More than a decade ago, an unnamed Filipino fisherman discovered a giant 75-pound pearl while diving. A really giant pearl. It didn’t occur to him that the pearl was valuable, so he just stuck it under his bed as a good luck charm.
The Daily Mail says “The priceless rock measures a staggering 1 foot foot wide and 2.2 feet long – dwarfing the current world’s biggest Pearl of Allah which weighed 6.4kg [more than 14 lbs] and is worth $35 million.” While the news outlet refers to the pearl as “priceless,” the estimated value is around $100 million.
The fisherman lived in a rickety shack in Palawan, an island province in the Philippines, until a fire forced him out, and he turned the pearl over to the local tourism board, who were stunned by it (imagine that!). Quoting the Daily Mail, an official said:
We were amazed when he brought it to us. We now need help from gemologists to fully certify it. We’re waiting for authentication from Gemologist Institute and other international authorities. We believe Puerto Princesca is likely [to] earn another prestigious title and a record breaker for having the world’s biggest natural giant pearl from a giant clam. We will keep this here in the Philippines and I hope it will bring more tourists to the city.
What makes this pearl even more unique is the fact that the fisherman found it inside a large clamshell. It’s rare for clams to produce pearls. They are usually formed within oysters—and even then only fewer than one in every 10,000 wild oysters produces a pearl, according to National Geographic.