Israel’s largest-ever ruby has been found in the Kishon River, precious stone exploration and mining company Shefa Yamim said on Monday.
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The stone weighs 1.7 carats and is 8.26 millimeters in size, but is of minimal monetary value.
The stone is currently being analyzed at the company’s Acre factory.
Despite the find, Shefa Yamim shares ended down 3.1% at 1.45 shekels (38 cents). Daily turnover was some 350,000 shekels – three times the average daily turnover.
The stone is three times the size of previous rubies found in Israel, the company said. It added that other than its own operations, it was not aware of other rubies being found in the country.
The stone’s size reinforces the company’s belief that the Kishon River offers potential for gemstone mining, it added. The river in northern Israel is 70 kilometers (43 miles) long and flows into the Mediterranean Sea in Haifa.
Shefa Yamim has a market cap of 63 million shekels. It was founded in 1999 by Abraham Taub, an associate of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Based on a prophecy the rebbe gave in the 1990s, Taub has been mining for diamonds and other precious stones around the Kishon River ever since.
The company’s stock price is down 77% in the past three years due to repeated fundraising attempts to maintain operations, despite the lack of significant findings to date.