The 10 Most Expensive Pearls in the World. Pearls are formed when an irritant of some kind is able to make its way inside the shell of a mollusk and cause a reaction.
In common parlance, the term “pearl” refers to the nacreous variety of pearl that is produced by certain species of clams and that is composed of the same material as mother of pearl.
However, it is interesting to note that in addition to nacreous pearls, other types of mollusks are capable of producing pearls that are not nacreous; however, the majority of the time, the commercial value of these pearls is either zero or very close to nothing.
In spite of this, pearls can be quite expensive, which makes perfect sense when one considers how uncommon they are.
Pearls can be roughly classified as either natural or cultured depending on how they were grown. Even though they have different names, natural pearls and cultivated pearls are formed by the same process.
The only difference is that natural pearls formed in their natural environments, while cultured pearls formed in environments that were controlled by humans.
However, natural pearls are significantly more scarce than cultured pearls, which results in natural pearls having a significantly higher value. The problem is that only one out of every 10,000 clams will produce a pearl that is of sufficient quality to be used in jewelry.
This, coupled with the fact that natural pearls are being over-harvested as well as other environmental concerns, results in an extremely limited supply of natural pearls being sold on the market.
There are significantly more cultured pearls available than natural pearls despite the fact that clams kept in human-controlled environments do not have a significantly greater chance of producing pearls that are suitable for harvesting.
This is due to the fact that humans can initiate the pearl production process before maintaining the clams in conditions that will make the eventual harvest convenient.
In addition to this, the price of a particular pearl can also be affected by a variety of other factors. For instance, the size of the pearl is a significant consideration to consider. In a similar vein, the color of the pearl as well as the shine of the pearl are also evident elements to consider.
This is especially true given that certain colors are far less common than others. On top of this, pearls can be combined into beautiful instances of human artistry, which can further boost their appeal and, thus, their worth. Pearls can also be worn as jewelry.
Most Expensive Pearls in the World 2023
10. Dodge Pearl Necklace – $1.1 Million
According to legend, Catherine the Great, widely regarded as one of the most influential and successful rulers in Russian history, was once the proud owner of this pearl necklace.
It was purchased by Cartier during the time of the Russian Revolution, and Cartier ultimately parted ways with it and sold it to the Dodge family.
There, the original necklace was cut up into several parts that were each equally as exquisite as the others.
9. Marie Antoinette Pearl Necklace – $1.47 Million
A significant number of individuals around the world continue to find Marie Antoinette to be an intriguing character.
Consequently, even though it is unknown how exactly this specific pearl necklace made its way out of France, it was nevertheless able to get the price of $1.47 million when it was put up for sale.
8. Big Pink – $4.7 Million (Most Expensive Pearls in the World)
Pearls very rarely come in the hue pink. Because of their rarity and desirability, pink pearls can command significantly greater prices than would be achievable under any other circumstance.
Nevertheless, that is not the only noteworthy quality possessed by the Big Pink. After all, even looking at its name reveals that it has an extraordinary size, which is another factor that contributed to its price of $4.7 million.
7. Duchess of Windsor Pearl Necklace – $4.8 Million
This pearl necklace comes with a significant quantity of background to go along with it. In a nutshell, it originated in Imperial Russia before finding its way into the possession of King George V of the United Kingdom.
He then gave it to his bride, Queen Mary, and she, in turn, gave it to their son Edward once they were married. Edward famously abdicated the kingdom so that he could marry Bessie Wallis-Simpson.
This allowed them to start a family together. In more recent years, Wallis-Simpson donated her whole collection of jewels to the French Research Institute with the intention that it be sold to raise funds for various philanthropic causes, including medical research.
6. Four Strand Black Pearl Necklace – $5.1 Million
When the individual components of a piece of jewelry are given the opportunity to be seen, the jewelry can sometimes appear its very finest.
This black pearl necklace, which displays a multitude of black pearls with hypnotic overtones of green, silver, and other hues, is all you need to see as confirmation that black pearls are indeed valuable.
5. Cowdry Black Pearl Necklace – $5.3 Million
This pearl necklace has been sold at auction not once, but twice in the not-too-distant past, and it was given the name of the Viscountess Cowdry, who had previously owned it.
The first time it was sold, it was purchased for $3 million, and the second time it was purchased, it was purchased for $5.3 million.
As a result of this, it will be fascinating to find out what price it will garner if it is put up for sale a third time.
4. Baroda Pearl Necklace – $7.1 Million (Most Expensive Pearls in the World)
Once upon a time, the Maharajas of Baroda were given a pearl necklace with seven strands since it was considered to be one of their most valuable possessions.
Because it was dismantled into its component parts, the aforementioned necklace is no longer in existence.
Despite this, its notoriety continues to grow, as evidenced by the fact that one of the pearls was used to create a necklace with two strands of pearls. The necklace in question was sold alongside a set of pearl earrings, which brought in a total of $7.1 million.
3. Seven-Strand Festoon Pearl Necklace – $9.08 Million
This particular pearl necklace was able to fetch $9.08 million when it was put up for sale.
Because so little is known about its past, those who are interested in learning about it should not have high hopes for a compelling narrative. The worth of its rose-colored pearls, on the other hand, is not debatable at all.
2. La Peregrina – $11.8 Million (Most Expensive Pearls in the World)
The name “La Peregrina,” which translates to “something along the lines of the Pilgrim,” is an excellent choice for a piece of furniture that has been owned by a succession of different people over the period of several centuries.
It is said that an African slave discovered it in the Gulf of Panama, and as a result, it was given to King Philip II of Spain, who then gave it to his bride, Queen Mary I of England. Another version of the tale says that it was found in the Caribbean.
After some time had passed, La Peregrina was placed back into the collection of the Crown Jewels of Spain, where it stayed until the time of Napoleon. After that, it was owned by the Duke of Abercorn for one hundred years until making its way into the possession of Richard Burton and, later, Elizabeth Taylor.
The previous time that La Peregrina was placed up for auction, it was able to achieve a price of $11.8 million, which was a record for the property.
1. Cleopatra’s Pearl – $28.5 Million
Egypt in the late Ptolemaic period was an extremely wealthy country. On the other hand, Egypt during the late Ptolemaic era was relatively weak, as evidenced by the fact that the late Roman Republic was able to make and unmake its monarchs.
Because of this, it should not come as a surprise that the famous Cleopatra VII became involved in Roman politics in an effort to consolidate her control over her country.
This is especially true when one considers the fact that the combination of these two characteristics made Egypt a constant temptation for ambitious Roman politicians.
It is said that she once demonstrated Egypt’s wealth by drinking a goblet of wine after dissolving a massive pearl in it and then drinking the wine herself.
Pliny, a Roman naturalist and natural philosopher, provided an estimate that the pearl was worth sixty million sesterces, which is equivalent to approximately twenty-eight and a half million dollars in today’s currency.
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