Thai woman finds rare egg-shaped Melo pearl

A struggling Thai fisherwoman is set for a windfall after finding a rare Melo pearl in a sea snail she was preparing for lunch. Urai Loyfa, 47, had boiled the molluscs and was cutting them up when she found the stone, roughly the size of a quail egg, embedded in the tender flesh on August 9. Recognising that it could be valuable, Urai plucked the orange pearl from the water and kept it at home to check its authenticity. She asked neighbours and friends in her hometown of Krabi province, Thailand, and determined the object to be a valuable Melo pearl. The overjoyed villager also informed the local police about her discovery. Pearl merchant Sanit Phromprung, 53, visited Urai's home on August 11 upon hearing the news. He offered her 400,000 THB (11,325 USD) for the 87-carat stone but Urai rejected it as she was waiting for other buyers to contact her. Urai said: 'The pearl came from a snail given to me by a fisherman relative. The snail containing the pearl was heavier than the others, weighing more than one kilogram. 'I am thankful for the offer to sell the pearl, but I think it's worth more.' Pearl dealer Sanit said he is still hoping to strike a deal for the gem. He added: 'With my experience in this field for more than 30 years, I can confirm that it is indeed a real Melo pearl. 'They are usually priced at 10,000 THB per carat, but this stone is slightly cracked because it was brought to a boil with the oyster meat. Its price has been reduced to no more than 5,000 THB per carat. 'For this pearl, I set the price at 400,000 THB because it's an oval in shape and is classified as a grade B pearl. The grade A pearl is round and has a price of 15,000 THB per carat.' Melo pearls are formed by the Melo melo sea snail and are considered extremely rare because only a small percentage of the molluscs produce them. They are typically light yellow to orange to brown in hue, with orange pearls fetching the highest price. Like diamonds, there isn't a set price for the pearls as it depends on the quality and colour. In 2010, a 224.30-carat Melo pearl was sold for 722,500 USD (585,000 GBP) giving it a value of 3,200 USD (2,591 GBP) per carat.

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Melo Pearls for Sale

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