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Famous Pearls

There are many famous pearls throughout history. Here are just a few.

The Imperial Hong Kong Pearl is one of the largest pearls ever found. It measures a massive 26mm by 39mm and weighs in at 25.5 grams. It is believed to have once belonged to Chinese royalty and is set in a platinum and diamond pendant.

Perhaps the most famous is the Abernethy pearl. This one weights 44 grams and was collected by Bill Abernethy after whom it was named, in the Tay River in 1967. It is also known as the Little Wille Pearl.

The Arco Valley Pearl is baroque in shape, and weights 575 carats. It is white with pink and brown hues. It is also famous for being offered by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan the emperor of China.

One of the largest natural pearls in the world is The Pearl of Asia. First surfaced in 17th century India it is 600 carats. After the siege of Delhi it became the property of the King of Persia (currently Iran), who in turn gave it to the Chinese Emperor Qianlong. In China it was thought to bring happiness and good fortune.

The 6.5 carat Black Beauty comes from the Caribbean. Central America is well know for it's colored pearls. This well formed button shaped pearl is one of the finest examples of black pearl with its sheen and blend of bright colors.

The Big Pink Pearl weighs in at a massive 470 carats and is baroque in shape. It is listed in the Guiness book of records and was values in 1991 at an impressive 4.7 million dollars. It's owner is pearl diver Wesley Rankin, California.

The Drexel Pearl, at 33.8 carats is not so large but nevertheless is a beauty to behold. It is named after Mary S. Irick Drexel, an early-20th-century American philanthropist. The symmetry of this natural Polynesian pearl and the orient of its smooth surface make it extremely rare. It is set in a Belle Epoque pendant-brooch by Cartier of America.

The Dudley pearl is a large black pearl that was fashioned into a brooch and sold by Fred Leighton to Jane Wrightsman.

The Eugenie pearls are actually a large jewel collection from the French Crown Jewels and later auctioned at the Palace of the Tuileries in 1887. Many had been purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte for his wives Josephine and Marie Louise.

The Gogibus pearl is 504 grains (126 carats), pear-shaped, and found off the West Indies. Purchased from the merchant Gogibus by Philip IV of Spain in 1620, it was the largest pearl in Europe at the time. Gogibus reportedly wore the pearl as a button on his cap.

The Hope Pearl is one of the largest pearls in existence. It is a white drop-shaped fresh water blister pearl of 1,800 grains (450 carats or 4 oz). One of the largest saltwater pearls in existence , the Hope Pearl was first acquired by Henry Philip Hope, after whom it was named, in the 19th century. It is on display at the British Museum of Natural History. The Hope Pearl is now capped by a kind of crown forming a pendant.

The Huerfana pearl, meaning "The Orphan," was collected in the Gulf of Panama, and is part of the Spanish Crown Jewels. Reputed to have been found loose in a shell bed and not in an oyster. Noted for its large size, beautiful luster, and perfect shape, the pearl was briefly owned by Isabel de Bobadilla, the daughter of the man who sent Columbus back in irons.

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