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! 3.03ct 11.4x7mm Pear Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *Certified

Time Left: 3h 59m
$555.00 with 34 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 10h 30m
$157.50 with 8 bids


VIVID PINK RED 1.70Cts AIGS CERTIFIED 100% Natural Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 4d 10h 21m
$122.50 with 6 bids


Burmese Ruby 0.90ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 2h 32m
$50.33 with 16 bids


800.00 Ct NATURAL EARTH MINED PINKISH RED RUBY BURMA ROUGH GEMSTONE LOT

Time Left: 1d 13h 27m
$50.00 with 6 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 13h 27m
$50.00 with 5 bids


21.97Ct.Museum Gem! Natural GIANT Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 4d 3h 27m
$50.00 with 12 bids


$1800 Natural 2ct Emerald Cut RUBY Loose Gem

Time Left: 2d 9h 7m
$44.00 with 7 bids


Unheated Ruby 0.46ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 3h 7m
$38.72 with 26 bids


Natural 2ct Asscher Cut RUBY Loose Gem RARE CUT

Time Left: 9h 56m
$36.99 with 9 bids


2.01Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Hot Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 6d 1h 7m
$36.00 with 6 bids


Rare! 1.00ct 7x5.7mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 21m
$35.00 with 12 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.24ct t.w Oval Natural Unheated Purple Pink Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 37m 11s
$32.00 with 9 bids


3.03Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 4d 23h 51m
$32.00 with 9 bids


UNHEATED! 29.50ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 6h 58m
$29.99 with 1 bids


unheated Ruby 0.60ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 2h 30m
$27.10 with 26 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.05ct t.w VS Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3h 33m
$26.00 with 17 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.12ct t.w VS Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 23h 43m
$26.00 with 14 bids


$1800 Natural 2ct Emerald Cut RUBY Loose Gem

Time Left: 9h 17m
$23.50 with 17 bids


RUBINI BIRMANI NATURALI. CARATI 8,38

Time Left: 1h 57m
$23.30 with 5 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 0.46ct 5.2x4mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 53m 15s
$22.00 with 15 bids


Rare! 1.56ct 9x5.2mm Oval Natural Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 4d 1h 35m
$22.00 with 5 bids


10.5 Ct Certified Natural Top Quality Mozambique Red Ruby Loose Gemstones M-525

Time Left: 8h 45m
$20.50 with 13 bids


0.66 CT.CERTIFICATE !!! "UNHEAT" NATURAL RUBY .

Time Left: 11h 37m
$20.50 with 6 bids


RED 3.25 Cts Sparkling 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 1d 10h 19m
$20.50 with 10 bids


40.23Ct.UNHEATED! Natural HUGE Ruby Winza,Tanzania (Smilling Buddha Carving)

Time Left: 2d 2h 49m
$20.50 with 7 bids


19.54Ct.Precious Gem&Good Quality Natural HUGE Top Red Pink Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 4d 1h 35m
$20.50 with 6 bids


25.80 CTS 18MM VS1 EMERALD INTENSE RED NATURAL RUBY LOOSE GEMSTONE

Time Left: 2d 9h 56m
$20.00 with 19 bids


562.00 Ct Natural HUGE Blood Red Ruby Certified Mozambique Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 16h 28m
$19.99 with 2 bids


182.5 CTW OF GEMSTONES WITH HUGE RED RUBY: 44.0 CARATS (EB6)

Time Left: 2h 56m
$19.95 with 1 bids


Rare! 0.45ct 5.4x4.5mm VS Pear Natural Unheated Blood Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 4h 5m
$19.49 with 9 bids


6.52Ct. Interesting! Big! Pear Facet Redish Pink Natural Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 6h 52m
$18.50 with 4 bids


9.57 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT MK 433

Time Left: 3d 1h 59m
$17.99 with 1 bids


Rubis Naturel Rose du Mozambique de 6,45 ct Taille Emeraude Certifié

Time Left: 1d 18h 29m
$17.62 with 1 bids


1.84 CTS GENUINE MOZAMBIQUE UNHEAT BID HARD INTENSE RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 1h 16m
$17.50 with 4 bids


11.43Ct. Lovely! Rough Pinkish Red Natural Ruby Mozambique Free Ship!

Time Left: 6h 53m
$17.50 with 10 bids


Loose Gemstone Oval shape 9.02 Ct Natural Red Ruby Certified

Time Left: 13h 24m
$16.25 with 15 bids


3.17Ct. Marvelous! Octagon Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 6h 52m
$15.50 with 6 bids


160 Carats Ruby Gemstone Birthstone,Earth Mined Great Luster And Elegant Shine!

Time Left: 3d 10h 22m
$15.50 with 7 bids


Amazing Deal 25.25 Ct 20Pcs Ebay Natural Real Red Ruby Gemstone Lot CD9049

Time Left: 11h 11m
$14.99 with 1 bids


70.60 Ct NATURAL RAW STAR RUBY PINK ROUGH WAND METAPHYSICAL MASSAGE SPECIMEN

Time Left: 3d 46m
$14.99 with 1 bids


9.17 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 244

Time Left: 2d 5m
$14.98 with 1 bids


8.73Ct. Amazing! 6Rays Star Oval Cabochon Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 6h 53m
$14.50 with 13 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.08ct t.w VS Pear Natural Unheated Purple Pink Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3d 1h 50m
$14.49 with 6 bids


0.99Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Hot Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 1d 7m
$13.50 with 6 bids


5.40Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 49m
$13.50 with 3 bids


4.82 cts. AAA+ Transparent Rare Pink Sapphire Estate Collection LOT DM 24

Time Left: 7h 55m
$12.98 with 1 bids


Natural Mozambique Top Red Ruby 7.80 Ct. Square Cut Loose Certified Gemstone

Time Left: 8h 6m
$12.50 with 16 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone 40.15 Carat Emerald Cut Certified B3806

Time Left: 1d 10h 57m
$12.50 with 16 bids


8.65 Ct Certified Rare Natural Burma VVS Pink Ruby AAA+ Cut Loose Gemstone R1003

Time Left: 10h 21m
$12.49 with 1 bids


8.30 Ct Certified Natural Rare Burma VVS Red Ruby AAA+ Cut Loose Gemstone R1100

Time Left: 10h 34m
$12.49 with 1 bids


0.71ct 6.8x5mm Oval Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 1d 1h 9m
$12.25 with 6 bids


11.85 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 10m 55s
$12.00 with 19 bids


5.23Ct. Glorious! Big! Oval Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 7h 23m
$11.84 with 3 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby 6.00 Ct. Nice Square Cut Loose Certified Gemstone

Time Left: 8h 31m
$11.50 with 9 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby 5.85 Ct. Nice Square Cut Loose Certified Gemstone

Time Left: 9h 31m
$11.50 with 11 bids


9.75 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 1h 21m
$11.50 with 6 bids


Natural 10.55 CT Transparent Ceylon Royal Blue Sapphire Gemstone GIE Certifited

Time Left: 2d 1h 1m
$11.50 with 4 bids


Rare! 1.34ct 6.5x5.6mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *GLC Certified

Time Left: 2d 6h 57m
$11.50 with 10 bids


1.42Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Hot Red Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 1h 49m
$11.50 with 5 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.01ct t.w VS Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 1h 41m
$11.49 with 5 bids


Natural RUBY 1.68 carat, I1 type II, AGL10017LC, appraisal $336.00

Time Left: 9h 3m
$11.29 with 19 bids


5.13Ct. Ravishing! Big! Octagon Facet Top Blood Red Natural Ruby Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 7h 15m
$10.76 with 4 bids


145.00Ct Certified Natural Cabochon Ruby Emerald Superb Oval Cut Gems Lot BN1587

Time Left: 2d 12h 21m
$10.75 with 1 bids


10.99Ct. Gorgeous! Jumbo Oval Cabochon Pinkish Red Color Natural Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 6h 53m
$10.50 with 5 bids


Natural UNHEATED 211.33 Ct Star Red Ruby Gemstone African Mineral Rough Lot Raw

Time Left: 9h 6m
$10.50 with 20 bids


13.80 Ct Natural Pinkish Red Ruby Loose Gem stone Mozambique AGSL Certified

Time Left: 1d 42m
$10.50 with 5 bids


1.01Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 2h 41m
$10.50 with 4 bids


4.70 Ct Oval Cut Transparent Burma Red Ruby Loose Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 12h 11m
$10.46 with 6 bids


5.10 Ct Mozambique Ruby Natural Blood Red VVS Clarity Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 1d 10h 11m
$10.40 with 5 bids


3.50 Ct Natural Blood Red Mozambique Ruby VVS Clarity Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 1d 9h 46m
$10.16 with 5 bids


5.75 Ct Natural Pink Burma / Burmese Ruby Pretty Clear Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 1d 10h 19m
$10.16 with 5 bids


7.60 Ct Natural Pink Burma / Burmese Ruby Pretty Clear Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 2d 10h 35m
$10.16 with 5 bids


6.00 Ct Natural Blood Red Mozambique Ruby VVS Clarity Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 9h 31m
$10.11 with 5 bids


8.55 Ct Natural Pink Burma / Burmese Ruby Pretty Clear Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 10h 58m
$10.06 with 3 bids


11.00 Ct Natural Blood Red Mozambique Ruby VVS Clarity Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 8h 2m
$10.00 with 9 bids


Loose Gem Stone 4.60 CT Natural Pink Burma Ruby AGSL Certified Untreated

Time Left: 11h 9m
$10.00 with 8 bids


256.60 CT NATURAL RED HUGE RUBY ROUND AGSL CERTIFIED TOP QUALITY GEM STONE

Time Left: 1d 24m
$10.00 with 5 bids


6.50 Ct Mozambique Ruby Natural Blood Red Clear Loose Gemstone A++ Finest Offer

Time Left: 1d 5h 12m
$10.00 with 2 bids


4.75 Ct Pear Shape Transparent Burma Red Ruby Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 2d 56m
$10.00 with 4 bids


265.70 CT Natural Red Ruby Huge Gem Stone AGSL Certified Museum Use Top Quality

Time Left: 2d 11h 45m
$10.00 with 9 bids


9.50 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 3d 24m
$10.00 with 4 bids


5.40 Ct Natural Pink Burma / Burmese Ruby Pretty Clear Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 3d 10h 31m
$10.00 with 3 bids


7.10 Ct Natural Pink Burma / Burmese Ruby Pretty Clear Loose Gemstone Best Deal

Time Left: 3d 11h 31m
$10.00 with 4 bids


9.83 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 5d 23h 51m
$10.00 with 3 bids


8.88 Ct Astonishing Oval Shape Reddish Pink Natural Ruby Cabochon Madagascar

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


1.96 Cts Natural Unheated pigeon blood red Pear shape Mozambique Ruby Pair

Time Left: 1d 10h 21m
$9.99 with 1 bids


SENSATIONAL! 1.20ct.Best Ultra Rich Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Africa Octagon 7x4mm.

Time Left: 1d 10h 36m
$9.99 with 1 bids


RAVISHING! 1.65ct.Rare Classic Rich Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Africa Octagon 7x4mm.

Time Left: 1d 11h 21m
$9.99 with 1 bids


BIG UNHEATED 16.25ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 3d 11h 44m
$9.99 with 1 bids


UNHEATED! 12.40ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 6h 58m
$9.99 with 1 bids


UNHEATED! 11.25ct NATURAL100% UNHEATED RUBY ROUGH SPECIMEN NR!

Time Left: 4d 10h 41m
$9.99 with 1 bids


9.75 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pigeon Blood Red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 5d 23h 15m
$9.75 with 4 bids


8.00 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pigeon Blood Red Ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 26m 17s
$9.50 with 5 bids


Rare 5.90 Ct Natural TAAFFEITE Sweet Transparent Velvet Smooth Soft Purple Pink

Time Left: 1h 26m
$9.50 with 12 bids


Certified UNHEATED Natural 14.20 Ct Pigeon Ruby Gemstone Specimen Rock Rough 06

Time Left: 8h 2m
$9.50 with 17 bids


Remarkable Certified UNHEATED 10x8 mm Natural STAR Ruby Collectible Gemstones 19

Time Left: 8h 4m
$9.50 with 15 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Top Quality 6.50 Ct. Oval Cut Loose Certified Gem

Time Left: 8h 46m
$9.50 with 7 bids


8.80 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 11h 35m
$9.50 with 3 bids


7.35 ct VVS Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 1h 13m
$9.50 with 11 bids