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Star Rubies Found By a Fishing Guide May Fetch $90 Million at Auction

It's no secret that there are rivers and streams that carry down pebbles of precious gem material from the mountains, but for Wayne Messer; a native fishing guide of the Appalachian Mountains, gemstones were literally sitting beneath his boots.

In the 1990's the gemstone buff was walking along the gravel filled stream bed of an area in North Carolina, when suddenly he caught a glimpse of some corundum. Corundum is the mineral species that both rubies and sapphires belong to.

Messer would usually follow this geological trail of minerals and find a deposit where gem-quality rough sometimes existed. For this particular story, he had to dig 8 feet down according to news sources, in order to reach the natural treasure hidden in the soil.

To his surprise, Messer's find eventually became four massive star rubies that totaled to about 342 carats. These were all museum-quality pieces that were intrinsically priceless as specimens.

One of the rubies, now called the "Appalachian Star Ruby" is considered one of the very largest star rubies to have ever been discovered in the US. Weighing in at about 139.43 carats, it's even larger than the famously known Rosser Reeves Star Ruby, which is displayed at the Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)

Others in the collection, are the 52.37 ct. Misty Star Ruby, the 64.17 ct. Promise Star Ruby and the 86.56 ct. Smokey Mountain Two Star Ruby. The Smokey Mountain exhibits the phenomenal quality of asterism both on its front and on its back angles.

Now, decades after the initial find, Messer's family now pursues the auctioning of these magnificent ruby specimens through Guernsey's in New York. Several notable appraisals have valued the gemstone close to a hundred million dollars.

(Image and Photography credits belong to Guernsey's, New York)

The four-stone collection, as we've heard, will be sold together in order to preserve the original find by Wayne Messer.

Star rubies are currently among the most valuable phenomena-possessing gemstones traded today, along with others like cat's eye chrysoberyl, color-change alexandrite and star sapphire. Many of these are considered specialty gems, amassed passionately by collectors from many different countries and societies.
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