One of the many names for the Philippines is the “Pearl of the Orient”, it originated from the Spanish term Perla de oriente/Perla del mar de oriente). The term originated from the idea of Spanish Jesuit missionary Fr. Juan J. Delgado in 1751 when the Spanish missionaries first discovered the Philippines.
As such, the Philippines somehow lives up to this title given by Fr. Delgado after the largest pearl ever recorded in the history of the world was found in the country and was given the name “Pearl of Lao Tzu” aka “The Pearl of Allah”.
However, its title might be stripped away after a fisherman recently turned over a monster pearl, also found in Palawan, weighing 75 pounds. And its worth? A whopping £76,000,000!
According to Wereblog, an unnamed fisherman managed to find the giant pearl on the coast of Palawan Island about 10 years ago. Somehow, he was unaware of the staggering value of the 34kg gem and just kept it as a ‘good luck charm’ in his rundown wooden home.
But, a fire caught his home which forced him to move out. He then entrusted the giant pearl to his aunt, Aileen Cynthia Amurao, who happens to be a tourism officer. The stunned local government employee verified that it had been found in a giant clam.
Aileen Cynthia Amurao sai in an interview, “The fisherman threw the anchor down and it got stuck on a rock during a storm. He noticed that it was lodged on a shell and swam down to pull up the anchor, and also brought the shell with him. This was a decade ago and he kept it at home.”
Amurao also added that she was really amazed when the fisherman first brought the pearl. After she saw it, she asked for the help of gemologists to fully certify the authenticity of the pearl.
The precious rock measures 26 inches in length, 12 inches wide, and weighs 34kg with an estimated value of more than $100 million. Dwarfing the current world’s biggest pearl weighing only 6.4kg and is worth $35 million.
It is now displayed at the Puerto Princesa Palawan City Hall and has somehow become some sort of a tourist attraction to visitors.
If proven that this is indeed a real pearl, the Philippines would likely earn another prestigious title for having the world’s biggest natural giant pearl from a giant clam.