Tz gem a fake

October 2, 2009 12:00 am

, LONDON, Oct 2 – The "Gem of Tanzania", once valued at 11 million pounds and the key asset of a British construction company, has proved to be little more than an unusual paperweight, reports said.

Once thought to be one of the most expensive rubies in the world, the 4.6 pound (2.1 kilogram) purple rock was listed in the assets of now collapsed Wrekin Construction Company.

But after examination by experts on behalf of administrators Ernst & Young, the stone was "not thought to be of sufficient gem quality" to cut.

The rock is now believed to be a large lump of anyolite, a low-grade form of ruby, with a value of just 100 pounds (109 euros, 159 dollars), the Independent newspaper said Friday.

Large auction houses have rebuffed the stone, and it will instead be advertised for sale in "Rock n Gem", a British magazine for mineral collectors and devotees of "healing" crystals, according to the Financial Times.

The stone was used by a British businessman to revive the balance sheet of the company which he bought in 2007, but several valuation documents with the stone have now been rejected as forgeries, the paper said.

The businessman bought the rock in a land deal.

"The joint administrators are seeking to maximise realisations from the Gem of Tanzania for the benefit of the creditors," said Ian Best of Ernst & Young on Thursday.

"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."


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