Tararequi Pearls from the Panama Canal

Tararequi pearls were so beautiful they kept people awake at night...find out why.

The early American fisheries yielded several magnificent pearls, many of which eventually became part of the imperial Spanish jewels.

Prominent among these was the Huerfana or Soa.

According to Gomara, this was secured in 1515 from the Indians at Tararequi, in the Gulf of Panama, in a large collection which weighed 880 ounces.

It was pear-shaped and weighed thirty-one carats.

Gomara states that this pearl was purchased from Gaspar de Morales, leader of the Spanish expedition, by a merchant, for the sum of 12,000 castilians.

"The purchaser could not sleep that night for thinking on the fact that he had given so much money for one stone, and sold it the very next day to Pedrarias de Avila, for his wife Donna Isabel de Bovadilla"; and afterward it passed to Isabella, wife of Emperor Charles V (1500-1558).

It was remarkable for its luster, color, and clearness, as well as for its size.

Another large pearl in this collection weighed twenty-six carats.

As told by George Kunz and Charles Stevenson in “The Book of the Pearl”.

Go to main famous pearls and collections after Tararequi Pearls.