A pearl is composed of crystalline calcium carbonate that is deposited in concentric layers to create a hard glistening object. Pearls are formed inside the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk or a few other animals.
The best pearl is one that has a perfect round shape and smooth texture. However, baroque pearls or pearls of other shapes, are also sought after. The finest of pearls are regarded as objects of beauty and are often treated as precious gemstones. Some of these pearls have even attained international fame. Some have been the coveted possession of kings and queens of the world for centuries.
5. Pearl of Puerto
The Pearl of Puerto is the biggest natural pearl in the world. It was discovered in the Philippines. A fisherman of the country is credited with its discovery. The pearl was found inside a giant clam. For years, it was stored in the home of the fisherman who regarded it as a lucky charm. The world came to know of its existence through a relative of the fisherman who received the pearl when the fisherman moved out of his home. The Pearl of Puerto has a length of 2.2 ft and a width of 1 foot. It weighs an incredible 34 kg. The Pearl of Puerto is currently on exhibit at the city hall of Puerto Princesa.
4. The Pearl of Lao Tzu
Prior to the recent discovery of the Pearl of Puerto, the Pearl of Lao Tzu was the largest known natural pearl in the world. It was also known as the Pearl of Allah. This pearl was also discovered in the Palawan Sea surrounding the Palawan island of the Philippines. The pearl was discovered inside a giant clam. It has a diameter of 24 cm and weighs 6.4 kg. An interesting story is associated with the ownership of this pearl. An American, Wilburn Cobb bought this pearl in the Philippines. As per his accounts, the Muslim tribal chief who originally owned the pearl was not ready to part with it as he considered it as sacred. However, when Cobb saved the life of the chief’s son, the chief gladly handed over the pearl to him as a show of gratitude for saving his son’s life. However, the story is doubtful as Cobb himself provided a new account of the origin of the pearl at a late date.
The world Satlada generally refers to a seven-stringed pearl necklace. One of the most famed Satlada necklaces was the one owned by the Nizam rulers of the Hyderabad state of India. The necklace that was made in Basra featured 465 pearls embedded in the necklace.
2. The Arco Valley Pearl
The Arco Valley Pearl is a baroque pearl weighing 115 g (575 carats). The pearl is one of the largest natural pearls in the world. The pearl is also associated with a fascinating history. According to reports, Khubilai Khan, the legendary Mongolian emperor, handed over the pearl to Marco Polo, the famous Italian merchant, writer, and explorer.
1. The La Peregrina Pearl
The world-famous La Peregrina Pearl has a history of nearly 500 years. It was first discovered at the Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama at about the mid-16th century. The African slave who found it handed it over to the European owners. Over the centuries, the popularity of the pearl grew and it passed from kings and queens to their heirs. The British-American actress, Elizabeth Taylor, more recently owned the pearl. The La Peregrina originally weighed 11.2 g (55.95 carats) and has a typical pear-shape.