Many of us daydream of finding riches or winning the lottery. We often read about people who bought a new house and discovered something priceless hidden away, just waiting to be found! There are even stories of people who literally just stumbled across tons of money. Or maybe those who were left a family heirloom that ended up being worth a fortune. How fortunate for them! And, for this lucky fisherman, he struck gold when he found a rare pearl.
Pearls are hard to come by
Pearls are hard to find, and while clams and even mussels can produce them, they are usually found inside oyster shells. While the oyster is growing, if a grain of sand happens to get inside and lodge itself between the mantle and shell, it creates irritation. The oyster then reacts to protect itself, much like how a human would react when getting a splinter.
The oyster produces something called “nacre.” This is the same substance that builds up an oyster’s shell. To protect themselves from the sand irritant, the oysters cover themself with layers of nacre, creating a pearl.
Pearls come in a wide range of colors. These include pink, blue, and even black. As for this fisherman, he found a rare pearl that was orange in color.
Fisherman finds rare pearl
Hatchai Niyomdecha, 37, and his brother, Worachat Niyomdecha, 35, are both fishermen in the Gulf of Thailand. One day, while walking the shoreline of Nakhon Si Thammarat, they came across an abandoned buoy. The buoy was covered in shellfish. They planned to snack on the snails they found, but when cleaning them out, their father found a rare pearl!
The rare, tangerine-hued pearl was massive—about the same size as a US quarter. Weighing in at 7.68 grams, it was not only any old pearl but one valued at about $330,000.
While most pearls are found inside oysters, these extremely rare pearls are found inside the shells of Melo Melo sea snails. These pearls are made inside a gastropod native to Asian waters and take many more years to form than standard pearls do.
Dreams lead them to the rare pearl
Now, if you’ve ever been to Thailand, you’d know how spiritual many Thai people are.
The boys’ father, who discovered the rare pearl while shucking the snails, says he believes a deity or god lead him to this “gift” from the ocean. He believes this deity lead him to riches so he may no longer be stricken by poverty.
“An old man in white with a long mustache told me to come to the beach so I can receive a gift. I think he led me to find the pearl.”Bangmad Niyomdecha
The father explained how this rare pearl will help him and his family with their financial situation;
“I want to sell the pearl for the highest price. The money won’t just change my life… My whole family will have better lives.”Bangmad Niyomdecha
A mere few days after finding the pearl, a businessman from another province made the family an offer of one million baht, around $33,276. They refused; the rare pearl was worth far more! They were approached again, this time offered five million baht, but declined once more.
Currently, the family is in negotiations with a buyer from China, who is willing to pay what the rare pearl is worth, however, he first wants to be sure the pearl is in fact a genuine Melo pearl.