If diamonds are a lady’s best friend, then pearls can be considered a lady’s soul mate. Where the diamonds dazzle and provides the glitter, pearl provides the modest sheen. Moreover, pearls can be worn to any occasion, be it an informal meeting with the friends or a formal meeting with the Queen. Now, we may come to the cost of pearls. If you thought pearls are affordable then you are absolutely right. But at the same time there are some pearls which only the super rich can afford.
Let Us Have A Look At The Ten Most Expensive Of Them:
Beauty of the Ocean
The Beauty of the Ocean is a man-made marvel. Why so? Because it is not a natural pearl but has been produced artificially from fluorite and it took three years to give it a perfect round shape. Technically, whether it will be called a pearl is a question. But this iridescent, five feet tall, six ton ‘pearl’ costs a whopping $139 million. Any takers?
The beauty and demand for this pearl lies in its shape, size and history. It is considered the best example of perfect pear shaped pearl and at the time of its discovery weighed 223.8 grains which roughly converts to around 56 carats or 11.2 grams. It has a history of over 500 years and is reported to have been found by an African slave in the Gulf of Panama. Later on it passed the hands of many royals including Queen Mary I of England. Richard Burton bought it at Sotheby’s auction in 1969 for $ 37,000 and gifted it to Elizabeth Taylor. In 2011 it fetched a price of $ 11 million at an auction at the Christie’s and till date if the highest priced natural pearl in the world.
Baroda Pearl Necklace
The seven-stranded necklace consisting of 300 to 350 handpicked pearls of the richest quality once belonged to the crown jewels of the Gaekwad Maharajas of Baroda, a princely state of pre-independence India. Mysteriously the whereabouts of the necklace was not known for quite some time until a two-stranded necklace surfaced at a Christie’s auction in 2007 consisting of the best 68 pearls from the Baroda Necklace. It fetched $ 7.1 million, the highest price for any pearl necklace at that time.
The Big Pink Pearl
The Big Pink is a natural abalone pearl, one of the rarest forms of pearl found on earth. The pearls are noted for their iridescent hues of lavender, blue, green, orange and pink. The Big Pink was discovered in 1990 by one Wesley Rankin. The pearl weighing 470 carats or around 94 grams has been valued at $ 4.7 million. Those interested may contact Rankin in California as he still holds the pearl.
Double Strand Necklace
This is the name of a signed pearl necklace from Cartier that fetched $ 3.7 million at a Christie’s auction in 2012. It consists of 120 pearls of diameter ranging from around 6.5 to 12.25 millimeters. The color ranges from white to a very light shade of cream and has a subtle tone of rose and green.
Pearl of Lao Tzu or Pearl of Allah
This pearl is the largest natural pearl in the world weighing 6.4 kilogram and measuring 24 centimeters in diameter. It is a clam pearl that is found in giant clams. So technically it is not a gemstone pearl and lacks the shine and shape that pearls are actually valued for. But still it has been valued as an expensive pearl at $ 3.5 million.
The Cowdray Pearls
The Cowdray Pearls get the name from Viscountess Cowdray who owned this necklace of 38 graduated grey pearls strung into a 43 centimeter necklace finished with a diamond clasp. The sizes vary from a little less than 7 millimeter in diameter to above 11 millimeters. The pearls are valued for their color, a shade of grey that is considered a rarity in nature. The necklace fetched $ 3.3 million at a Christie’s auction in 2002.
Five Strand Natural Pearls
Five strands of 349 natural pearls fetched a price of $ 1.7 million at Christie’s in 2012. The smallest of the pearls measure just over 4 millimeter in diameter while the largest ones measure around 11.4 millimeter. They are strung in a graduated fashion into five strands consisting of sixty-three in the innermost strand to seventy-three in the outermost strand.
Three Strand Natural Pearl Necklace
The Three Strand Necklace consists of 180 graduated pearls ranging from around 5 millimeter to around 11 millimeter in diameter. The three strands are held together with an emerald and diamond clasp. The necklace fetched $ 1.4 million at a Christie’s auction in New York.
In 1917 Pierre Cartier, the legendary jeweler, crafted 128 pearls into two strands after moving into his new headquarters on the Fifth Avenue. The pearls are valued at a million dollars.