This Enormous Pearl is Insured for $90M
Abraham Reyes with the 61-pound “Giga Pearl”.
RESEMBLING A DINOSAUR’S TOOTH and weighing an astonishing 61 pounds, the Philippine-sourced “Giga Pearl” is one of the largest in the world and could be worth upwards of $90 million.
Currently owned by Ontario native Abraham Reyes, The Giga Pearl had been a family heirloom for 60 years. The natural pearl was hidden within a giant clam his grandfather had purchased from a Filipino fisherman as a gift for Reyes’ aunt. It was 1959.
Even when the cream-colored mass was discovered inside, family members didn’t think it had much value.
In fact, some weren’t convinced it was a pearl. Reyes and his aunt, however, always had an affection for the odd collectible, which she displayed along with her artwork and antiquities.
In 2016, when Reyes’ aunt began divvying up her estate, the mollusk-born treasure and 15,000 Oriental and Philippine antiques were passed on to him.
Reyes, who is a mineral broker, kept the pearl in a safety deposit box until he could have it evaluated by gemologists. The 34-year-old from Mississauga soon learned that his aunt’s collectible was certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the largest natural blister pearl in the world. Blister pearls are different than conventional pearls because they grow attached to the inside surface of a shell.
The waters of the Philippines are home to one of the most fascinating mollusks on earth — the Tridactna Gigas. They are the largest mollusks in the fossil record, measuring more than a meter wide and weighing more than 200 kilograms.
Insurance appraisers have placed the value of The Giga Pearl at somewhere between $60 million and $90 million, according to Reyes.
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