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This Enormous Pearl May Be Worth $90M — Take a Look

Its owner wants to display it in museums and galleries around the world.

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Abraham Reyes with the 61-pound “Giga Pearl”.

RESEMBLING A DINOSAUR’S TOOTH and weighing an astonishing 61 pounds, the Philippine-sourced “Giga Pearl” is one of the largest in the world and could be worth upwards of $90 million.

Currently owned by Ontario native Abraham Reyes, The Giga Pearl had been a family heirloom for 60 years. The natural pearl was hidden within a giant clam his grandfather had purchased from a Filipino fisherman as a gift for Reyes’ aunt. It was 1959.

Even when the cream-colored mass was discovered inside, family members didn’t think it had much value.

In fact, some weren’t convinced it was a pearl. Reyes and his aunt, however, always had an affection for the odd collectible, which she displayed along with her artwork and antiquities.

In 2016, when Reyes’ aunt began divvying up her estate, the mollusk-born treasure and 15,000 Oriental and Philippine antiques were passed on to him.

Reyes, who is a mineral broker, kept the pearl in a safety deposit box until he could have it evaluated by gemologists. The 34-year-old from Mississauga soon learned that his aunt’s collectible was certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the largest natural blister pearl in the world. Blister pearls are different than conventional pearls because they grow attached to the inside surface of a shell.

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The waters of the Philippines are home to one of the most fascinating mollusks on earth — the Tridactna Gigas. They are the largest mollusks in the fossil record, measuring more than a meter wide and weighing more than 200 kilograms.

Insurance appraisers have placed the value of The Giga Pearl at somewhere between $60 million and $90 million, according to Reyes.

“It’s priceless to me,” Reyes told CBC Toronto. “I believe the world should know that it does exist. To me, I feel very honored to have it. I feel a great responsibility.”

Ideally, Reyes would love to display The Giga Pearl in museums and galleries around the world. The pearl is currently paired with a 22-karat gold leaf octopus conceived by New York-based sculptor Bethany Krull.

“Seeing this incredible natural pearl and learning of its origins in the Philippine Seas … inspired me to create a sculpture that not only displays the pearl’s magnificence but also reiterates the idea that the biodiversity and uniqueness of the waters to which it was born need to be respected and preserved,” Krull said.

Back in 2016, we reported on the 75-pound Puerto Princesa pearl, which was found by a Filipino fisherman when his anchor got snagged on a giant clam. He had kept the pearl under his bed as a good luck charm for 10 years, and every time he would head out to sea, he would touch the pearl to ensure his safety and good fortune.

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The fisherman entrusted the amazing pearl to Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, a relative who was affiliated with the Puerto Princesa tourism office. He asked her to take custody of the good luck charm because he was about to move outside the province and couldn’t take it with him.

Recognizing the pearl’s star power, she asked the fisherman if he would approve of the pearl going on display as the city’s newest tourist attraction. He agreed, and the “Pearl of Puerto” was moved into the Atrium of the New Green City Hall.

GALLERY (4 IMAGES)

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, hscohen60@gmail.com. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

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Failed Fashion Jewelry Chain Is Coming Back

It will operate primarily as an online brand.

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Jewelry and accessories retailer Charming Charlie may have gone bankrupt and closed its 261 stores, but you can expect to see the brand resurface in coming months.

Charlie Chanaratsopon, founder of the company, is acquiring its trademarks, internet properties and other intellectual property for about $1.23 million, the Houston Chronicle reports. He was approved to buy the assets following a bankruptcy auction.

He plans to revive Charming Charlie as primarily an online brand. It will have only a few permanent brick-and-mortar stores, which will open early next year.

The company’s main advantage is its 10-million-strong customer base, said Chanaratsopon, former CEO of Charming Charlie.

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“In this age of retail, we still see an opportunity for the brand to thrive in the online ecosystem,” he said, according to the Chronicle.

The company said in July that it was closing all of its stores in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed July 11.

Read more at the the Houston Chronicle

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Online Jewelry Brand Raises $6.2M in Funding

Ross-Simons has taken a majority stake.

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CRANSTON, RI — Luca + Danni Inc., a online jewelry brand based in Rhode Island, has closed on $6.2 million in funding, with Ross-Simons Inc. becaming the majority investor in the deal.

PJC, a Boston-based VC Fund and early investor in Luca + Danni, will retain a stake in the company.

The investments “create a powerful partnership between an iconic jewelry company and three-year-old digital brand,” according to a Luca + Danni press release.

Fred Magnanimi, founder of Luca + Danni, will remain as CEO and board member.

“I started this brand to honor my family’s 50+ year heritage in US made handcrafted jewelry and help others embrace the journey of life as I learned to do after losing my brother to leukemia,” said Magnanimi. “With the amazing resources and strategic support of Ross-Simons and PJC, I am confident we will help millions embrace their own journey and continue to build our community.”

Ross-Simons, also based in Rhode Island, has a long history in retail and direct-to-consumer jewelry sales.

“Luca + Danni is a digitally native brand rapidly taking market share in the jewelry space,” said Jim Speltz, president of Ross-Simons. “Our resources, product expertise, and go-to-market experience matched with Luca + Danni’s powerful brand will foster meaningful growth in the evolving e-commerce world.”

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She Woke Up Without Her Engagement Ring. Guess Where Doctors Found It …

It all started with a dream. (Story with video.)

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A San Diego woman woke up without her engagement ring, and she immediately remembered a dream she’d had the night before.

One where she’d swallowed her engagement ring.

Jenna Evans immediately told her fiance, Bob Howell, and they headed to urgent care. She told the story in a Facebook post that has gone viral, garnering 62,000 shares as of Sept. 16.

She ended up seeing a gastroenterologist, who performed an upper endoscopy.

“Everything went great, they found my ring just beyond my stomach in my intestines, retrieved it and gave it to Bobby, not me,” she wrote.

She also divulged a bit about the dream that got her into the predicament.

“I was having a dream that Bobby and I were in a very sketchy situation involving a high speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water riiiight about the time I realized what I was doing,” she explained. “I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep.”

The ring was made by Simone Jewelry Designs in Houston. CBS8 reports that it includes a 2.4 carat diamond.

Watch a news video about the incident:

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