Pearls have long been admired as symbols of wealth and beauty, with individuals and collectors around the world seeking some of the rarest and largest gems. The largest pearl ever discovered is undoubtedly a fascinating gem, with a unique story and captivating appearance that has captured the attention of enthusiasts everywhere.
Known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu” or “Pearl of Allah,” this extraordinary pearl was discovered in the waters of the Philippines. Weighing an incredible 14.1 pounds (6.4 kilograms) and measuring approximately 9.45 inches (24 centimeters) in diameter, its sheer size and unique formation have ranked it as the largest pearl in the world. The intriguing history of the pearl further adds to its mystique, with legends and stories surrounding its discovery and ownership throughout the years. This remarkable treasure not only provides a glimpse into the rich world of pearls but also showcases the incredible natural wonders that our oceans can produce.
Discovery of the Pearl
In the Philippines, a fisherman made a remarkable discovery when he found a massive pearl inside a giant clam. This happened off the coast of Palawan, an island well-known for its abundant marine life and pristine waters. The pearl he discovered was unlike any other, measuring an impressive size that would challenge all existing records.
The fisherman, whose identity remains undisclosed, had been diving in search of clams when he stumbled upon this extraordinary find. The giant clam contained a magnificent pearl, which would later be named Pearl of Lao Tzu . This titanic pearl weighed approximately 34 kg (75 lbs), considerably exceeding the size of any other pearl ever recorded.
The Filipino fisherman, unaware of the pearl’s potential value, decided to keep it as a good luck charm. For almost a decade, the pearl remained hidden from the world, tucked away under his bed, with only him and his family being privy to its existence.
It wasn’t until 2016 when the existence of this extraordinary pearl was unveiled to the public. After encountering an unfortunate fire incident, the fisherman was forced to relocate and entrusted a relative with the pearl. This relative contacted local authorities, alerting them to the potential significance of the find.
Subsequent analysis confirmed the pearl’s dimensions, setting a new world record for the largest pearl ever discovered. The Pearl of Lao Tzu, encased in its formidable shell, continues to astonish people with not only its immense size but also its intriguing backstory involving a humble Filipino fisherman and his unique good luck charm.
Features and Evaluation of the Pearl
The largest pearl in the world is known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu, which was found inside a giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in Palawan, Philippines. This incredibly rare gem, weighing approximately 14,100.7 carats, showcases the magnificent beauty and rarity of natural pearls.
The Pearl of Lao Tzu has unique characteristics that set it apart from other pearls. Its formation is primarily due to the giant clam‘s natural processes, where layers of calcium carbonate and nacre are deposited to produce the shimmering and iridescent appearance. This precious gem has a distinct baroque shape, which adds to its allure.
When comparing the Pearl of Lao Tzu to other famous pearls, such as the La Peregrina Pearl, Arco Valley Pearl, and Centaur Pearl, it’s clear that its size, weight, and history surpass others. For instance, the La Peregrina Pearl weighs merely 203.84 carats, the Arco Valley Pearl around 575 carats, and the Centaur Pearl is 1,194 carats. Remarkably, the Pearl of Lao Tzu weighs more than these three pearls combined.
In order to objectively assess the value and authenticity of the Pearl of Lao Tzu, renowned gemologists from institutions such as the Gemological Institute of America have conducted various tests and evaluations. They concluded that this extraordinary pearl is indeed a genuine and highly valuable gem. Its estimated worth ranges from $100 million to $200 million, according to reports from pearl connoisseur Abraham Reyes.
The discovery of the Pearl of Lao Tzu demonstrates the rarity and preciousness of natural pearls, differing from their cultured counterparts. Natural pearls are formed within a mollusk without human intervention, while cultured pearls are the result of humans introducing irritants into the mollusk to stimulate pearl development.