Dear Collector Friend,
Hunting for treasure has fascinated all walks of humanity for thousands of years. In today’s modern era, to embark on such adventures requires not just enormous funds but many months of planning, preparing the sea vessel set for the maiden voyage. Sophisticated equipment such as —– and laser image detectors are used for spotting major potential stakes. So it was a great surprise when a local fisherman by mistake came across this true beauty phenomena of the sea. It is something that serious deep sea divers and professional treasure hunters only dream of.
This unbelievable discovery was made off the coast of Palawan Island in the Philippines. That is where a local fisherman got his vessel’s anchor caught on a huge Indonesian clam 10 years ago. He has only just recently come forward due to a fire at his home this year that forced him to jump ship. It is said when he pulled the clam up on board to his great surprise he discovered an enormous 75-pound pearl which some experts estimate to be worth over $100 million. He kept the pearl as a good luck charm under his bed- “He said every time he goes out for fishing he will touch the pearl.”
When the fisherman came to move to another part of the province after the fire at his residence, he entrusted the giant pearl to his aunt, Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, who works in local government as a tourism officer. Then, with his permission, she extended the pearl to the Mayor, Lucilo R Bayon, to act as new tourist attraction of city. It is now on display in the atrium of the ‘New Green City Hal’l in Puerto Princesa.
While it still has to be confirmed with a formal appraisal by a gemologist, if it is a true pearl it could be the largest ever found, the BBC reports. By using x-rays to peer inside to its center, experts can count the gem’s growth rings, that which are similar to those in a tree and can be used to estimate how long the massive clam worked to produce the huge gem.
The pearl measures in at 26.5″ long x 12″ deep. These new dimensions have surpassed the current world record holder of the world’s largest pearl, “The Pearl of Allah” that weighs 14.1 pounds and has a value of approximately $35 million.
Robert James of the International School of Gemology claims that, in his opinion, “it was unlikely the pearl would fetch the wild prices touted by some ($100 million is the number being thrown about). This blob-shaped pearl, he said, is more porcelain-like than gem-quality (flawless in shape, surface, color and luster).”
Clams almost never create pearls and that makes the discovery of this pearl off Palawan Island extremely rare, as we are all more familiar with the birth of a pearl from an oyster – but even then the occurrence is seldom. Giant clams such as the one that produced this pearl can reach 4 feet in length and weigh upwards of 500 pounds.
Natural pearls are formed inside the shells of mollusk as a defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant, such as a parasite. Despite the wildly popular belief; pearls don’t often grow from a grain of sand although it is most certainly possible.
If the uncanny idea of hunting for a giant pearl or not so giant pearls appeals to you, the highest rated diving resort is ‘The Portulana Dive Resort’ just north of Palawan Island. You can get all the info at Portulano.com. Another close contender is ‘The Artistic Diving Resort’ on the neighbouring Philippines island of Negros. Diving for for treasure can actually be quite an extraordinary experience and coming across a treasure worth millions by mistake can really change your opinion of the hunt.
Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,