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

GIA Certified Unheated Natural Ruby Pigeon’s blood Red Oval 2.10 ct

Time Left: 3d 19h 4m
$610.00 with 8 bids


4.05 CT FABULOUS PIGEON BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY OCTAGON CUT PAIR LOOSE GEMSTONE

Time Left: 6h 29m
$81.06 with 1 bids


4.25 CT BEAUTIFUL PIGEON BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY EMERALD CUT PAIR LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 6h 33m
$71.05 with 1 bids


2.35 Ct Ebay Natural Oval IGL Certified Red Ruby Rich Red, Madagascar #3

Time Left: 4d 11h 38m
$66.57 with 1 bids


4.10 CT FABULOUS TOP PIGEON BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY OVAL CUT LOOSE GEMSTONE

Time Left: 6h 29m
$60.06 with 1 bids


Amazing! 6Rays Star 22.49 Ct. Oval Cabochon Purple Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 16h 1m
$60.00 with 8 bids


BIG Rare! 4.42ct 13.3x9mm Pear Natural Unheated Top Red Ruby *Free GLC Certified

Time Left: 2d 17h 20m
$57.00 with 13 bids


Natural 2ct Asscher Cut RUBY Loose Gem RARE CUT

Time Left: 2d 17h 40m
$52.51 with 14 bids


Spectacular! 17.9 Ct. Oval Cabochon Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 16h 1m
$52.00 with 13 bids


Prominent! 21.12Ct. 19.5x14.6mm.Oval Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 3d 17h 7m
$51.00 with 11 bids


18.26 CT FABULOUS BLOOD RED HEATING NATURAL RUBY CABOCHON OVAL LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 7h 22m
$50.06 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 16h 59m
$47.00 with 4 bids


23.64 Cts/54 Pcs Natural Ruby Rich Red Mozambique Gemstones Wholesale 4mm-7mm

Time Left: 3d 3h 6m
$44.99 with 1 bids


Majestic 20.42 X 17.88 X 11.1 Oval Cut Ruby 36.58 carat and Flawless

Time Left: 2d 13h 29m
$40.99 with 2 bids


10.30 CT HEATING PENDANT SIZE NATURAL RED RUBY COBOCHON HEART LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 7h 30m
$40.05 with 1 bids


Rare! 1.13ct 6x5.6mm Cushion Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 4d 15h 53m
$32.51 with 9 bids


12.19Cts 2pcs GENUINE BLOOD RED RUBY 10x12mm OVAL CABOCHON UNTREATED GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 15h 9m
$31.99 with 1 bids


rough untreated Burma Ruby 3.21ct Mineral specimen Lapidary Loose gemstones

Time Left: 6d 8h 13m
$31.95 with 12 bids


VS CLEAN 3.40ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 1d 8h 58m
$31.00 with 2 bids


2.35 CT FABULOUS RING SIZE HEATING NATURAL RED RUBY OVAL CUT LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 7h 22m
$30.05 with 1 bids


Big Rare! 9.29ct 13.3x10mm Oval Natural Rich Red Ruby (Heated Glass Filled)

Time Left: 16h 39m
$30.00 with 15 bids


Certified 1475 Carat Natural African Red Ruby Round Faceted Huge Earth Mined Gem

Time Left: 2d 15h 46m
$29.99 with 2 bids


BELLISSIMO RUBINO BIRMANO 4,55 cts 100% NATURALE Burma Ruby

Time Left: 1d 1h 34m
$29.72 with 3 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Sang de Birmanie 5,00 ct avec Certificat d'Authenticité AGSL

Time Left: 4d 7h 56m
$26.22 with 1 bids


Rare! 0.63ct 8.7x4mm Marquise Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *GLC Certified

Time Left: 14h 42m
$26.00 with 6 bids


8.95Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural BIG Top Blood Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 2d 12h 36m
$26.00 with 8 bids


9.03Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural BIG Top Blood Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 12h 36m
$26.00 with 4 bids


6.30 Cts Finest Quality AAA+ Cabochon Pigeon Blood Burma Red Ruby Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 10h 13m
$25.05 with 30 bids


3.87 CTS RECOMMENDED BEST EYE CLEAN HUGE UNHEAT VIVID RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 20h 7m
$25.00 with 7 bids


10+ Ct Rubies High Quality Natural Untreated Gemstone Loose Raw Uncut Gem $1500

Time Left: 2d 18h 43m
$24.95 with 1 bids


36.42 CT NATURAL! RED RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON MADAGASCAR ENCHANTING

Time Left: 3d 20h 43m
$24.95 with 1 bids


Natural 16.05 Ct Mozambique Ruby Certified AAA Quality Loose Gemstone 16 Pcs Lot

Time Left: 2d 21h 43m
$24.50 with 16 bids


UNHEATED! 8.25ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 7h 24m
$21.50 with 2 bids


1037.3 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 9h 17m
$21.50 with 14 bids


VIVID PINK RED 1.06Cts AIGS CERTIFIED 100% Natural Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 19h 47m
$21.50 with 6 bids


18.20 Ct Certified Natural AAA Quality Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone 20Pcs Lot

Time Left: 2d 2h 39m
$21.50 with 20 bids


1750 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 19h 22m
$20.49 with 9 bids


Favoloso RUBINO 2.07 cts 100% naturale Ruby

Time Left: 3d 4h 1m
$20.40 with 2 bids


3.75 CT BEAUTIFUL UNIQUE BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY COBOCHON HEART LOOSE GEMSTONES

Time Left: 7h 22m
$20.07 with 1 bids


76.79ct Buddha Carving Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 10h 30m
$20.00 with 21 bids


Fine Cut 7.50 Ct Certified Natural AAA Quality Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 5d 3h 50m
$19.99 with 1 bids


Untreated 278.10 Cts 100% Natural Star Pink Ruby Rough Gemstone. KP 2004B

Time Left: 2h 45m
$19.67 with 13 bids


4.5ct 10.0mm by 8.0mm Checkered Cut Natural Ruby Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 15h 31m
$19.50 with 5 bids


rough untreated Burma Ruby 2.41ct Mineral specimen Lapidary Loose gemstones

Time Left: 1d 11h 31m
$19.30 with 16 bids


27.84 CT NATURAL! BIG! RED RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON MADAGASCAR GORGEOUS

Time Left: 1d 16h 26m
$18.86 with 1 bids


Rare 10.15 Carat Loose Oval Cabochon Shape Blood Red Ruby Madagascar Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 21h 28m
$18.50 with 17 bids


1909 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 23h 4m
$17.51 with 11 bids


84Ct. Ruby Natural Gemstone Round 2*3Mmx4*5Mm Beads Strand 17"

Time Left: 11h 52m
$17.50 with 6 bids


3.83 CTS MOZAMBIQUE'S LARGEST EYE CLEAN UNHEAT INTENSE RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 20h 13m
$17.50 with 8 bids


2.25 CTS Certified Natural Ruby Oval Cabochon 10x7 mm Reddish Shade Loose Gems

Time Left: 1d 15h 58m
$15.99 with 1 bids


Rare! 0.32ct 5x4mm Oval Natural Unheated Rich Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 10h 9m
$15.50 with 21 bids


Rare! 0.53ct 5.3x4mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *GLC Certified

Time Left: 1d 10h 9m
$15.50 with 10 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 16h 4m
$15.50 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 17h 10m
$15.50 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 17h 34m
$15.50 with 4 bids


4.30 Ct Burma Pink Red Ruby Best Quality With AGSL Certificate-Online Verify Gem

Time Left: 1d 20h
$15.50 with 5 bids


102.55ct Dragon Carving Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 5d 9h 11m
$15.50 with 9 bids


MASSIVE~115.20Cts NATURAL BLOOD RED PRECIOUS RUBY EMERALD CUT AAA GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 12h 45m
$14.99 with 1 bids


117.65Cts STUNNING NATURAL BLOOD RED RUBY OVAL CUT PRECIOUS GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 13h 57m
$14.99 with 1 bids


3.70 CTS Natural Ruby Oval Cabochon 9x7mm Certified Gemstone Loose Reddish Shade

Time Left: 1d 15h 45m
$14.99 with 1 bids


3.30 CTS Natural Ruby Oval Cabochon 9x7mm Certified Loose Gemstone Reddish Shade

Time Left: 1d 15h 46m
$14.99 with 1 bids


rough untreated Burma Ruby 3.84ct Mineral specimen Lapidary Loose gemstones

Time Left: 1d 11h 35m
$14.98 with 19 bids


rough untreated Burma Ruby 3.59ct Mineral specimen Lapidary Loose gemstones

Time Left: 1d 11h 31m
$13.98 with 14 bids


1.26Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania Very Good Luster!

Time Left: 1d 9h 36m
$13.50 with 7 bids


Big Offer 15.15 Ct Certified Natural AAA Quality Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 4h 23m
$13.50 with 2 bids


484.6CT 100% Natural Unheated Star Ruby Specimen Facet Rough YRX1469

Time Left: 2d 19h 25m
$13.49 with 2 bids


Oval cut Natural Burma Ruby unheated 0.15ct Genuine Loose Gemstones

Time Left: 6d 8h 13m
$13.31 with 1 bids


Mixed Burmese Rubies 0.42ct Antique Untreated Natural Loose Gemstones

Time Left: 6d 12h 8m
$13.31 with 1 bids


6.6CT Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB146

Time Left: 2d 19h 14m
$13.25 with 4 bids


945.30 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 21h 58m
$12.50 with 9 bids


5.95Ct Five-star Oval Cab cut 11 x 9 mm Natural Blood Red Ruby

Time Left: 3d 18h 45m
$11.99 with 1 bids


Untreated 395.70 Cts 100% Natural Star Pink Ruby Rough Gemstone. KP2013B

Time Left: 2h 45m
$11.50 with 13 bids


44.55 Cts Natural Star Ruby Wholesale Lot UnTreated UnHeated SRL142

Time Left: 8h 4m
$11.50 with 5 bids


1000.00 CT NATURAL EARTH MINED PINKISH RED RUBY BURMA ROUGH GEMSTONE

Time Left: 16h 7m
$11.50 with 6 bids


4.34 Cts Natural Star Ruby Pinkish Red Vietnam Gem

Time Left: 20h 54m
$11.50 with 2 bids


Gorgeous! 9.19 Ct. Oval Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 16h 1m
$11.50 with 3 bids


Big Offer 11.80 Ct Certified Natural AAA Quality Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 2h 41m
$11.50 with 8 bids


Natural 13.10 Ct Mozambique Red Ruby Certified AAA+ Quality Superb Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 21h 17m
$11.50 with 7 bids


2324 CT Mozambique African Ruby Natural Big Size Awesome Wholesale Lot GI344 PL

Time Left: 3d 3h 57m
$11.50 with 10 bids


rough untreated Burma Ruby 4.61ct Mineral specimen Lapidary Loose gemstones

Time Left: 6d 11h 1m
$11.32 with 9 bids


11.00CT NATURAL TRANSPARENT RUBY PIGEON BLOOD COLOUR GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE R528

Time Left: 10h 11m
$11.00 with 9 bids


7.1CT Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB144

Time Left: 19h 14m
$11.00 with 8 bids


1212.3 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 20h 36m
$11.00 with 9 bids


242.80Ct EGL Certified Natural Heart Shape African Top Red Ruby Gemstone AQ4805

Time Left: 22h 11m
$10.73 with 1 bids


1.21Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 8h 48m
$10.55 with 6 bids


Natural 5.50 Ct Mozambique Red Ruby Certified AAA+ Quality Superb Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 22h 31m
$10.51 with 7 bids


9.55 Ct Natural Huge Pigeon Blood Red Mozambique Ruby GGL Certified AAA Gems

Time Left: 13h 22m
$10.50 with 7 bids


Jumbo! 14.28 Ct. 13.4x10.3mm. Oval Cabochon Purple Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 16h 8m
$10.50 with 10 bids


3.50 Ct AAA+ Quality Matching Pair Natural Certified Mozambique Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 1h 56m
$10.50 with 4 bids


5.60 CT NATURAL TRANSPARENT RUBY PIGEON BLOOD COLOUR GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE R532

Time Left: 1d 9h 32m
$10.50 with 7 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 16h 47m
$10.50 with 8 bids


Rare 2.90 Carat Loose Cut Cushion Shape Blood Red Ruby Madagascar Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 20h 14m
$10.50 with 10 bids


$1800 Natural 2ct Emerald Cut RUBY Loose Gem

Time Left: 4d 17h 35m
$10.50 with 8 bids


1.80Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 1d 8h 32m
$10.39 with 4 bids


758.45 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 8h 43m
$10.00 with 8 bids


919.85 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 8h 53m
$10.00 with 8 bids


18.95 CT NATURAL RED MADAGASCAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON

Time Left: 18h 36m
$10.00 with 2 bids


5.90 CT NATURAL TRANSPARENT RUBY PIGEON BLOOD COLOUR GIE CERTIFIED GEMSTONE R537

Time Left: 1d 9h 42m
$10.00 with 5 bids


4.65 Ct Natural Blood Red Mozambique Ruby AGSL Certified Cushion Cut AAA+ Gem

Time Left: 2d 2h 7m
$10.00 with 8 bids


921.60 Ct Natural HUGE Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Earth-Mined Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 3h 21m
$10.00 with 4 bids