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

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

Time Left: 2d 2h 56m
$701.00 with 34 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 2.73ct 9.8x6.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby

Time Left: 15h 9m
$315.00 with 27 bids


RED 4.30 Cts Sparkling 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 2d 3h 1m
$173.50 with 13 bids


4.70Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Purplish Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 19h 14m
$132.00 with 26 bids


2.04Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Mozambique,Africa

Time Left: 1d 16h 44m
$113.50 with 9 bids


12.03Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Pinkish Red Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 3d 19h 42m
$112.50 with 9 bids


GIA Certified Unheated Natural Ruby Mozambique Pear Purple Red 1.04 ct

Time Left: 4d 1h 26m
$112.50 with 10 bids


moonstone gold Burma ruby cabochons 8.70ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 18h 45m
$81.50 with 18 bids


6.07Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural BIG Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 1d 19h 14m
$80.00 with 16 bids


4.43Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural BIG Ruby Winza,Tanzania HEART Lovely!

Time Left: 3d 14h 54m
$80.00 with 8 bids


mixed Rubies 6.05ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 5d 18h 36m
$73.86 with 20 bids


45.00 Ct Natural Huge Mogok Burma Ruby Certified Cushion Sparkling Gemstone

Time Left: 17h 19m
$68.00 with 47 bids


10.31Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural HUGE Purplish Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 2d 19h 18m
$61.00 with 11 bids


Rare! 1.95ct 9.8x6.3mm Oval Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 16h 14m
$56.00 with 14 bids


14.34Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural HUGE Purplish Pink Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 4d 19h 38m
$56.00 with 15 bids


Jumbo Rare! 24.42ct 20.2x16mm Cushion Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby

Time Left: 5d 16h 32m
$51.00 with 7 bids


4.60 CT World Rarest Unusual Natural Corundum Lustrous Polished Rare Trapiche@PK

Time Left: 18h 41m
$49.00 with 10 bids


5.80Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural BIG Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 16h 42m
$48.00 with 10 bids


41.00 Ct Natural Huge Pink Ruby Certified Mogok (Burma) Gemstone Superb Quality

Time Left: 4d 15h 50m
$47.99 with 16 bids


1.49Ct fluorescent transparent top red 100%NATURAL corundum cut gemstone@PAKISTA

Time Left: 1d 18h 31m
$45.99 with 6 bids


2.04Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Mozambique, Africa

Time Left: 16h 44m
$35.00 with 10 bids


100% Certified Natural Red Ruby 185.15Ct Oval Shape Fashionable Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 8h 7m
$34.99 with 1 bids


1.14ct.UHEATED GEM RUBY MOZAMBIQUE PINKISH RED OVAL SHAPE NATURAL GEMSTONE

Time Left: 17h 46m
$31.00 with 11 bids


0.92Ct.Museum Gem! Natural Pink Normal Heated Ruby (Vietnam Color) Perfect Shape

Time Left: 3d 16h 6m
$31.00 with 10 bids


11.20Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Natural HUGE Ruby Winza,Tanzania

Time Left: 3d 20h 18m
$30.70 with 5 bids


2.36Ct.UNHEATED! Ravishing Color Natural Hot Red Pink Ruby Mozambique,Africa

Time Left: 15h 44m
$30.00 with 13 bids


Pigeon Red Ruby Oval 7.42 cts Natural Gemstone Amazing Luster F608

Time Left: 4d 15h 45m
$29.99 with 1 bids


Mixed Shape 6.5x5.5-9x4.5mm.Heated Only Natural Top Red Pink Ruby 6Pcs/7.25Ct.

Time Left: 1d 14h 44m
$28.00 with 9 bids


Rare! 2.19ct 8.5x6mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 18h 52m
$26.00 with 12 bids


41.00 Ct Natural Huge Mogok Burma Ruby Certified Oval Sparkling Gemstone

Time Left: 2d 16h 52m
$25.00 with 24 bids


3.02Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Pink Normal Heated Ruby (Vietnam Color)

Time Left: 18h 44m
$24.50 with 4 bids


GGL Certified 1006 CT Natural Huge Earth Mined Oval Shape Red Ruby Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 4h 57m
$24.50 with 7 bids


Rare 30.90 Ct 100% Natural Trapiche Pink Burma Ruby GIE Certified Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 23h 6m
$24.49 with 1 bids


7.30 CTS EXTREME RARE WORTH EVERY PIGEON BLOOD RED NATURAL STAR RUBY

Time Left: 4h 29m
$23.50 with 3 bids


Rare! 2.46ct 8.5x6.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 22h 36m
$23.50 with 12 bids


Rubis Naturel Rouge Rosé du Mozambique de 5,10 ct Taille Ovale Certifié

Time Left: 2d 9h 53m
$21.76 with 2 bids


VVS 5.00 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Pear Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5373

Time Left: 3h 46m
$20.50 with 10 bids


13.26 CTS HUGE MAGNIFICENT PINKISH RED NATURAL STAR RUBY

Time Left: 4h 47m
$20.50 with 5 bids


2.05Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Hot Red Ruby Mozambique, Africa

Time Left: 2d 15h 48m
$20.50 with 9 bids


Rare! 1.32ct 8.6x5.4mm Pear Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 5d 17h 2m
$20.50 with 4 bids


3.72 CT " AIG CERTIFIED " AMAZING 100% NATURAL UN-HEATED RED RUBY GEMSTONE

Time Left: 6d 3h 31m
$20.50 with 2 bids


20.50 Ctw Lot Loose Faceted Rubies

Time Left: 1d 2h 6m
$20.45 with 2 bids


27.15 Ct Natural Pink Ruby Certified Superb Mogok(Burma) Pear Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 3d 17h 47m
$20.00 with 15 bids


968ct Big Rare Natural Oval Shape Blood Red Ruby Faceted Loose Gemstone On Ebay

Time Left: 13h 15m
$19.98 with 1 bids


5.96Ct UNHEATED PIGEON BLOOD RED RUBY GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 9h 6m
$18.99 with 1 bids


Trapiche Ruby 61.65 Ct Emerald Shape Natural Burma Gemstone AGI Certified G8752

Time Left: 5h 52m
$18.50 with 27 bids


4.92 CARAT BUY ONLINE PINKISH RED COLOR 100% Natural BURMA RUBY GIE Certified

Time Left: 3d 4h 5m
$18.50 with 5 bids


20.80Ct NATURAL BEAUTIFUL RUBY CUSHION SHAPE WONDERFUL CUT LOOSE GEMSTONE

Time Left: 1d 14h 22m
$17.99 with 1 bids


10.60 CTS MUSEUM SIZE TOP CANDY COLOR UNHEAT PINKISH RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 3h 57m
$17.50 with 10 bids


UNHEATED 1.30ct.MOZAMBIQUE RUBY PURPLISH PINK OVAL SHAPE NATURAL GEMSTONE

Time Left: 2d 17h 8m
$16.50 with 12 bids


Rare! 6.40ct 12.5x10.7mm Cushion Natural Unheated Blood Red Ruby, Madagascar

Time Left: 3d 14h 28m
$16.50 with 18 bids


7.55 CTS 11MM CLEAN CABOCHON UNHEATED PINKISH RED NATURAL SIAMESE RUBY

Time Left: 1h 33m
$15.50 with 5 bids


Rare! 2.39ct 7.8x6.6mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3d 16h 12m
$15.50 with 12 bids


Beautiful Emerald-Cut Ruby -3.92 carats -Natural (from Madagascar)

Time Left: 1h 2m
$15.49 with 3 bids


Rare! 2.40ct 8.2x6.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 3d 22h 4m
$15.00 with 16 bids


7.65 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 177

Time Left: 1d 2h 30m
$14.98 with 1 bids


8.15 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 174

Time Left: 1d 12h 53m
$14.98 with 1 bids


7.90 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT 61

Time Left: 1d 19h 41m
$14.98 with 2 bids


9.05 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 40

Time Left: 2d 22h 11m
$14.98 with 1 bids


5.95 cts. AAA+ Transparent Mozambique Red Ruby Estate Collection LOT DM 55

Time Left: 3d 18h 36m
$14.98 with 1 bids


8.42 cts. AAA+ TRANSPARENT NATURAL YELLOW SAPPHIRE ESTATE COLLECTION Lot MK 433

Time Left: 4d 57m
$14.98 with 1 bids


36.10 Ct Natural Pink Ruby Certified Mogok (Burma) Loose Gemstone Superb Gem

Time Left: 3d 4h 29m
$13.99 with 13 bids


1,99€!! SUPERBE RUBIS ROUGE 6.73 carats DU MOZAMBIQUE AVEC CERTIFICAT

Time Left: 1d 18h 9m
$13.94 with 12 bids


14.24 CTS HUGE PERFECT EXCELLENT ROUND INTENSE RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 2h 35m
$13.49 with 3 bids


VVS 5.50 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Pear Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5375

Time Left: 16h 35m
$12.50 with 6 bids


Loose Gemstone 17.95 Ct Natural Red Huge Ruby 9 Mohs Mozambique AGSL Certified

Time Left: 1d 6h 12m
$12.50 with 13 bids


2.47Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color Hot Red Ruby Mozambique, Africa

Time Left: 1d 15h 44m
$12.50 with 7 bids


3.04Ct.Museum Gem! Natural BIG Top Red Pink Normal Heated Ruby Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 18h 44m
$12.50 with 15 bids


Rare! 1.96ct 7.8x6.8mm Oval Natural Unheated Fiery Pinkish Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 2d 17h 36m
$12.50 with 14 bids


3.06Ct.UNHEATED! Best Color Natural BIG Hot Red Pink Ruby Mozambique, Africa

Time Left: 4d 15h 54m
$12.50 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 11m 44s
$12.00 with 9 bids


7.40 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Square Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5397

Time Left: 4d 3h 46m
$12.00 with 4 bids


8.80 Carat Blood Red Star Ruby Natural Gemstone 6 Rays Oval Cut Certified C4822

Time Left: 16h 38m
$11.50 with 8 bids


2.52 CT BURMA RUBY 100% Natural GIE Certified Awesome Quality Unheated Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 12h 18m
$11.50 with 5 bids


3.20 CT BURMA RUBY TRANSPARENT Natural GIE Certified Oval Cut Superb Quality Gem

Time Left: 5d 6h 36m
$11.50 with 7 bids


301 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby Certified Museum Grade Oval Loose Gemstone

Time Left: 15h 28m
$11.49 with 5 bids


5.85 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Cushion Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5379

Time Left: 1d 3h 46m
$11.00 with 3 bids


GGL Certified 1890 Ct Natural African Red Ruby Oval Cut Gemstone Best Offer

Time Left: 1d 8h 20m
$11.00 with 5 bids


VVS 6.15 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Pear Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5381

Time Left: 1d 16h 36m
$11.00 with 3 bids


Rare! 1.81ct 10x5.6mm Oval Natural Unheated Untreated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 16h 40m
$11.00 with 13 bids


VVS 4.00 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Pear Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5387

Time Left: 2d 16h 36m
$11.00 with 4 bids


6.25 Ct Burma's Natural Red Ruby Cushion Shape Certified Loose Gemstone B5391

Time Left: 3d 3h 46m
$11.00 with 4 bids


Purple Red Rubies 17.2TCW

Time Left: 1d 13h 25m
$10.80 with 1 bids


2.43CTS CERTIFIED EMERALD CUT UNHEATED RED PURPLE RUBY VIDEO IN DESCRIPTION

Time Left: 4h 10m
$10.50 with 2 bids


4.45 CT BURMA RUBY TRANSPARENT Natural GIE Certified Oval Shaped Top Quality Gem

Time Left: 1d 12h 15m
$10.50 with 6 bids


6.05 CT NATURAL HEATED 66PCS PURPLISH PINK RUBY MOZAMBIQUE ROUND

Time Left: 1d 14h 41m
$10.50 with 2 bids


5+Ct UNUSUAL Watermelon corundum surrounded by calcite polish antique slice@PAKI

Time Left: 1d 18h 23m
$10.50 with 2 bids


3.16 CT BURMA MINES RUBY TRANSPARENT Natural GIE Certified Oval Shaped Super Gem

Time Left: 3d 4h 10m
$10.50 with 7 bids


1.15 ct Natural Loose Red Ruby Mozambique Oval Faceted Gemstone Specimen No Res

Time Left: 4d 1h 26m
$10.50 with 6 bids


2.34 CTS BEST COLOR ATTRACTIVE UNHEAT EYE CLEAN DEVIL RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 2h 49m
$10.49 with 2 bids


31.0 Natural Mogok Trapiche Ruby Certified Unique Very Rare Found Loose GemStone

Time Left: 3d 3h 1m
$10.49 with 3 bids


14.70 Ct Natural Pink Ruby Certified Loose Gemstone Mogok (Burma) Sparkling

Time Left: 4d 4h 11m
$10.24 with 7 bids


3.05Ct.UNHEATED! Precious Gem&Best Color BIG Hot Red Ruby Mozambique, Africa

Time Left: 2d 14h 48m
$10.20 with 6 bids


224CT Natural Huge Red Ruby Loose GemStone 51 X 27 MM Certified Top Quality Oval

Time Left: 15h 5m
$10.00 with 5 bids


153.5 CT Natural Huge Red Ruby Loose GemStone Certified Earth-Mined Oval Cut

Time Left: 2d 15h 9m
$10.00 with 6 bids


AAA 4.15 Ct Burma Natural Red Ruby Oval Shape Loose Gemstone Certified B2859

Time Left: 3h 26m
$9.99 with 6 bids


10.37 CT NATURAL PINK MADAGASCAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON

Time Left: 17h 25m
$9.99 with 1 bids


33.34 CT NATURAL PINK MADAGASCAR 6RAYS STAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON

Time Left: 17h 37m
$9.99 with 1 bids


47 Cts/5 Pcs 100% Natural Untreated African Red Ruby Faceted Gems Lot 13MM-14MM

Time Left: 23h 20m
$9.99 with 1 bids


34.45 CT NATURAL PINK MADAGASCAR 6RAYS STAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON

Time Left: 2d 17h 53m
$9.99 with 1 bids