Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 12:50 UK

Rare 11m gem becomes 100 rock

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A rare gemstone valued at £11m that helped to underpin the finances of a UK-based construction company could be almost worthless, reports suggest.

Known as the Gem of Tanzania, the 2.1kg (4.6lb) ruby appeared in accounts of the now collapsed Wrekin Construction.

Administrators Ernst & Young are now trying to sell the stone through the November issue of RocknGem Magazine and Colored Stone Magazine in the US.

Experts suggest it could be worth just £100, the Financial Times says.

The so-called "Wrekin Ruby" was used to revive the company's balance sheet and was listed in the accounts at £11m, despite being valued by a previous owner at £300,000, the paper adds.

It now appears that even this valuation was way off the mark.

"The gem will be widely advertised in specialist publications by our agents GVA Grimley and details of the sale have been circulated to all of Wrekin's creditors and appropriate media," said Ian Best at Ernst & Young.

GVA Grimley describes itself as a leading UK property consultant, but also values industrial plant and machinery.

RocknGem is a Peterborough-based magazine that covers "rocks, gems, minerals, fossils, gemstone and bead jewellery making".

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