One of North America’s rarest and most breathtaking treasures— a massive 61-pound natural pearl might have been just unveiled by a Canadian man from Mississauga, Ontario.
Dubbed the “Giga Pearl”, it is now thought to be one of the largest pearls in the world. It is white and cream-coloured and looks like a gigantic tooth, according to CBC. Lucky owner, Abraham Reyes, says that he only recently came into the possession of the extraordinary gem. Apparently, his family didn't even know it was worth anything. In fact, they were unaware that it was actually a pearl.
"These giant clams were very common. They were used for baptismal baths. Some of them are even in gardens… some of them had abnormalities that they didn't know were pearls," said Reyes.
The "Giga Pearl" is estimated to be about 1,000 years old. It was hidden inside of a giant clam that Reyes’s grandfather bought from a Philippines fisherman as a gift for Reyes’s aunt back in 1959. His aunt, who had some art and antiquities in her house in Manila, kept the precious pearl all these years.
"We come from a humble beginning," Reyes told CBC. "My aunt, she's been collecting these because it's preserving our history."
When the pearl was passed on to him, the 34-year-old man kept it in a safety deposit box until he could have it examined and evaluated by geological specialists. The gemstone turned out to be four times the size of the Lao-Tzu pearl, which previously held the record for the world’s largest pearl.
Now, rather than selling the stunning "Giga Pearl", which was estimated to be worth between $60 to $90 million, Reyes wants to share its beauty with the world by putting it on display in various museums and galleries.
“I believe the world should know that it does exist,” Reyes told CBC. “To me, I feel very honored to have it. I feel a great responsibility.”
Owner Abraham Reyes commissioned a special golden octopus, designed by artist Bethany Krull, to hold the ultra-rare gem.