On display in Puerto Princesa
A 75-POUND good luck charm hidden under the bed of a Filipino fisherman in Palawan for ten years may be the largest naturally formed pearl ever found.
Tourism officials in Puerto Princesa publicized the discovery of the irregularly shaped treasure on Tuesday, August 23. It is about 1 foot wide, over 2 feet long and weighs more than five times as much as the current record holder, dubbed “the pearl of Lao Tzu” or “the pearl of Allah.” That 14-pound gem had been valued at $93 million, according to the Guardian. Tuesday’s find is currently awaiting authentication by experts.
Both massive pearls were discovered in the same province. Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao of the Palawan Tourism Office told Palawan News that the larger gem was found by her nephew, a local fisherman who pried it from the shell of a giant clam 10 years ago.
“Sumabit sa angkla nila nang minsan sila nangisda (It was caught on their boat’s anchor while they were fishing),” according to Maggay-Amurao. “Naabutan ng bagyo, sumabit itong shell na mayroon palang pearl (A storm came. [When they tried to pull up the anchor], this shell with a pearl inside was stuck).”
Since then, the fisherman had made a habit of touching it on his way out to fishing trips for good luck. The Palawan man, who chooses to remain anonymous, had never considered how much the pearl might be worth. He decided to leave it with his aunt for safekeeping while he was moving to a different part of town.
“He brought it to me, since it’s quite heavy,” said Maggay-Amurao.
The fisherman retains ownership over the massive natural oddity, but was convinced by his aunt to share it with the city of Puerto Princesa, according to Agence France-Presse. Local officials have put it on display in city hall and named it “the pearl of Puerto.”