting

Time Left: 3d 1h 26m
$11.99 with 1 bids


1.45Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! TOP STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 15h 7m
$11.50 with 2 bids


9.45 ct transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone Emerald cut Certified

Time Left: 2d 4h 36m
$11.50 with 3 bids


3.80 CT BURMISH PIGEON BLOOD COLOR DARK RED RUBY GEMSTONE GIE CERTIFIED

Time Left: 5h 19m
$11.30 with 4 bids


5.75 ct transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone Emerald cut Certified

Time Left: 2d 14h 2m
$11.00 with 16 bids


GIE Certified 5.10Ct Square Shape Translucent Burmish Red Ruby Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 14h 5m
$11.00 with 7 bids


7.71Ct TOP MOST AMAZING RARE ! STUNNING FIRE 100% NATURAL PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 14h 22m
$10.99 with 2 bids


4.90 Ct Color Change Alexandrite Most Rare Precious Gemstone GIE Certified PS232

Time Left: 3d 5h 25m
$10.99 with 6 bids


UNHEATED! 10.35ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 10h 49m
$10.99 with 2 bids


Mixed Rubies 4.21ct Natural Loose Gemstones

Time Left: 1d 7h 27m
$10.91 with 7 bids


32.34 Ct - Amazing Heated Natural Oval Cabochon Red Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1h 26m
$10.79 with 1 bids


4.79Ct.UNHEATED! Top Blood Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania (Rose Flower Carving)

Time Left: 3h 54m
$10.50 with 11 bids


24.28Ct.Precious Gem! Natural HUGE Top Red Pink Ruby Mozambique Oval Cabochon!

Time Left: 7h 56m
$10.50 with 3 bids


11.33 CT Transparent Mozambique Ruby GIE Certified Natural Oval Shaped Nice Gem

Time Left: 15h 46m
$10.50 with 5 bids


12.65 CTS TRANSLUCENT BIG PERFECT 6 RAYS BLOOD RED NATURAL STAR RUBY

Time Left: 18h 5m
$10.50 with 6 bids


1.45 CT TRANSPARENT NATURAL PINK SAPPHIRE GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE PS195

Time Left: 1d 6h 3m
$10.50 with 3 bids


3.25 Ct Color Change Alexandrite Most Rare Precious Gemstone GIE Certified PS230

Time Left: 3d 5h 12m
$10.50 with 6 bids


Red Ruby Raw Gemstone Rough 60.85 Ct Natural 31 x 18 mm Certified Madagascar

Time Left: 3d 16h 35m
$10.50 with 8 bids


7.25 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pink Red Ruby gemstone Oval cut Certified

Time Left: 4d 4h 18m
$10.50 with 9 bids


Ruby Gemstone Rough African 489 Ct Pigeon Blood Red Natural Certified C7617

Time Left: 4d 15h 1m
$10.50 with 2 bids


3.10 CT TRANSPARENT BURMISH PINK RED COLOR RUBY GEMSTONE GIE CERTIFIED PR8413

Time Left: 5h 7m
$10.40 with 2 bids


NATURAL 5.50 CT CEYLON RICH BLUE SAPPHIRE CUT GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE SN6555

Time Left: 5h 15m
$10.10 with 2 bids


30.06 Ct - Amazing Heated Natural Oval Cabochon Red Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1h 11m
$10.09 with 1 bids


Burma Red Ruby Gemstone Untreated 3.65 Ct Natural Cushion VVS1 Certified C1119

Time Left: 2h 47m
$10.00 with 9 bids


6.00 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pink Red Ruby gemstone Oval cut Certified

Time Left: 4h 59m
$10.00 with 6 bids


4.85 CT NATURAL TRANSPARENT BURMISH PINK RED RUBY GEMSTONE GIE CERTIFIED

Time Left: 5h 33m
$10.00 with 3 bids


418.10 Ct Natural Red Mozambique Ruby Earth-Mined Only Heated Loose 56 PCs Rough

Time Left: 1d 17h 5m
$10.00 with 8 bids


UNHEATED! 8.55ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 1h 36m
$9.99 with 1 bids


13.24 CTS_STUNNIING LUSTER_PRICEIOUS GEMSTONE_100 % NATURAL RED RUBY

Time Left: 5h
$9.99 with 1 bids


5.20 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pink Red Ruby gemstone Oval cut Certified

Time Left: 5h 46m
$9.99 with 10 bids


259 Cts Certified Natural Red Ruby Pear Faceted Cut Museum Size Huge Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 10h 17m
$9.99 with 1 bids


6.31Ct TOP MOST AMAZING RARE ! STUNNING FIRE 100% NATURAL PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY

Time Left: 1d 13h 14m
$9.99 with 1 bids


5.17Ct "GIL" CERTIFIED UNIQUE COLLECTION AMAZING FIRE UNHEATED MOZAMBIQUE RUBY

Time Left: 1d 14h 35m
$9.99 with 1 bids