Two Rare Conch Pearls of Extraordinary Size
Strombus gigas or “Queen Conch”
A conch is one of a number of different species of medium-sized to large saltwater snails and their shells. True conchs are marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, and the most well known species is the “Strombus gigas or “Queen Conch”. The pearls they produce are calcareous concretions—that is they are non-nacreous and are made up of calcium carbonate (rather than aragonite which is the composition of nacreous pearls). Tens of thousands of snails would have to be found in order to recover pearls as fine—and as large—as these two—which are perhaps the biggest pair ever found.
Perhaps the biggest conch pearls ever found, both of these giant, non-nacreous pearls have excellent luster and flame-pattern iridescence. The first, of comma-shaped outline, having a rich rose color especially to the widest part, with hints of orange, widening at the top to a cream-colored termination, weighing approximately 70.78 carats and measuring 39.7 x 17.7 x 15.0mm.
The second pearl, of rich rose hue at the base, graduating to orange at the center and creamy color at the top, weighing approximately 74.34 carats and measuring 34.0 x 18.5 x 17.0mm (2)
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