All Kinds of Pearls Have Value
You may have seen my post on What is a Non-Nacreous Pearl? In it I showed you all types of pearls including this big massive lump that comes from a Giant Clam in The Philippines. We have discussed that non-nacreous pearls can kind of be like teeth. They are not shiny in the way we typically think of pearls. They are shiny in the way porcelain can be shiny... dense, opaque. So when are these pearls just dense little concretions and when are they something of value? As with many things, the value comes from when people place value on them. And some non-nacreous pearls can be very, very valuable!
Here are some examples of valuable non-nacreous pearls:
From the Quahog clam! Here is a beauty that was expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000 in auction. A man found it in his clam stew!
You can really see the thick, but beautiful, porcelain like nacre! The coloring on quahogs is very beautiful, too. And their supply? These natural pearls are rare which increases their value!
I first saw these conch pearls years ago at a wholesale jewelry show in Hong Kong. I almost fell over seeing the price tag!
The shells I knew long before. I first encountered these beautiful shells in the Bahamas years ago! I loved the beautiful pink interior of these shells (and I also enjoyed the conch fritters at dinner!)
And what about the ability to blow a conch?! It is a thing! In real life and in Lord of the Flies!
Anyway, these beautiful sea snails will (rarely) form a pearl. And when they do, the price tag is huge! Truthfully, I do not even know how expensive these pearls typically are however, this cute pink pearl was $70,000.
Of course they can be cheaper than that, too, depending on the size.
These pearls, like all natural pearls, are valued according to their weight instead of their size. So, the heavier the pearl, the more expensive it might be.
Price will also, of course, have to do with quality, color and appearance!
Head on over to Southeast Asia and you will find the home of another large sea snail, the Melo Melo, also known as the Indian volute or bailer shell. The Melo Melo has an amazingly gorgeous orange shell.
And this beautiful orange shell produces a beautiful and insanely gorgeous non-nacreous pearl. And since we are talking about when non-nacreous pearls have value, talk about value. This little orange beauty costs well over $100,000.
Now, again, I am not an expert on these non-nacreous pearls! These are solely the ones I have encountered and the prices I was quoted (how do you like that for a disclaimer!?). So, maybe, you can find some conch or melo melo pearls that are cheaper! Again, given that these beautiful pearls are typically paired with diamonds, I would not count on it!
So, in conclusion, don't throw out the pearl with the conch fritter! And let's not discount all non-nacreous pearls. Some truly have a high value and are amazingly beautiful too!