Shinjyu Jewelry Company - Arden Arcade, Sacramento 95825

Notable Historic Pearls

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The reknown pearls described here either are displayed proudly by institutions or are held in private.

* The ABERNATHY PEARL is a 44 grain natural freshwater pearl of superb quality discovered in the Scottish River Tay during 1967 by Bill Abernathy, a professional pearl diver. Many people hold the Abernathy Pearl to be the most perfect Pearl found in the rivers of Scotland.

For about thirty years The Abernathy Pearl, nicknamed The Little Willie Pearl had been shown in a jewelry store in the city of Cairn cross. However, it was sold in 1992 to a private buyer.

* The ARCO VALLEY PEARL is said to be a baroque, white pearl with overtones of pink and brown, weighing 575 carats. History has it that it was a gift from Marco Polo to Khubla Khan. No one claims to know the whereabouts of the Arco Valley Pearl today.

* The BIG PINK PEARL was found in 1990 by Wesley Rankin at California's Salt Point State Park in Petaluma, California. It is a baroque abalone pearl weighing 470 carats.

* The GOGIBUS PEARL. This pear-shaped pearl, weighing 126 carats, was the largest-known saltwater pearl when it was discovered during the early 17th Century off the coast of the West Indies. King Philip IV purchased this pearl from a merchant named Gogibus.

* The HOPE PEARL is the most famous natural saltwater pearl ever discovered. It weighs 1,800 grains (450 carats), or approximately 4 ounces! The color ranges from greenish-gold on one end to white on the other. The circumference of this drop-shaped gem is 4 1/2 inches at its broadest and 3 1/2 inches at its narrowest.

The Hope Pearl was acquired in the early 19th century by Henry Philip Hope, a London banker. It is now displayed at the British Museum of Natural History.

* The HUERFANA (The Orphan) was one of the most splendid gems of the Spanish Crown Jewels. The Huerfana was prized because of its perfect shape, large size and brilliant luster. It was called the Orphan because it was found in a bed of discarded shells - not in an oyster

The Huerfana was once owned by Dona Isabel de Bobadilla, the first female governor of Cuba. However, sadly, it is said to have been destroyed when the Spanish palace burned in the 18th century. So it is said.

* The JOMON PEARL is the oldest known pearl in the world. Reportedly, this pearl dates back more than 5,500 years, and is named after a period in Japanese history, the Jomon era - 10,000-300 BC. Although there are no written records of this era, the age of the Jomon Pearl has been deduced through the study of many recovered artifacts .

* The QUEEN PEARL is a fine fresh water pearl weighing 93 grains. It was found in Paterson, New Jersey in 1857 and and later sold to the Empress Eugenie.

* The MIRACLE OF THE SEA is owned by the Imperial Pearl Syndicate and was formerly in the Crown Jewels of the Emperor of China.

* La PEREGRINA (The Pilgrim), also known as the Philip II Pearl, is one of the most beautiful pearls in the world. La Peregrina is a perfectly pear-shaped, natural saltwater pearl, weighing 203.84 grains (a little over 10 grams). This beautiful gem, the size of a pigeon egg, is bright white in color, and displays a very attractive high luster.

According to many accounts, La Peregrina was found by Balboa near the Pearl Islands on September 19, 1513, during the same voyage he came upon the Pacific Ocean. Balboa, loyal subject that he was, promptly sent this spectacular gem to Ferdinand V of Spain.

In 1556, this great treasure was then given as a wedding gift by Philip II to his new bride, Queen Mary of the House of Tutor.

For the next 250 years La Peregrina remained a part of the Spanish Crown Jewels.

However, in 1813, when Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, abdicated from the throne he took La Peregrina with him. Joseph willed this wonderful pearl to his step niece Hortense who, in turn, bequeathed it to her son Prince Louis Napoleon.

As it is with many families, Prince Louis was in need of cash and so sold La Peregrina to his friend in London, the Marquis of Abercorn.

In 1969, Abercorn family sold La Peregrina to the famous actor Sir Richard Burton, who promptly gave his wife Elizabeth Taylor a most memorable gift.

Today, the estate of Elizabeth Taylor owns La Peregrina. The Pilgrim is resting from many travels.

* La PELLEGRINA (The Incomparable), also been known as The Zozima Pearl, is a notable saltwater pearl discovered off the coast of South America. La Pellegrina, like La Peregrina, once had been part of the Spanish Crown Jewels.

However, in the 18th century it became a part of the Russian Crown Jewels.

From there, its history is unclear to me. It seems that, along the way, La Pellegrina was kept undercover by a collector, or collectors, for a number of years.

In 1987 La Pellegrina was auctioned off at Christies auction house. It brought a handsome price.

Shinjyu Jewelry hopes that your pearl jewelry, given proper care, will be a family treasure passed from generation to generation.

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