Very Large Purple Non-Nacreous Pearl in Gold Ring--A Quohog Pearl
Lot 1224Y
Rare Purple Non-Nacreous Pearl in Gold Ring--A Quahog Pearl
Sold for US$ 7,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
Rare Purple Non-Nacreous Pearl in Gold Ring--A Quahog Pearl
Mercenaria mercenaria
Northern Quahog clam species
Coastal waters of the North Atlantic

Described by Linnaeus in 1758, the quahog pearl does not come from an oyster but rather a thick-shelled edible member of the clam family. It is estimated that only 1 in 100,000 Quahog clams actually produce a pearl of any kind. Before its use in jewelry the Quahog was used as the nation's first domestic currency. The Wampanoag tribe used a medium of exchange called wampum which consisted of beads made of the shell of the Quahog bi-valves. This exotic pearl was discovered by its owner during the 1950s and was mounted in a crown-form 14K yellow gold ring setting. The bouton-shaped or "dome" shaped pearl possesses a rich, deep lilac hue at the apex graduating in tone toward a base which displays a pleasant cream color. The luster of its porcellaneous surface is excellent. Pearls of this species are infrequently seen in such a large size, especially with such a fantastic luster.
Pearl measures 14.6 x 14.6 x 10.1 mm or 14.47 carats by estimation

Footnotes

  • Potential bidders outside of the United States who intend to import this lot are advised that permits will be required. If you are interested in this lot, please contact the Natural History department before bidding.

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  1. Claudia Florian, G.J.G
    Auction Administration - Natural History
    Bonhams
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