Largest Rare Quahog Pearl Discovered By Bostonian Shucking Clams To Lead Bonhams Lapidary Auction

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A rare and very large purple, non-nacreous Quahog pearl will be offered at the Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones and Minerals auction to be held at Bonhams’ Los Angeles at 10 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016.

It is the largest Quahog pearl ever offered at public auction, and is estimated at $25,000-35,000.

The Quahog pearl does not come from an oyster but from a thick-shelled North American “chowder” clam. The gentleman who consigned it was shucking Little Neck clams for dinner when he discovered the 16.64 carat pearl.

The law school graduate, from Watertown, Boston, bought the clams for $25 at Brookline Market, with a view to making stuffed Quahogs. He said, ‘It was the most astonishing surprise of my life. Even my untrained eye could appreciate the rarity and beauty of what I had found. I later discovered how lucky I was – had I cooked the clam, the heat might have destroyed its luster.’

Very few of these pearls have ever come up for public auction, but Bonhams Natural History department, which specializes in the sale of exotic natural pearls, has sold the majority of them.

Claudia Florian, Co-Consulting Director of Bonhams Natural History Department in Los Angeles, said, “Quahog pearls can be found from Cape Cod all the way down to the Mid-Atlantic – but those found in the Boston area are usually the finest. This particular pearl is an exceptional example with a classic New England backstory.”

It is estimated that only one in 100,000 Quahog clams actually produce a pearl of any kind, and most are too unattractive for use in jewelry. The rarest Quahogs are those that are a true purple, and can only be found in New England. 

In quarterly magazine, Gems & Gemology, GIA's staff gemologist, Joyce Wing Yan Ho said "This Quahog pearl's large size, clean surface, fabulous luster, near-round shape and evenly distributed rich color combine to make it an exceptionally fine and rare example of its type." At a size of 16.64 carats, the pearl has a near-spherical-to-button-shape, displays a rich lavender hue and excellent porcelaneous luster.

 Other highlights in the Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones and Minerals sale include: 

A Rare, Large Yellow Star Sapphire, estimated at $60,000-80,000

“Phenomenal” gems (those showing an optical phenomenon) abound in this auction and include a rare, large yellow star sapphire of 75.43 carats estimated at $60,000-80,000. The alluvial gem gravels of Sri Lanka were the source of this large, high-domed yellow sapphire that displays a strong central star effect and a medium yellow hue.

An Exceptional, Large Tanzanite Crystal, estimated at $200,000-300,000

This example ranks among the largest tanzanite crystals in existence and is one of the biggest ever offered at public auction. Hailing from the Merelani Hills in Tanzania, it measures nearly 7 ½ inches in height and weighing a substantial 4,015 carats. Very few large Tanzanite mineral specimens make their way into the collector market, as the majority of such crystals recovered are cut into the immensely popular and valuable faceted gemstones. The specimen is expected to bring $200,000-300,000.

 

Carved Gemstone Flower Study—"Poppies", estimated at $40,000-60,000

Working in the traditions of Faberge, the cover lot of the auction catalog is a flower study gemstone carving depicting poppies in full bloom, realistically rendered in red chalcedony, nephrite, black diamonds, rock crystal and 18K yellow gold.  It is estimated to fetch $40,000-60,000.

 

Haute Tease

  • UK’s Christmas Number One – Let The Countdown Begin

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Birmingham UK based band Corvus have launched their bid for international Christmas chart domination with 'Can You Hear the Sleigh Bells Ringing?' a classic rock infused Christmas single in the same vein as The Darkness' hugely successful 'Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)'.  

  • THE ACADEMY SELECTS 2014, 2015 SHOW DATES; KEY DATES ANNOUNCED FOR THE OSCARS®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CAThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 86th and 87th Oscar® presentations. The 86th and 87th Academy Awards® will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, and February 22, 2015, respectively.

     
  • AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi Centerpiece Gala Selections Announced: World Premiere of “Out of the Furnace,” Nebraska,” and A Tribute to Bruce Dern, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, September 30, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today additional red carpet Centerpiece Galas at AFI FEST presented by Audi, including the World Premiere of Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE; Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA; accompanied by a Tribute to Bruce Dern; and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, directed by and starring Ben Stiller.

     
  • Image Entertainment Snatches "Odd Thomas" Based On The New York Times Bestselling Novel By Dean Koontz

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, September 24, 2013 – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has acquired all U.S. rights to the thriller “Odd Thomas,” based on the original, critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling book by Dean Koontz of the same name.

     
  • Robert Zemeckis to Direct Epic Romantic Thriller for Paramount Pictures, Gk Films And New Regency

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Paramount Pictures, GK Films and New Regency today announced that Brad Pitt will star, and Robert Zemeckis (Flight, Forrest Gump) will direct, an original story by Steve Knight (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Dirty Pretty Things) to be produced by Graham King (Rango, The Departed), who developed the project, alongside Zemeckis and Steve Starkey (Flight, Real Steel). 

     
  • Antiques, Decorative Arts & Vintage Show and Sale Coming to Santa Barbara

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Antiques, Decorative Arts & Vintage Show and Sale will be held January 23 to 25 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds,Santa Barbara,CA (Hwy 101 at Las Positas). The grounds will be filled to the rafters with beautiful antiques and unique decorative pieces brought to Santa Barbara by dealers from all over the west coast. 

     
  • Blondie and Garbage To Co-Headline Rage And Rapture Summer 2017 Tour (Music/Tix Links)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Blondie & Garbage announced their North American tour will kick off on July 5th in Saratoga, CA and wrap on August 12th in Dallas, TX. John Doe & Exene Cervenka will provide support on the first leg of the tour and Deap Vally for the second.