AN AMAZING FACT: A brooch purchased for $14.00 at a Bristol, Rhode Island, antique shop has turned out to contain a priceless purple pearl. Alan Golash, a Newport antiques dealer, claims the value of the rare pearl is supported by gem experts who examined it. His partner found the 19th-century ornamental pin while rummaging through a basket of costume jewelry at a former antique shop. Golash, who restores antique jewelry, cleaned the brooch and discovered it was made of 18-karat gold and enamel and included three small rose-cut diamonds. Based on its construction and Victorian styling, it is believed by jewelry experts to have been created sometime between 1860 and 1885.
But most notably, the brooch features two rare pearls, both of which gem experts say are all natural, purple, and produced from a type of clam known as quahogs [pronounced KOH-hog], which are extraordinarily rare. The larger of the two pearls is about the size of a marble and is a rare deep lilac-colored pearl. “We’ve never had a pearl like this before,” said Betty Lin, vice president of jewelry at Christie’s auction house. Golash plans to sell the brooch at auction in two years in Hong Kong, where pearls are highly prized. In the meantime, the pearl, named “The Pearl of Venus,” was on display when it traveled with the American Museum of Natural History. The pearl is valued between $250,000 and $1 million because of its rare size.
When news first broke about the Golash brooch, Alan was swamped with reporters and actually did over 100 TV and radio interviews. Gem-quality quahog pearls are extremely rare, and when you add to this the desired lilac color, it is rarer still. Some people would say the chances of finding this are one in two million. One jeweler adviser to Christie’s auction house said, “It’s so rare, it’s one of a kind. You cannot put a price on this pearl, because there is nothing to compare it to.”
That statement almost sounds like it came from the Bible! Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45, 46). Can you imagine selling something for $14.00 and later learning it is worth millions? Countless people do this every day.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.Matthew 7:6