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

3.04cts PIGEON BLOOD VIVID RED TO DEEP GRS CERTIFIED Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 3d 5h 57m
$2,441.00 with 30 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 21h 40m
$510.00 with 23 bids


2.05ct Pigeon Blood RUBY NATURAL Burma Unheated 18k White Gold Diamonds Ring Sz6

Time Left: 8d 6h 36m
$405.00 with 22 bids


FULL REPORT! 3.08ct.UNHEATED PURPLISH RED RUBY OVAL SHAPE NATURAL GEMSTONE RARE

Time Left: 1d 20h 37m
$283.33 with 27 bids


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

Time Left: 2h 42m
$245.00 with 28 bids


Herren 13.00ct. Rubin Ring aus 750 Gold - Neu

Time Left: 1d 20h 46m
$227.65 with 20 bids


Rare! 2.12ct 8.5x6.5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *GLC Certified

Time Left: 17h 52m
$173.50 with 13 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 1.14ct 7.4x4.2mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby

Time Left: 3d 2h 53m
$162.50 with 26 bids


Rare! 1.41ct 8.5x6mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby *GLC Certified

Time Left: 18h 47m
$152.50 with 61 bids


3.0 Ct Natural Certified Burma Myanmar Ruby Red Top Quality Loose Gemstone L-803

Time Left: 4h 55m
$100.00 with 28 bids


Rare! 2.10ct 9.3x6.5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *GLC Certified

Time Left: 1d 18h 55m
$89.00 with 17 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 20h 45m
$88.00 with 24 bids


6.26Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 19h 39m
$84.00 with 13 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 1.02ct 6.4x5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 18h 43m
$71.00 with 10 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*1.08ct 7.6x5.3mm Oval Natural Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 4d 20h 43m
$66.00 with 12 bids


2.02ct 7x6.6mm Cushion Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 19h 21m
$51.00 with 22 bids


15.90 Ct EGL Certified Natural Red Ruby Awesome Oval Shape Loose Gemstone BN1559

Time Left: 3d 7h 23m
$50.89 with 1 bids


1000.00 Ct 100 % Natural Burma Pink Ruby Transparent Top Quality Untreated Rough

Time Left: 1d 7h 44m
$50.49 with 2 bids


3.28Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 17h 23m
$48.00 with 16 bids


50 cts Rubies

Time Left: 2d 22h 31m
$46.00 with 13 bids


1.11ct.UNHEATED GEM WINZA RUBY OVAL SHAPE NATURAL GEMSTONE RARE

Time Left: 2d 20h 25m
$43.00 with 9 bids


mixed Burmese rubies 10.96ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 22h 31m
$42.48 with 11 bids


8.10 ct AAA Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 19h 20m
$36.00 with 13 bids


5.43 ct Transparent Logindo pigeon blood Red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 19h 48m
$35.80 with 13 bids


mixed round rubies 14.53ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 22h 26m
$34.52 with 10 bids


Burmese rubies "heat only" 4.46ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 22h 2m
$31.86 with 11 bids


480.50Ct EGL Certified Natural Superior Quality Red Ruby Gemstone Rough BR2739

Time Left: 18h 59m
$31.80 with 1 bids


5.42Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 2d 17h 23m
$31.00 with 7 bids


Burmese rubies "untreated" 2.29ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 22h 4m
$30.54 with 10 bids


26.73 CT Rare Johnson Star Ruby 100% Natural GIE Certified Oval Shape Gemstone

Time Left: 5d 7h 51m
$27.30 with 2 bids


11.91 CTS HUGE FULLFIRE PERFECT CLEAN VIVID RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 6h 52m
$26.00 with 2 bids


1.02Ct.Museum Gem! Natural Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 19h 33m
$26.00 with 9 bids


mixed cushion rubies 1.99ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 21h 59m
$25.23 with 9 bids


52.00 Ct 100% NATURAL VIOLET STAR RUBY OVAL CABOCHON LOOSE GEMSTONES VIDEO

Time Left: 14h 29m
$24.99 with 1 bids


867.00 Ct Natural HUGE Blood Red Ruby Certified Mozambique Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 7h 58m
$24.99 with 3 bids


1.12Ct.Ct.UNHEATED! Ruby (Vietnam Color) Winza,Tanzania HEART Lovely Eye Clean

Time Left: 3d 21h 21m
$24.50 with 13 bids


mixed rubies 40.43ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 22h 29m
$23.90 with 9 bids


Certified 5.05 Ct. Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Ruby Round Cut Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 4h 46m
$23.50 with 12 bids


29.80 Ct 100% NATURAL VIOLET STAR RUBY OVAL CABOCHON LOOSE GEMSTONES VIDEO

Time Left: 14h 29m
$22.99 with 1 bids


Round 1.7 to 2 mm.Rare! Thailand Top Pinkish Red Ruby (No Glass) 100Pcs/3.47Ct.

Time Left: 19h 59m
$21.50 with 6 bids


Oval Cabochon Burma Blood Ruby Gemstone 100% Natural 17.55 Ct Certified F1293

Time Left: 1d 9h 7m
$21.50 with 13 bids


3.46Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 1d 17h 23m
$21.50 with 9 bids


mixed square rubies 6.22ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 21h 57m
$21.24 with 7 bids


3.40 Ct Natural Square Cut Mozambique Red Ruby Matching Pair Loose Gem Certified

Time Left: 3h 27m
$20.50 with 13 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 0.93ct 7x5mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 17h 29m
$20.50 with 7 bids


12.35 CT Rare Johnson Ruby 100% Natural GIE Certified Oval Shape Good Gems GM

Time Left: 6d 6h 42m
$20.50 with 6 bids


19.64 CT Rare Johnson Star Ruby 100% Natural GIE Certified Oval Shape Gemstone

Time Left: 5d 7h 51m
$20.14 with 4 bids


4.75 ct AAA Transparent Burma Pink ruby sapphire gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 19h 52m
$20.04 with 25 bids


218.56 Ct Natural UNHEATED Star Red Ruby African Gemstones Crystal Rough Mineral

Time Left: 2d 4h 12m
$20.00 with 3 bids


137.15 Ct Natural Burma Pink Ruby Untreated Best Quality Loose Rough

Time Left: 2d 10h 7m
$20.00 with 17 bids


6.05 Ct Natural Pink Ruby Loose Gem stone Burma AGSL Certified Oval Cut

Time Left: 2d 10h 36m
$20.00 with 19 bids


18.05 Ct 100% NATURAL VIOLET STAR RUBY OVAL CABOCHON LOOSE GEMSTONES VIDEO

Time Left: 14h 29m
$19.99 with 1 bids


770.95 Ct Natural Huge Mozambique Red Ruby GIE Certified Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 4d 2h 46m
$19.99 with 5 bids


Beautiful Cushion-Cut Ruby - 5.31 carats -Natural (from Madagascar) 

Time Left: 5d 21h 25m
$19.99 with 1 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 0.75ct 6.5x5.2mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby

Time Left: 4h 36m
$18.50 with 13 bids


3.15Ct "AIG" CERTIFIED ! NATURAL MOZAMBIQUE RED RUBY HEATED ONLY NO GLASS

Time Left: 4d 13h 41m
$17.99 with 1 bids


8.25 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT MK 536

Time Left: 20h 4m
$17.98 with 1 bids


10.45 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT MK 621

Time Left: 1d 21h 4m
$17.98 with 1 bids


11.40 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT 3

Time Left: 2d 23h 5m
$17.98 with 1 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*0.90ct 6.3x5.7mm Cushion Natural Red Ruby *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 3d 17h 35m
$17.50 with 6 bids


UNHEATED 334.85 Ct Natural Pink Ruby Gemstone Rough Mineral RARE Healing Crystal

Time Left: 3h 2m
$17.39 with 4 bids


68.95 Ct Natural Burma Pink Ruby Untreated Best Rough

Time Left: 2d 10h 25m
$17.00 with 14 bids


UNHEATED 212.24 Ct UNTREATED Pigeon Blood Red Natural Ruby Gemstones Rough Raw

Time Left: 46m 45s
$16.99 with 5 bids


73.70 ct RARE BIG BEAUTIFUL RED RUBY CHATAM OVAL 23x25mm

Time Left: 6d 6h 19m
$16.99 with 1 bids


8.50 ct Fine Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 19h 50m
$16.75 with 6 bids


8.88 Ct. Ruby Natural Big Oval Facet Top Blood Red Madagascar Gorgeous

Time Left: 2h 32m
$16.50 with 16 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby 4.00 Ct 7x7 mm Pair Round Cut Loose Certified Gem

Time Left: 3h 6m
$16.05 with 7 bids


UNHEATED Red Natural Ruby Gemstone 349.93 Ct UNTREATED Mineral Healing Raw Rough

Time Left: 3h 47m
$15.50 with 7 bids


6Ct 12x10mm Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB711

Time Left: 4h 25m
$15.50 with 8 bids


Natural Mozambique AAA Red Ruby Top Quality 5.00 Ct Oval Cut Loose Certified Gem

Time Left: 1d 4h 46m
$15.50 with 12 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 0.69ct 6x4.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 17h 19m
$15.50 with 13 bids


15.25 ct AAA Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 20h 6m
$15.50 with 8 bids


402.5 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby Certified Emerald Cut Museum Use Gem Stone

Time Left: 4d 18h 39m
$15.50 with 15 bids


27.45 Ct Natural Mogok Trapiche Ruby AGSL Certified Unique Rare Found Gem Stone

Time Left: 17h 56m
$15.00 with 11 bids


36.40 Ct Natural Mogok Trapiche Ruby AGSL Certified Unique Rare Found Gem Stone

Time Left: 19h 6m
$15.00 with 15 bids


Round Diamond Cut 2.2 mm.Thailand Top Pinkish Red Ruby (No Glass) 100Pcs/6.07Ct.

Time Left: 21h 17m
$15.00 with 11 bids


18.30 Ct Natural Mogok Trapiche Ruby AGSL Certified Unique Rare Found Gem Stone

Time Left: 2d 18h 9m
$15.00 with 3 bids


Beautiful Round Cut Ruby - 5.25 carats- Natural from Madagascar

Time Left: 5d 20h 32m
$14.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 20h 5m
$14.50 with 5 bids


2.89 ct AA+ Tremendous Octagon Shape (9 x 6 mm) Red Ruby Natural Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 6h 50m
$14.50 with 10 bids


5.3Ct Natural Mozambique Pigeon Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut UQHB288

Time Left: 3d 4h 27m
$14.00 with 4 bids


Rare! 0.62ct 5x4.6mm VS Oval Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique *Certified

Time Left: 4d 20h 11m
$13.50 with 9 bids


404.80 Ct Natural Huge Mozambique Red Ruby GIE Certified Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 2h 57m
$12.99 with 3 bids


19.00 Ct Ggl Certified Cabochon Cut Red Color Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 14h 3m
$12.99 with 1 bids


7.90 ct Stunning VVS clear Vivid Red Mozambique Natural Ruby oval cut

Time Left: 3h 16m
$12.50 with 8 bids


GGL Certified 380 Ct Natural Heart Cut African Red Ruby Gemstone New Best Offer

Time Left: 4h
$12.50 with 8 bids


GGL Certified 418 Ct African Natural Astonishing Heart Shape Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 8h 58m
$12.50 with 7 bids


14.50 ct Transparent Burma pigeon blood red ruby gemstone pear cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 2d 19h 15m
$12.50 with 6 bids


Rough Natural Ruby Pinkish Red Lot Of 10 Drilled Beads

Time Left: 34m 15s
$12.00 with 1 bids


3.80 Ct Natural Square Cut Mozambique Red Ruby Matching Pair Loose Gem Certified

Time Left: 3h 56m
$12.00 with 10 bids


208.95 Ct Natural Mozambique Red Ruby AGSL Certified Loose Facet Rough !!!

Time Left: 1d 10h 22m
$12.00 with 9 bids


5.66 Ct. Ruby Natural Big Pear Facet Pinkish Red Mozambique Ravishing

Time Left: 2h 32m
$11.50 with 10 bids


8.65 ct AAA Natural Transparent Burma Red ruby gemstone cut GIE Certified

Time Left: 1d 19h 50m
$11.50 with 6 bids


49.60 CTS ENORMOUS COLLECTOR'S PRIDE IDEAL CUT BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 16h 50m
$11.49 with 2 bids


100% Natural Awesome Faceted Ruby Gemstone 23 ct 24x17mm F894

Time Left: 6h 30m
$11.00 with 8 bids


Round Diamond Cut 2.2 mm.Thailand Top Pinkish Red Ruby (No Glass) 100Pcs/6.12Ct.

Time Left: 2d 18h 59m
$11.00 with 8 bids


2.60 Ct Natural Square Cut Mozambique Red Ruby Matching Pair Loose Gem Certified

Time Left: 4h 47m
$10.50 with 8 bids


9.93 CTS WORLD'S LARGEST GENUINE UNHEAT SEEN BLOOD RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 19h 26m
$10.50 with 9 bids


Rare! 0.34ct 3.8mm Round Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 21h 28m
$10.50 with 5 bids


22.30 Ct Natural Mogok Trapiche Ruby Certified Unique Rare Found Gem Stone

Time Left: 1d 5h 59m
$10.50 with 6 bids