LOOK: Palawan’s 34-kg pearl could be world’s largest
A 34-kilogram pearl that was once cloaked in a modest home in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, could be the largest pearl in the world.
Aileen Cynthia Amurao, a tourism officer at the province, discovered the gleaming pearl enshrined under the bed of his husband’s nephew for a decade. Her relative regarded the pearl as a lucky charm.
Ten years ago, her relative and several family members went fishing, and when forceful winds blew in their direction, they hid in a nearby reef. When the winds calmed down, they had a difficult time pulling their anchor. To their astonishment, they found a giant clam stuck in the anchor, with the luminous pearl inside it. The pearl, which measures 30 centimeters wide (1 foot) and 67 centimeters long (2.2 feet), was presented to Amurao when the owner’s home was ravaged by fire recently.
In an email interview, Amurao said she mistook the pearl as just another large coral washed ashore in her province. When she tried researching about precious sea pearls and corals, she was mesmerized to know about Palawan’s vibrant collection of natural resources. “I just became aware when I searched the internet that all giant pearls came from here; sad to know none of those were left in the possession of the city or province,” she said. Since then, she decided to publicly display the rare pearl at the Puerto Princesa City Hall.
A bothered Amurao said the province lacked marine scientists who can study aquatic treasures and creatures specifically found in Palawan. “Honestly, our officials were amazed, and they also don’t have any idea about natural pearls. We do not have experts here in the province to tell that it’s a real pearl,” she said.
If gemologists can verify it, the pearl will outpace the current Guinness record holder, the 6.4-kilogram Pearl of Lao Tzu, also known as the Pearl of Allah. It was discovered in 1939 by a group of divers at Brooke’s Point in Palawan and was priced at $93 million (P4 billion) in 2003. Gianna Francesca Catolico
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