A fisherman found what might be the largest natural pearl ever discovered while out fishing. He put his extremely rare treasure under his bed for good luck for a decade. Then one day, a fire forced him to move it out of his wooden shack, and the world’s largest pearl was revealed to the world at last.
More than 10 years ago, the fisherman stumbled upon a giant clam off the coast of Palawan Island, the Philippines. Inside was a monstrous pearl measuring 2.2 feet (67 cm) long and 1 foot (30 cm) wide and weighing around 75 pounds (approx. 34 kg).
After the fisherman’s wooden shack burned down, he entrusted the gargantuan-sized pearl—his good luck charm—to his aunt, Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, a tourism department chief in the city of Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island.
“I was awestruck when I saw it just sitting on the dinner table,” Aileen told AFP. “I told him it would be pointless to hide it as we do not know its value. Why don’t we put it on public display instead.”
With her nephew’s consent, the precious gem was eventually revealed to the public on Aug. 22, 2016. The gigantic pearl is currently on display for public viewing in the atrium of the New Green City Hall in Puerto Princesa, serving as one of the city’s latest tourist attractions.
Aileen explained how her nephew had lowered his anchor and it had gotten stuck during a storm. “He noticed that it was lodged on a shell and swam down to pull up the anchor, and also brought the shell with him,” she said, according to MailOnline.
As most pearls are produced by oysters, and clams rarely create pearls, the precious treasure, which Aileen’s nephew found, is extremely valuable. The fisherman had no idea that the enormous pearl, which he had kept in his wooden shack for 10 years, is worth an estimated $100 million!
“He didn’t know how much it was worth and kept it tucked away at home as a simple good luck charm,” Aileen said. Speaking to the Guardian, she added: “He said every time he goes out for fishing he will touch the pearl.”
The family was astounded when the fisherman showed them the colossal treasure, and they are now awaiting authentication and certification from a gemologist. “So far based on our research in the web we cannot find any recorded article about this kind and as big as this size,” Aileen said.
Aileen opined: “But we believe Puerto Princesa likely earn another prestigious title and a record breaker for having the world’s biggest natural giant pearl from a giant clam.” Posting on Facebook, she wrote: “Just for the info of everyone, all recorded giant pearls in the world came from Palawan waters.”
This newly revealed giant pearl is much larger than the previous record holder, the Pearl of Allah, also known as the Pearl of Lao Tze, by over five times. It was discovered by a Filipino diver off the coast of Palawan back in 1934, who lost his life while retrieving it.
The Pearl of Lao Tze, said to be coverted by Ferdinand Marcos and Osama bin Laden, weighs 14.2 pounds (6.4 kg) and was valued at US$93 million in 2003 by Colorado Springs-based gemologist Michael “Buzz” Steenrod.
Puerto Princesa city information officer Richard Ligad confirmed the account given by Aileen is true. He added the pearl could change the fisherman’s fortune. “He has not signed any deed of donation (to the city) so it remains his property,” he said.
As for Aileen, a local tourism department chief, her wish was simple. “We will keep this here in the Philippines and I hope it will bring more tourists to the city,” she said.
Watch the video:
The largest pearl may have just been discovered, weighing in at 75 pounds and worth an estimated $100 million http://cnn.it/2bybtEq
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