For 10 years, a Filipino fishermen kept a large pearl under his bed for good luck without knowing it could be the largest natural pearl in the world. He found the pearl while trying to free his anchor after being caught in a storm, but he had no idea that the lucky charm could be worth a small fortune. Measuring 1 foot wide by 2.2 feet in length and 75 lbs, the irregularly shaped pearl is thought to be the largest natural pearl ever found. If it is verified as authentic, it will be worth $100 million.
The enormous pearl’s irregular shape does not hinder its value, or its awe factor. Found in 2006 near Palawan Island in the Philippines, the fisherman recently turned the pearl over to the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office (PPCTO), which announced Monday that the pearl will be put on public display in the city hall. Although gemologists have yet to verify the pearl’s authenticity, the mere possibility that this giant gem is the world’s largest natural pearl is enough to draw attention and excitement to the region. Puerto Princesa City Tourism Officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao said she hopes the pearl will bring more tourists to the area as well.
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Ironically, the pearl scooped from the sea by a fisherman might have never been known to the public if another natural element—a fire—had not driven him out of his home, according to Atlas Obscura, although the PPCTO reported that he turned it in because he was “changing residences frequently.” Whatever the reason, this discovery has gem enthusiasts and nature lovers on the edge of their seats, particularly due to its incredible size. The next largest natural pearl found in the region weighed 54.5 lbs which, although certainly massive for a pearl, is dwarfed by this new discovery by a large margin.
Images via Aileen Cynthia Amurao/Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office and Google Maps