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Wrekin '£11m' ruby sells for £8,000

A ruby belonging to collapsed construction firm Wrekin, originally thought to have been valued at £11m, has been sold for £8,000.

The ruby, known as the “Gem of Tanzania”, was bought by the Shropshire-based company three years ago.

More than 300 jobs were lost last year after the construction firm went into administration in March.

Wrekin said the ruby had been valued by a professional valuer at the Instituti Gemmologico Italiano based in Valenza, Italy, in the year it was purchased.

But administrator Ernst & Young subsequently declared the 2kg (4.41lbs) stone’s multimillion pound valuation and the documents that accompanied it a forgery.

The ruby was sold to Pertemps Investments Limited last week for only £8,010. More than 60 offers were made for the gemstone, an Ernst & Young spokesman said.

When Wrekin went into administration, the company was due £2 million from Government contracts but owed more than £3.5 million in VAT and tax bills, according to the administrator.

The firm was established in 1960 and its work included motorway and highway construction, refurbishment work to canals, rivers, rail routes, rail infrastructure, sewers and drainage.

It remains in administration, Ernst & Young said.