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: 1d 24m
$555.00 with 34 bids


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

Time Left: 5d 6h 47m
$91.00 with 5 bids


Pair 2pcs/1.69ct t.w VS Oval Natural Unheated Pink Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 16m 54s
$80.01 with 18 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 53m
$50.00 with 6 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 9h 53m
$50.00 with 5 bids


$1800 Natural 2ct Emerald Cut RUBY Loose Gem

Time Left: 3d 5h 33m
$43.00 with 6 bids


Burma Blood Red Ruby Gem 26.65 Ct 100% Natural Oval Cabochon AGI Certified F1244

Time Left: 6h 5m
$41.00 with 11 bids


Natural 2ct Asscher Cut RUBY Loose Gem RARE CUT

Time Left: 1d 6h 22m
$36.99 with 9 bids


Burmese Ruby 0.90ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 22h 58m
$36.14 with 10 bids


VVS CLEAN EXQUISITE! 1.43 ct. 100%NATURAL TOP PURPLISH RED RUBY RARE GEM!

Time Left: 2h 10m
$32.99 with 12 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 20h 47m
$32.92 with 11 bids


0.56Ct "GIL" CERTIFIED AMAZING MOZAMBIQUE RUBY #8

Time Left: 46m
$32.27 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 5d 3h 24m
$29.99 with 1 bids


unheated Ruby 0.60ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 22h 56m
$27.10 with 26 bids


7.15Ct 12x10mm Natural Mozambique Blood Red Ruby Faceted Cut QHB667

Time Left: 5h 32m
$26.00 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 20h 9m
$26.00 with 14 bids


Unheated Ruby 0.46ct natural loose gemstones

Time Left: 23h 32m
$24.52 with 21 bids


Rare! 1.32ct 7.7x5.4mm Oval Natural Red Ruby, Mozambique *Only Heated No Glass

Time Left: 19h 53m
$24.25 with 7 bids


$1800 Natural 2ct Emerald Cut RUBY Loose Gem

Time Left: 1d 5h 42m
$23.50 with 17 bids


RUBINI BIRMANI NATURALI. CARATI 8,38

Time Left: 22h 23m
$23.30 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 22h 1m
$22.00 with 5 bids


5.93 CT MOZAMBIQUE RUBY 100% Natural GIE Certified FABULOUS Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 13h 19m
$21.50 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 5h 10m
$20.50 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 23h 14m
$20.50 with 7 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 22h
$20.50 with 6 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 23h 52m
$20.50 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 6h 21m
$20.00 with 19 bids


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

Time Left: 23h 21m
$19.95 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 31m
$19.49 with 9 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 3h 18m
$18.50 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 22h 24m
$17.99 with 1 bids


Burma 28.45 Ct Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Natural Oval Cabochon AGI Certified F1229

Time Left: 6h 5m
$17.50 with 17 bids


Loose Gemstone Oval shape 9.02 Ct Natural Red Ruby Certified

Time Left: 1d 9h 49m
$16.25 with 15 bids


15.30 CTS PERFECT CLEAN TOP CUT BIG COLECTOR'S PRIDE CRIMSON RED NATURAL RUBY

Time Left: 1h 25m
$16.04 with 7 bids


Best Quality 497.95 Ct Natural HUGE Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Gemstone

Time Left: 7h 32m
$15.49 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 7h 37m
$14.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 21h 12m
$14.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 20h 31m
$14.98 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 22h 16m
$14.49 with 6 bids


24.85 Ct Burma Blood Red Ruby Gemstone Oval Cabochon Natural AGI Certified F1259

Time Left: 17h 50m
$13.50 with 9 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 21h 14m
$13.50 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 21h 2m
$12.50 with 7 bids


RED 3.25 Cts Sparkling 100% Natural Nice Unheated Mozambique Ruby

Time Left: 2d 6h 44m
$12.50 with 6 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 6h 56m
$12.50 with 7 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 6h 47m
$12.49 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 7h
$12.49 with 1 bids


Natural 10.55 CT Transparent Ceylon Royal Blue Sapphire Gemstone GIE Certifited

Time Left: 2d 21h 27m
$11.50 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 3h 23m
$11.50 with 10 bids


2.33 CT BURMA MINES RUBY TRANSPARENT Natural GIE Certified Oval Cut Superb Gem

Time Left: 9h 43m
$11.49 with 4 bids


2.06 CT BURMA MINES RUBY TRANSPARENT Natural GIE Certified Oval Cut Awesome Gem

Time Left: 9h 49m
$11.49 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 22h 7m
$11.49 with 5 bids


Natural Burma Red Ruby Gemstone 3.10 Ct VVS1 Untreated Cushion Certified C1421

Time Left: 6h 10m
$11.00 with 14 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 5h 29m
$10.79 with 18 bids


198.25 Ct Natural Huge Red Ruby Certified Oval Cut Museum Use Gem Stone

Time Left: 19h 49m
$10.50 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 21h 19m
$10.50 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 23h 58m
$10.50 with 10 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 3h 18m
$10.50 with 5 bids


Natural Mozambique Red Ruby Gemstone 40.15 Carat Emerald Cut Certified B3806

Time Left: 2d 7h 23m
$10.50 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 5d 20h 16m
$10.50 with 3 bids


5.45 Ct Square Cut Natural Transparent Burma Red Ruby Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 6h 22m
$10.49 with 6 bids


4.36 CT Natural Six Rays Star Ruby GIE Certified High Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 9h 43m
$10.49 with 5 bids


7.05 Ct Pear Shape Transparent Burma Red Ruby Loose Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 19h 29m
$10.48 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 8h 37m
$10.46 with 6 bids


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

Time Left: 1h 33m
$10.40 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 2h 49m
$10.40 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 3h 45m
$10.40 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 4h 18m
$10.40 with 10 bids


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

Time Left: 1h 43m
$10.21 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 5h 13m
$10.16 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 5h 24m
$10.16 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 6h 12m
$10.16 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 6h 44m
$10.16 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 7h
$10.16 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 7h 24m
$10.06 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 2h 17m
$10.00 with 7 bids


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

Time Left: 3h
$10.00 with 11 bids


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

Time Left: 20h 36m
$10.00 with 17 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 7h 35m
$10.00 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 20h 50m
$10.00 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 21h 8m
$10.00 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 1h 38m
$10.00 with 2 bids


4.75 Ct Pear Shape Transparent Burma Red Ruby Gemstone GIE Certified

Time Left: 2d 21h 22m
$10.00 with 4 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 8h 11m
$10.00 with 9 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 6h 56m
$10.00 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 7h 57m
$10.00 with 4 bids


36.66 CT NATURAL RED MADAGASCAR RUBY GLASS FILLED OVAL CABOCHON 18 X 20 mm.

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


8.88 Ct Astonishing Oval Shape Reddish Pink Natural Ruby Cabochon Madagascar

Time Left: 1d 8h 27m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 6h 47m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 7h 2m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 7h 47m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 8h 10m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 5d 3h 24m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 5d 7h 7m
$9.99 with 1 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 3h 18m
$9.50 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 4h 28m
$9.50 with 16 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 21h 39m
$9.50 with 11 bids


504.80 Ct Natural HUGE Red Ruby AGSL Certified Mozambique Best Quality Gemstone

Time Left: 1d 22h 52m
$9.25 with 8 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 22h 14m
$9.17 with 3 bids


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

Time Left: 3d 23h 6m
$9.06 with 3 bids


CERTIFICATE Inc.*Rare! 1.09ct 6.8x5mm Pear Natural Unheated Red Ruby, Mozambique

Time Left: 1d 5h 18m
$8.51 with 8 bids