A Filipino now living in Canada now owns one of the world’s largest pearls, a family heirloom that had sat in his family’s home in Manila—but is actually worth billions of pesos.
Now based in Mississauga, Ontario, Abraham Reyes said an uncle brought the heirloom, which was named “Giga Pearl,” from Camiguin to his aunt as a homecoming gift 60 years ago.
Reyes gained the 27.65-kilogram pearl in 2016 while his aunt was unloading her estate, he told Canadian broadcaster CTV News.
“The family members were more interested with the estate, the home; mine is the collection of art,” he said.
Now encased in a bronze octopus sculpture, the pearl is valued between $60 and $90 million (P3.13 to P4.7 billion) after Reyes had the pearl authenticated by the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.
Reyes said he has no plans of selling the pearl, and instead wants to showcase it in various museums.
“My goal is to have it brought to the museum or galleries for the world to see it. I want it to be used to create environmental awareness,” he said.
“A pearl is [possessed] by luck. Owning it is an honor, It’s such an accomplishment, [as if] you were chosen by fate. I want the world to enjoy it,” Reyes said.
Although the Giga Pearl is massive, a fisherman from Palawan still owns what is thought to be the world’s largest pearl, which weighs 34 kilograms. It was put on display at the city hall of Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital of Palawan.