The valuer of Wrekin Construction’s £11 million Gem of Tanzania has claimed his signature was forged in a valuation certificate.
In a report by the Financial Times David Davis, who valued the ruby, claims his signature was forged.
Wrekin collapsed earlier this month, but since then much attention on the company has focused around an £11 million ruby which bolstered the firm’s accounts.
The ruby, which weighs more than 2kg, was valued in 2004 by David Davis, a London-based gem setter and expert on rare uncut stones.
A certificate apparently signed by him and stating a market value of $22 million to $23 million is among the supporting documents held by David Unwin, purchaser of the ruby and owner of Wrekin.
However, when the FT showed Mr Davis a copy of the word-processed certificate, which included a photograph of the ruby, he said it was a forgery.
The 74-year-old gemmologist said: “I have no computer skills. I do not type and I could not put pictures in. That is not my signature, but it is a good copy.”
Mr Davis said that he had handwritten his own valuation. He did not dispute this might have been for $22 million to $23 million.
However, he said he had stated a replacement value purely for insurance purposes. The market value would generally be lower.
Brian Dunn, a former gemmologist at Asprey & Garrard, the Crown Jeweller, raised doubts on Saturday about the accuracy of Mr Davis’s valuations.
Mr Davis said: “If he’s got the hump, then bad luck. He is a nice man but he does not understand rough gems.”
According to Derek Miller, Mr Unwin’s lawyer, the businessman is “devastated” by the damage to his reputation caused by doubts over the value of the ruby.
Wrekin administrators Ernst & Young, who have the ruby, are seeking to obtain an accurate valuation on behalf of creditors.