The world’s most expensive pearl is five feet tall and weighs 6 tons. Its price tag is $137.5 million. It was unearthed in the Inner Mongolian part of China. It took three years to shape the blue green pearl. However, this was not produced by a clam and made of fluorite.
Most Costly Natural Pearl
This would be the Pearl of Lao Tzu or the Pearl of Allah. The pearl weighs 14.1 lbs and is 31,893.5 carats. The diameter is 9.4 inches. The pear is worth an estimated $60 million. Unlike the fluorite pearl of China, this pearl came from a giant clam.
It was found in 1934 off the coast of Palawan, Philippines. It was extracted by a Filipino diver and given to Wilburn Cobb, an American. It was a token of gratitude after Cobb saved the life of the village chief’s son. The pearl is currently owned by the Pearl for Peace Foundation, a charity group.
Facts about Pearls
Natural pearls are different from gemstones because they are not mined from rocks. Instead, it is harvested from mollusks and oysters. Mussels and clams can also produce pearls.
Pearls are generated when an irritant gets trapped in the oyster. The most common irritant is sand. The oyster protects itself by producing a mucus-like substance. This substance hardens around the sand, producing a pearl.
The world’s most expensive pearls are generated by mollusks in the ocean. Some of the pearls will have a dark shade. Some will be black but others gray. These pearls are extremely scarce and costly. The process described helps explain why pearls are so expensive.
Not all pearls get sand trapped inside them. Even when it happens, it takes a long time before the pearl is produced. The pearl’s size depends on how long it stays in the oyster. The longer it stays, the bigger it will be.
Cultured and Man Made Pearls
Today, irritants are intentionally injected in the mollusk to produce pearls. Man made pearls are produced when sand and hermage (a fish-based product) is used in lieu of the mucus. There are also synthetic pearls made of painted hermage. These pearls are sold cheaply.
If only natural pearls are included, the Pearl of Lao Tzu would be the world’s most expensive pearl. But if all pearls are included, the one from China would be the most costly. However, the Chinese pearl has no buyers yet.