This is just a weird story that I had to share.
Today, Wednesday December 7th, at Bonhams (Los Angeles) Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones and Minerals auction, a rare and very large purple non-nacreous Quahog pearl found by a man shucking oysters for dinner will be the auction highlight.
At 16.64 carats, the gemstone is believed to be the largest Quahog pearl ever offered at public auction, according to Bonhams. The pearl has a near spherical to button shape and displays a rich lavender hue and excellent porcelaneous luster.
Photo by Jian Xin (Jae) Liao.
It is slated to sell for between $25,000 and $35,000.
A man from Boston found the pearl when he was shucking Little Neck clams for dinner that he had purchased for $25.
Rather than coming from an oyster, Quahog pearls come from thick shelled North American “chowder” clams.
It’s estimated that only one in 100,000 Quahog clams actually produce a pearl of any kind and when they do, most are too unattractive to be used in jewelry. Very few have ever come up in public auction.
The pearl was sent to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) for testing. The GIA report states “that it is a notable purple non-nacreous pearl that measures 13.69 × 11.80 mm and weighs 16.64 ct. It was immediately recognized as an outstanding specimen due to its clean surface, which possesses an attractive sheen reminiscent of fine porcelain. It has good symmetry, featuring a near round button shape with a perfect dome top and a rounded base, and a richly saturated and well distributed mid-purple color”.
In an issue of Gems & Gemology, Gemological Institute of America staff gemologist Joyce Wing Yan Ho said, “This Quahog pearl’s large size, clean surface, fabulous luster, near round shape and evenly distributed rich color combine to make it an exceptionally fine and rare example of its type.”
How crazy is that?