Filipino-Canadian Discovers He Owns P4.7 Billion Pearl, One of the Largest in the World
On a hunch, Abraham Reyes, a Filipino-Canadian based in Ontario, Canada, brought a 27.65-kilogram mineral to appraisers, who confirmed it was a pearl. The pearl is a family heirloom that was once thought to be a curio that resembles a giant tooth.
According to Reyes, his grandfather found the pearl when he bought a giant clam from a fisherman in the Philippines in 1959. Since then, the family has kept it as an heirloom, not realizing that it was actually a 1,000-year-old pearl.
According to Inquirer USA, Reyes had the pearl authenticated at the Gemological Institute of America, which is based in New York City. Appraisers have valued the pearl to be worth as much as $90 million (approximately P4.74 billion).
Reyes named the family treasure "Giga Pearl" and commissioned a custom-made 22-carat gold holder in the shape of an octopus for it. Weighing 27.65 kilograms (60.957 lbs), the Giga Pearl easily dwarfs the Pearl of Lao Tzu, the previous record holder for the world's largest pearl. The Pearl of Lao Tzu weighs 6.4 kilograms and was found in Palawan in 1939.
Although the Giga Pearl has impressive size and quality, another pearl from the Philippines still eclipses it in terms of size and weight. The Pearl of Puerto Princesa is a 34-kilogram giant pearl found in Palawan.
A fisherman had accidentally hauled the Pearl of Puerto Princesa when a giant clam got caught in his boat's anchor. For 10 years, he kept the clam and the giant pearl in his hut and regarded it as a lucky charm which he kept under his bed. In 2016, when he was about to move residence, he remembered the treasure hidden in his hut and decided to take it to his aunt, Amurao, who also happened to be the local tourism department chief. Appraisers have valued the fisherman's pearl to be worth $100 million.
The Pearl of Puerto Princesa remains the property of the anonymous fisherman, who has loaned it to the Puerto Princesa local government. It is currently displayed at the Puerto Princesa City Hall.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.