Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Giant pearl likely to be worth €88m kept under fisherman’s bed


Giant pearl likely to be worth €88m kept under fisherman’s bed (2)

Man handed pearl in to local tourism office after keeping it for more than 10 years

A fisherman in the Philippines has kept what might be the largest natural pearl ever found hidden in his home for more than 10 years.

The enormous pearl is 30cm wide (1ft), 67cm long (2.2ft) and weighs 34kg (75lb). If it is confirmed to have formed within a giant clam, as has been reported, it would likely be valued in excess of US$100m (€88m).

According to a report in the local Palawan News, a man from Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, found it more than a decade ago while out fishing. His boat’s anchor caught on the giant clam and he had to swim down to dislodge it.

He was not aware of its potential value but kept it as a good luck charm.

He has now handed the pearl over to the local tourism office, which has put it on display in the atrium of the New Green City Hall in Puerto Princesa.

Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, an aunt to the fisherman, and the local government’s tourism officer in Puerto Princesa, told the Palawan News that she had alerted gemologists’ groups to the discovery.

She made a call on Facebook for experts’ help in confirming the pearl’s authenticity.

“The Puerto Princesa City would likely earn another prestigious title and a record breaker for having the world’s biggest natural giant pearl from a giant clam (34 kilograms) after being certified for its authenticity,” she wrote. “Need help from gemologists!

“Just for the info of everyone, all recorded giant pearls in the world came from Palawan waters.”

Ms Maggay-Amurao told the Guardian that her nephew had kept it under his bed as a lucky charm. “He said every time he goes out for fishing he will touch the pearl.”

She encouraged all residents of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and Filipinos around the globe to raise awareness of the potential record-breaker. The post was shared thousands of times.

If it is found to be real, the pearl is significantly larger than the current record-holder, which as Ms Maggay-Amurao noted was also from Palawan. A local diver from Brooke’s Point in Palawan recovered what is now known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu, weighing 6.4kg, in 1939.

In 2003 it was valued at $93m by Michael “Buzz” Steenrod, a gemologist based in Colorado Springs.

Courtesy: The Irish Times

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology