A pearl worth £88 million ($137 million) would make even the biggest spender wince but, at 1.5m (5ft) high and weighing six tonnes, this luminous pearl unearthed in Mongolia may well have a claim as the world’s largest. The gem, formed mostly from fluorite mineral, glows green in the dark and is known as a luminous pearl in China, where it is prized more highly than diamonds.
These sort of green pearls are known as Yemengzhu, and they’ve long played a role in Chinese legends. Some people even believe that touching one will bring great fortunate and prosperity. The first ever modern Yemengzhu, however, was discovered in China only 20 years ago. The unique gem is indigenous to China, and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The finders took three years to grind the raw gem down to its pearl shape. It has gone on show in Hainan, southern China, to attract buyers and have measurements taken for a world record bid. A collection of more than 200 pieces of natural artwork and natural gems were also displayed and open to the public for free.