Big Baroque Pearl Attached to 10 inch Trophy Red California Abalone
Big Baroque Pearl Attached To 10.49" (26.45 cm) Trophy Red California Abalone
Type of pearl: Abalone
Size: 28 x 20 x 19mm
Color: Pale grey with pale blue and pink orient
Location of Origin: Red Abalone Pearl from the Fort Brag Region of California in situ
This example of a red abalone pearl in situ (still attached to the shell) is extraordinary because of the size of the specimen and the unusual color and form of the pearl.
Description of the Shell: While the red abalone is the largest member of the Haliotidae family, this is by far the largest specimen I have ever examined. The dimensions of this Haliotis rufescens are 26.65 x 20.32 cm. (10.49"x 8"). The shell weighs in at 4 pounds (1.81 kg).
History: This shell was acquired in the Fort Bragg area of California in the 1950's by by a couple who purchased it at an estate sale and then subsequently sold it to the current owner.
Description of the Pearl: Approximately half of the pearl retains an unusual pale - grey nacreous coating with a pale blue and pink orient visible from several angels. Additional blister pearls may also have been in the process of forming (see photo 1 positioned at 3 o’clock from the main pearl).
Another unusual feature is the shape and position of the pearl. Positioned in the gonad region of the shell, it would be typical for a pearl to exhibit a “shark tooth” shape characteristic of the majority of abalone pearls. This pearl is distinctly oval in shape and exhibits a baroque surface. The dimensions of the pearl are 2.8 x 2.0 x 1.9 cm. This is the first pearl of this shape and size from the gonad region I have ever observed. Overall, the unusual features of this specimen, known provenance and exceptional size make this a remarkable and unique example of a pearl-bearing Haliotis rufescens.
Evaluation performed on May 13th, 2019 by Lila Taylor, who received a Master of Science in geology with a focus on mineralogy from the University of New Orleans. Lila’s thesis focused on the genesis of pegmatitic gem minerals. Lila has over 15 years of experience working in the wholesale gem industry.
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