Largest Pearl in the World
The "Pearl of Lao-Tzu" is the the world's largest pearl in a giant Tridacna (mollusk). It weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. It was reportedly collected by a Filipino pearl diver named Etem, on May 7, 1934, at Palawan Island, Philippines. At one time it belonged to Wilburn Dowell Cobb, who allegedly received it as a gift from a chieftan of Palawan after having saved the life of his son. On May 15, 1980, Cobb’s heirs sold it at auction to Peter Hofman, a jeweler from Beverly Hills, California, for US $200,000. In 1966, it was valued at $3.5 million. According to te Guiness Book of Records, the San Francisco Gem Laboratory has valuated it at US $40-42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.