Gem cutter reveals rare ruby |

Gem cutter reveals rare ruby

Teri Vance
Jim Grant/Nevada AppealGem cutter Tobin Rupert holds an 8.56 carat ruby purchased in Africa. He said people are welcome to stop by his store to see the gem.

Local gem store owner Tobin Rupert realized he had a valuable stone when his associate Tyler Jourdonnais dropped off a ruby to be cut.

“I thought it was going to be at least 30 grand,” he said.

As he started cutting, he realized the gem had the potential to be worth much more.

After a day and a half of cutting – letting the gem dictate how it wanted to be cut – “it came out perfect,” he said.

Rupert then sent the stone to an appraiser with the Gemological Institute of America, and received the response Tuesday that the wholesale value of the 8.56-carat ruby is $140,000.

That means it would retail for about $420,000.

“It’s extremely rare to get something this big,” he said. “This thing is totally unheated, no radiation, no dyes, very few inclusions. It’s clean, 100 percent natural.”

Jourdonnis, owner of Whiskey, Smokes and Gemstones in Reno, bought the ruby in Namibia, in southern Africa. Rupert did not want to disclose how much it cost, but he said Jourdonnis got “a great deal.”

Rupert will ship the ruby off Thursday afternoon, but said people are welcome to stop by his shop, Rupert’s Precision Gems, to have a look before then.

“It’s a sight to see,” he said. “That sucker glows, and I got the honor of cutting it.”

To see the ruby, stop by Rupert’s Precision Gems, 2800 S. Curry St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. today or until 1 p.m. Thursday.