The £11 million ruby used to prop up the balance sheet of failed construction company Wrekin Construction could be worth as little as £100, according to reports in the Financial Times.
Mystery has shrowded the ruby named the Gem of Tanzania which was listed as an £11 million asset in the accounts of the now collapsed Wrekin Construction.
But the FT has reported that the Gem of Tanzania could be worth only £100 and that police are now considering whether to mount a fraud investigation.
The FT reported that the ruby has been rebuffed by large auction houses, so administrators Ernst and Young are now planning to advertise the big purple rock in a small magazine whose subjects includes New Age crystals.
Wrekin administrators, accountancy firm Ernst & Young said on Wednesday that the 2.1kg gem would be advertised for sale in Rock ‘n’ Gem – a quarterly UK magazine, read by mineral collectors and devotees of “healing” crystals.
The FT said that prestigious London auction houses rejected the gem because its value was too low.
When Wrekin Construction collapsed in March, its accounts attributed the £11 million valuation of the gem to the Instituto Gemmologico Italiano.
But the valuation document later proved to be a forgery, and the Milan-based institute said it did not value gems, and was not even open on the date the paperwork mentioned.
Administrator Ian Best is handling the case along with colleague Tom Lukic, also at the Birmingham office of Ernst & Young.
He said: “The joint administrators are seeking to maximise realisations from the Gem of Tanzania for the benefit of the creditors.
“The Gem will be widely advertised in specialist publications by our agents GVA Grimley Limited and details of the sale have been circulated to all of Wrekin’s creditors and appropriate media.”
The advert for the sale of the ruby describes it as a ‘loose hexagonal crystal rough with co-existent green/black crystal matrix on its sides, opaque reddish purple in colour’. It weighs 2.14 kilograms and measures approximately 12.3 x 10.8 x 6.5 cm.