British auction house Woolley and Wallis has denied media reports that it’s about to sell the world’s largest natural pearl—but notes that the specimen it’s selling is still pretty impressive, and likely to fetch more than $400,000.

The pearl measures 16.5 mm by 17.4 mm, weighs 33.15 cts., and has been certified as a natural saltwater pearl (versus cultured.)

“It’s incorrect to say that it’s the biggest natural pearl in the world,” says jewelry department head Jonathan Edwards. “There are probably a couple of bigger pearls in existence. But it is one of the—if not the—largest natural pearls to come up for auction.  A larger natural pearl has not sold in the past fifty years."

Owned by a private source and the single pearl was matched with a cultured pearl and worn as an earrings. When Edwards suspected it was a natural pearl instead of a cultured pearl he then contacted  the Swiss Gemmological Institute to certify its origin. 

In a special note, the lab wrote, “The pearl shows an attractive white color with weak rosé and green overtones, poetically also referred to as the ‘orient of pearls.’ Such overtones are due to an iridescence effect caused on the surface of pearls and that greatly contribute to their beauty.”

The pearl is expected to sell for $419,000.00  


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