Typically, people keep good luck charms like a four-leaf clover, a shiny penny, or a protective amulet—not a precious gem that could be worth as much as $100 million. But according to The Guardian, one fisherman in the Philippines discovered a priceless 75-pound pearl, and instead of selling it, he hid it under his bed for more than a decade to bring him prosperity.
The unidentified man hails from Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, the Palawan News reports. More than 10 years ago, he was out fishing when a giant clam snagged his boat’s anchor. The fisherman dove down into the water to free it, and inside the mollusk he discovered the enormous pearl.
The natural treasure is reportedly a foot wide and more than 2 feet long. According to the fisherman’s aunt, her nephew touched the pearl for good luck every time he headed out to sea. It sat in his house until earlier this year, when a property fire forced him to move to another part of the province, Metro reports. The man gave the gem to his aunt, a local government tourism officer, for safekeeping, and she offered it to the city’s mayor to attract visitors.
The valuable find is currently on display in Puerto Princesa’s city hall building. Palawan officials are still waiting for experts to confirm its authenticity—but if the gem turns out to be real, it could be the world’s largest-known natural pearl. According to Forbes, the current record is held by the Pearl of Allah (sometimes called the Pearl of Lao Tze), which was also discovered off Palawan, in 1934. That story has a much sadder ending: When the young diver who discovered the pearl reached inside the giant clam containing it, the clam shell snapped shut on his arm, trapping him. Unable to free himself, he drowned. The gem was only discovered within the shell a few days later.
[h/t The Guardian]
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