MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - A man who stored a family heirloom, a pearl he said is the size of a cow’s head, in a safe deposit box for years recently learned it is worth nearly $90 million and believed to be one of the largest pearls in the world.
Abraham Reyes, 34, kept the 60-pound pearl in a safe deposit box, and after learning its possible value and rarity, wants to put it on display, CBC Toronto reported.
“My goal is to have it brought to the museums or even galleries for the world to see it,” Reyes told CTV News.
Reyes said his aunt, who collected shells and antiques, got the pearl as a gift in 1959 from her father after he went on a trip to Manila, the Philippines. She gave it to Reyes several years ago, and he put it in storage at the bank.
This isn't the first giant pearl ever allegedly found in the Philippines.
At 14.2 pounds and purportedly worth $75 million, the Lao-Tzu Pearl, or Pearl of Allah, was considered the world’s largest and put on display for years at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in New York, the South China Morning Post reported.
A fisherman in the Philippines claimed to have stored a $100 million, 75-pound pearl beneath his bed for 10 years, Forbes reported.
Reyes’ pearl, named the Giga Pearl, was authenticated by gemologists at the Gemological Institute of America in New York and is believed to be 1,000 years old, CBC Toronto reported. Experts appraised it at $60 million to $90 million.
Reyes had a 22-karat gold leaf octopus built to hold the misshapen creme-colored orb for display.
“It’s priceless to me,” he told CBC Toronto.
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