Consisting of four extraordinary star rubies – each with an exquisite star* and collectively weighing in at 342 carats – experts have described the Mountain Star Ruby Collection as possibly the finest in the world. (*The Smoky Mountain Two Star Ruby, as its name suggests, has distinctive stars on both front and back.) 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. Star rubies, such as the fabled Rajaratna Star Ruby in Bangalore, are the rarest form of ruby and have been coveted for centuries. Most often discovered in areas of Burma and Sri Lanka, the Mountain Star Ruby Collection is all the more astounding for its North American origin.
Following their discovery in 1990, the four stones were examined by the leading gemological testing labs in the U.S. and Europe prior to an exhibition of the 139 carat Appalachian Star at the Natural History Museum, London where a record audience of 150,000 people viewed the ruby over a two week period. Shortly thereafter, the gentleman who found the stones passed away and the Collection was returned to his family where it has quietly resided ever since.
The acclaim that the Appalachian Star and its companion stones have received from both gemologists and connoisseurs speaks clearly of the quality of North Carolina’s gem resources and the significance of the Mountain Star Ruby Collection.