Many experts believe that this is the most unusual of all wild pearls. The rarity of the Quahog pearl is matched only by its originality and beauty. For thousands of years, the quahog pearl has served as a symbol of the pinnacle of wealth and power in a number of cultures, and today it is one of the most coveted pearls in the jewelry world.
Quahog pearls are made up of calcite and aragonite crystals. It can be milky, lavender, purple. This pearl stands out from the rest of the market like a beautiful exotic pearl that doesn't play by the rules.
Each of these pearls has its own unique history and meaning. It is estimated that only one in a million shells produces pearls, and only a small fraction of them are of gem quality.
And although Quahog can be found from Canada to Mexico, the vast majority of fine pearls are found in a small area located between the Hamptons, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Quahog pearls also grow much more slowly than other types of pearls, some taking over 25 years to form.
History of the brooch with the rarest pearl
Pearl of Venus. The name refers to an antique purple Victorian pearl brooch (Victorian period - the time between 1860 and 1885) It was accidentally discovered by Alan Golash, a US jeweler in 2000. He went to an antique shop, where he was looking for something interesting that could be restored and resold.
Alan was extremely lucky that day. His attention was drawn to an unusual piece of jewelry lying in a basket of various antiques, which, apparently, escaped the attention of other buyers. In fact, Alan was more interested in the 18k gold setting of the piece than in the gemstones used in the setting, which he assumed were artificial stones used in costume jewelry.
He bought the jewelry for $14. Alan then began to work on its restoration, cleaning and polishing. Alan could not believe his own eyes, what was the result after cleaning. Being an experienced jeweler, it did not take long for him to determine the true nature of the piece, something that had been hidden from the casual observer for over a century.
It turned out that in fact he bought a gold jewelry with two extremely rare Quahog pearls of the most desirable (purple) color and shape, as well as three old rose-cut diamonds. The decoration actually cost a fortune.
When news of the discovery first broke, television and radio stations in the United States trumpeted the news around the world. The result was Alan Golash, and it is reported that he gave more than 100 television and radio interviews, which were broadcast in 28 languages.
Locals have also used the shell of the clam Mercenaria mercenaria (Northern species of Quahog mollusk. Described by Linnaeus in 1758, Quahog pearls do not come from an oyster, but from an edible member of the thick-shelled clam family) for centuries.
When cleaning the shell, the magnificence of purple stripes on a milky background is revealed:
As mentioned above, the shell is very hard, so jewelry made from it is durable.