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

1.35ct.CERTIFIED! UNTREATED,UNHEATED 100%NATURAL RED RUBY GEMSTONE OVAL

Time Left: 4d 8h 33m
$1,004.33 with 81 bids


Rare! 449.58ct Lucky Owl Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 4d 10h 32m
$305.00 with 34 bids


VIVID RED 3.89Cts GRS CERTIFIED 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 3d 18h 43m
$208.01 with 16 bids


GIA CERTIFIED TRANSPARENT NATURAL OVAL RED RUBY 1.42 CT

Time Left: 2d 15h 10m
$130.00 with 1 bids


GIA Certified Unheated Natural Ruby Pigeon’s blood Red Pear 3.01 ct

Time Left: 3d 18h 5m
$104.01 with 6 bids


149 Ct Ruby High Quality Natural Untreated Gemstone Loose COA Cut Gem $2500.00

Time Left: 5d 17h 52m
$99.95 with 1 bids


RED 2.04Cts GRS CERTIFIED Sparkling 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 3d 18h 28m
$78.00 with 14 bids


RUBINO BIRMANO 6.90 cts 100% NATURALE CERTIFICATO in BLISTER Burma Ruby

Time Left: 3d 2h 59m
$69.68 with 7 bids


PURISSIMO RUBINO 100% NATURALE ct.9,83 ROSSO VIVO! COME DIAMANTE

Time Left: 2d 5h 35m
$52.84 with 17 bids


1.88 CT BEAUTIFUL PIGEON BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY EMERALD CUT LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 5d 5h 6m
$51.05 with 1 bids


11.30Ct EGL Certified Natural Wonderful Emerald Cut Red Ruby Gemstone AJ509

Time Left: 21h
$49.82 with 1 bids


8.21Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 6h 24m
$41.00 with 5 bids


2.01 Cts GRS Certified ! 100%Natural Nice RED Color Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 4d 18h 43m
$41.00 with 6 bids


820 Ct EGL Certified Natural AAA+ Superior Quality Red Ruby Gemstone Rough BZ156

Time Left: 7h 14m
$39.96 with 1 bids


1135Ct EGL Certified Natural High Quality Earth Mined Red Ruby Gems Rough AL2139

Time Left: 7h 36m
$39.80 with 1 bids


Rare! 0.70ct 5mm Round Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *Free GLC Certified

Time Left: 9h 50m
$36.00 with 15 bids


Rubis Naturel Rose de Birmanie 7,85 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 2d 6h 37m
$35.42 with 3 bids


 8.18 cts  Oval Ruby (Corundum)

Time Left: 6d 20h 32m
$35.00 with 1 bids


2.37Ct.HEATED ONLY! Top Red Pink Ruby Mozambique Marquise Facet 2Faces in 1Pcs

Time Left: 8h 48m
$34.37 with 3 bids


47.84ct Buddha Head Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 2d 6h 16m
$33.76 with 13 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Sang de Pigeon de 10,05 ct avec Certificat Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 2d 2h 19m
$33.10 with 1 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Sang de Pigeon de 6,10 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité GIE

Time Left: 4h 31m
$31.93 with 1 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Top Quality 8.10 Ct Square Cut Loose Certified Gem

Time Left: 15h 50m
$31.98 with 23 bids


Rare! 0.79ct 5.7x4.7mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *GLC Certified

Time Left: 1d 10h
$31.00 with 7 bids


Rubis Naturel Rose de Birmanie 5,80 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 5h 2m
$30.77 with 1 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Sang du Mozambique 6,15 ct avec Certificat Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 5h 41m
$30.77 with 1 bids


IGL Certified 3.15 Ct Natural Round Cut Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 22h 53m
$29.99 with 11 bids


6.85CT Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB601

Time Left: 3d 17h 11m
$29.88 with 4 bids


17.60Ct EGL Certified Natural Attractive Emerald Cut Red Ruby Gemstone AJ349

Time Left: 5d 21h 14m
$29.82 with 1 bids


14.90Ct EGL Certified Natural Superb Oval Cut Red Ruby Gemstone Ring Size AT1802

Time Left: 4d 7h 59m
$29.67 with 1 bids


IGL Certified 567 Ct Natural African Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B933

Time Left: 1d 12h 5m
$20.50 with 4 bids


Natural 4.95 Ct Oval Certified VS Clarity Untreated Burma Red Ruby Gemstone Ebay

Time Left: 1d 21h 2m
$20.49 with 7 bids


23.51Ct.Amazing! 6Rays Star Jumbo Size! Oval Cabochon Purplish Red Natural Ruby

Time Left: 3d 15h 43m
$20.00 with 20 bids


2ct Genuine NATURAL faceted RUBY 8mm Round

Time Left: 2d 11h 33m
$19.99 with 1 bids


Certified 300 Cts/19 Pcs Natural Red Ruby Oval Faceted Loose Ring Size Gems Lot

Time Left: 2d 13h 31m
$19.99 with 1 bids


188.81 CTW LOT OF GEMS! WITH A HUGE RED RUBY 31.00 CARATS (EB8)

Time Left: 4d 8h 33m
$19.95 with 1 bids


7.30Ct EGL-Certified Natural Attractive Oval Shape Red Star Ruby Gemstone O1387

Time Left: 2d 18h 9m
$19.86 with 1 bids


dkd/ 27.2gram NATURAL Rhodochrosite Beads

Time Left: 1d 13h 30m
$18.88 with 2 bids


dkd/ 6.3gram NATURAL Tsavorite Beads

Time Left: 1d 13h 34m
$18.88 with 1 bids


1.14 CTS VERY RARE UNHEAT LIGHT PINK NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 2d 11h 5m
$17.50 with 2 bids


1.25Ct.Museum Gem! Natural Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 8h 4m
$15.50 with 6 bids


16.41 CTS CRYSTAL CLEAR LARGE GEM PIECE INTENSE RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 1d 12h 9m
$15.50 with 5 bids


IGL Certified 422 Carat Natural Uncut African Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B966

Time Left: 1d 18h 31m
$15.09 with 4 bids


WHOLESALE 100Cts MAGNIFICENT NATURAL MIX CABOCHON RED RUBY GEMSTONE LOT 642

Time Left: 2d 12h 35m
$14.99 with 1 bids


1.42Ct.Museum Gem! Natural Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 9h 24m
$14.49 with 6 bids


5.01CT RARE !! 100% NATURAL UNHEATED BLOOD PINK AFRICAN RUBY OVAL CUT LOOSESTONE

Time Left: 9h 20m
$14.00 with 6 bids


100 % Natural 29.10 Cts STAR RUBY Nice Quality Loose Gemstone Free Shipping

Time Left: 4d 6h 36m
$13.99 with 1 bids


Natural Loose Ruby Double Cut Faceted 1 mm Round AAA Quality 10 Pieces Lot

Time Left: 5m 34s
$13.50 with 1 bids


5.53Ct. Ravishing! Big! Scissor Cut Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 15h 31m
$13.50 with 7 bids


808.35 CT Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Best Quality Gem Stone

Time Left: 1d 17h 18m
$13.50 with 9 bids


902.00 CT Natural Madagascar Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Tiny Rough Nuggets LOT

Time Left: 1d 11h 8m
$13.49 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 11h 8m
$13.49 with 3 bids


GROSSO RUBINO BIRMANO 14.25 cts 100% NATURALE CERTIFICATO in BLISTER Burma Ruby

Time Left: 4d 7h 25m
$13.35 with 6 bids


4.29Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 11h 12m
$12.50 with 3 bids


18.67Ct.Museum Gem! Natural HUGE Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 11h 48m
$12.50 with 8 bids


IGL Certified 1157 Ct Natural African Blood Red Ruby Finest Gemstone Rough B905

Time Left: 1d 9h 54m
$12.00 with 5 bids


Certified 1160 Ct Natural African Blood Red Ruby Top Quality Gemstone Rough B904

Time Left: 2d 9h 32m
$11.98 with 4 bids


7.86 CTS PLEASING PERFECT 6 RAYS PINKISH RED NATURAL STAR RUBY

Time Left: 1d 21h 24m
$11.50 with 3 bids


IGL Certified 1032 Ct Natural African Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B909

Time Left: 1d 21h 27m
$11.50 with 11 bids


Top Quality Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Round Cut Loose Gemstone Certified

Time Left: 2d 16h 5m
$11.50 with 12 bids


1.30ct 8.7x6mm Trillion Natural Unheated Reddish Purple Ruby *Free GLC Certified

Time Left: 3d 12h 10m
$11.50 with 4 bids


12.20 CT Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Manik Emerald Cut Gems Ggl Certified

Time Left: 7h 34m
$11.00 with 13 bids


1052 Ct Natural Huge Pigeon BloodRed Ruby AGSL Certified Oval Best Quality Gem

Time Left: 5d 8h 15m
$10.54 with 17 bids


IGL Certified 6.75 Ct Natural Oval Cut Untreated VS Clarity Burma Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 22h 32m
$10.50 with 7 bids


Natural 895 Carat IGL Certified African Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough Ebay B910

Time Left: 1d 7h 21m
$10.50 with 9 bids


1000.00 CT NATURAL EARTH MINED PINKISH RED RUBY BURMA ROUGH GEMSTONE LOT

Time Left: 1d 11h 8m
$10.50 with 3 bids


Unheated 9.95 Cts Natural Mined 10mmx12mm Sri-Lanka Ruby Emerald Cut VVS Gem

Time Left: 1d 17h 40m
$10.50 with 13 bids


0.48Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 1d 22h 40m
$10.50 with 2 bids


Natural 7.95 Ct Cushion Certified VS Clarity Untreated Burma Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 9h 33m
$10.50 with 10 bids


Natural 1089 Carat IGL Certified African Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B916

Time Left: 2d 12h 5m
$10.50 with 8 bids


Rare! 435.23ct Phoenix Bird Carving Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby

Time Left: 5d 9h 41m
$10.50 with 8 bids


12.40 CT Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Manik Emerald Cut Gems Ggl Certified

Time Left: 7h 45m
$10.01 with 9 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Top Quality 7.15 Ct Round Cut Loose Certified Gem

Time Left: 16h 50m
$10.00 with 9 bids


Natural 5.40 Ct Oval IGL Certified Untreated VS Clarity Burma Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 7h 49m
$9.99 with 1 bids


UNHEATED! 5.05ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 21h 35m
$9.99 with 1 bids


9.06 CT NATURAL! 23PCS PINK RUBY GLASS FILLED BRIOLETTE CUT (DRILLED) MADAGASCAR

Time Left: 2d 5h 6m
$9.99 with 1 bids


100 % Natural 16.00 Cts STAR RUBY Nice Quality Loose Gemstone Free Shipping

Time Left: 2d 6h 40m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.44Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 2d 16h 50m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.49Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 2d 17h 20m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.50Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 2d 17h 32m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 17h 51m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.54Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 2d 17h 55m
$9.99 with 1 bids


12.62Ct GORGEOUS ! STUNNING FIRE NATURAL BURMESE RUBY - JUST HEATED

Time Left: 2d 19h 28m
$9.99 with 1 bids


0.44Ct TOP MOST AMAZING ! STUNNING FIRE UNHEATED 100% NATURAL REDDISH PINK RUBY

Time Left: 4d 20h 32m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 21h 29m
$9.99 with 1 bids


1.54Ct TOP MOST AMAZING RARE ! STUNNING FIRE 100% NATURAL PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY

Time Left: 4d 23h
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 8h 50m
$9.98 with 1 bids


380+ rough natural rubies mined from Franklin North Carolina area.

Time Left: 6d 15h 5m
$9.95 with 1 bids


16.52 CT NATURAL PINK MADAGASCAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON

Time Left: 16h 7m
$9.50 with 7 bids


8.20 Ct Natural Cushion IGL Certified Untreated VS Clarity Burma Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 22h 19m
$9.50 with 5 bids


224.15 CT Natural Huge Pigeon Blood Red Ruby AGSL Certified Top Quality Gem

Time Left: 1d 17h 7m
$9.50 with 10 bids


IGL Certified 952 Ct/103mm Natural African Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B912

Time Left: 1d 21h 10m
$9.50 with 3 bids


6.95ct 11.8x10mm Oval Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique (Heated Glass Filled)

Time Left: 2d 6h 24m
$9.50 with 5 bids


Huge Rare! 552.65ct Bulldog Carving In Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 3d 10h 46m
$9.50 with 10 bids


100 % Natural 14.00 Cts STAR RUBY Nice Quality Loose Gemstone Free Shipping

Time Left: 2d 6h 40m
$9.49 with 1 bids


Natural 1089 Ct IGL Certified African Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Rough B903

Time Left: 2d 8h 56m
$9.38 with 7 bids


32.80 Ct Natural Pink Burma Ruby AGSL Certified Oval Cut Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 3h 30m
$8.50 with 8 bids


12.35 CT TRANSPARENT RUBY PIGEON BLOOD COLOUR GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE R817

Time Left: 7h 30m
$8.50 with 2 bids


Rare! 0.37ct 3.8mm Square Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby

Time Left: 8h 32m
$8.50 with 4 bids


14.27Ct. Spectacular! Jumbo! Oval Facet Pinkish Red Natural Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 15h 32m
$8.50 with 5 bids