In August 2016, the tourist department of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines announced that the “world’s biggest giant natural pearl from a giant clam” was going to be on display in the City Hall.
Giant PEARL?in Puerto Princesa City…
It weighs 75 pounds (34 kg) and measures 1 foot wide and 2.2 feet long, surpassing the former holder of the title of world’s largest pearl by five times—the 14-pound Pearl of Lao Tze (or Pearl of Allah), found in 1939.
The giant pearl, which has since become know as the Pearl of Puerto Princesa, was found 10 years before by a local fisherman—and kept under his bed as a good luck charm and then just left it there.
Can be the world's biggest natural giant pearl from a giant clam. 34 kilos.
The story goes that he found the giant pearl one day off the coast of Palawan Island when he had to dive down to free his boat’s anchor after it became snagged on the giant clam shell during a storm.
Unaware of its potential value, the fisherman kept it tucked away under the bed in his thatched hut.
When he had to move house, he asked his aunt, Aileen Cynthia Amurao, if she could look after it for him.
“He’d almost forgotten everything about the pearl until he was moving out, and he remembered he had something under his bed,” she told CNN.
He brought it over to his aunt’s house in a tricycle.
“I was awestruck when I saw it just sitting on the dinner table,” she told AFP.
Amurao was a tourism officer for Puerto Princesa City, and persuaded her nephew that it would be better off on public display as it would make a great tourist attraction.
“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,” she said.
My first picture with the Giant Pearl. I know my words are not enough, but i would always say Thank you so much …
Media outlets around the world reported on the pearl’s discovery, many saying it could be worth as much as $100 million dollars.
But others aren’t so sure.
One report in The Journal of Gemmology suggested the pearl may have been made out of giant clam shells and is a fake.
Another doubted the estimated value. “The $100 million is a great story, a great tourist attraction, but there’s no way someone could actually attach a price tag to that,” Robert James, president of the International School of Gemology, told Inverse Science. “It’s more of an oddity than a rarity.”
In early 2017, another very similar looking pearl was controversially shipped from the Philippines to the United States.
It was intended to be sold to raise money to help the poor in the Philippines, according to WNEP News.
A man from Lewisburg is helping a friend from the Philippines with what could be the largest pearl ever discovered.
It weighs 81.5 pounds (37 kg), which would make that one the largest giant clam pearl in the world.
The pearls aren’t like the typical gem pearls found in oysters. They are what are known as non-nacreous pearls and are formed in giant clams. Giant clams can live for over 100 years, so would have plenty of time to grow a large pearl, though pearls forming in clams are rare.
Whether they are real or fake, worth millions or not so much, they are certainly fascinating objects.