The pearl Freshwater pearl jewelry has a lot of history […]
The pearl Freshwater pearl jewelry has a lot of history behind it. AFP reports that the gem was found around 1765 and was likely formed in Chinese waters.
The Sleeping Lion, the world’s largest freshwater pearl, isn’t round and beautiful, or even particularly pretty. In fact, under the right light, the pearl resembles one of the wrinklier creatures of the Star Wars universe. But chances are its latest buyer, who picked it up for $374,000 at auction in the Hague, Netherlands, last month, doesn’t mind.
Deustsche Welle reports that this is the first time the Sleeping Lion, which measures 2.7 inches and weighs in at 4.2 ounces, has been up for public auction in more than two centuries.
According to a history of the pearl, the auction house that sold it, it’s likely a Chinese trader used some auditing trickery to get around a ban on exporting large pearls out of the country. It was sent to Jakarta by the Dutch East Indies Company where the company’s accountant general just had to have it, paying 4,500 British pounds to possess the unusual pearl, which got its name because some think it looks like a lion curled up for the night.