When a struggling fisherman went out one day recently, he never expected to bring home a major payday. However, he ended up finding a Melo pearl worth more than $330,000!
Finding A Pearl On Accident
Coronavirus has hit the world incredibly hard, including places you might not expect, like the fisherman of Thailand. So when down-on-their-luck fisherman and brothers Hatchai Niyomdecha, 37, and Worachat Niyomdecha, 35, spotted an abandoned buoy on Nakhon Si Thammarat Beach, they went to see if there was anything they could harvest from it. They picked the shellfish they could and returned home to share the food with their father, 60-year-old Bangmad Niyomdecha. However, when Bangmad went to clean and cut them, he found something incredible: a bright orange pearl larger than a U.S. quarter and coming in at nearly 8 grams!
The family did not know it at the time, but this extremely rare pearl came out of the Melo Melo sea snail. These gastropods are native to Asian waters but are not often found by fishermen. Now, Hatchai believes that finding the pearl was his family’s destiny. Moreover, he even claims to have prophesied the find in a dream! “An old man in white with a long mustache told me to come to the beach so I can receive a gift. I think he led me to finding the pearl,” he said afterward.
The Niyomdecha family has lived in poverty for years, with the recent pandemic hitting them especially hard. But now, they’ve discovered that the pearl might fetch them quite the price…
A $330,000 Price Tag
Now, the Niyomdecha family has started the process of finding a buyer who will pay upwards of $350,000 for the pearl. “I want to sell the pearl for the highest price,” Hatchai said. “The money won’t just change my life, it will change my destiny. My whole family will have better lives.”
The first offer came in from a wealthy businessman from another province, who approached the family and proposed one million baht ($33,300) for the pearl. However, they felt the price too small for their precious treasure. Next, a luxury items collector discussed purchasing the pearl for five million baht ($166,600). Most recently, someone offered ten million baht, or $333,200, which the Niyomdecha family accepted. While the process will take time, including the flight and a two-week quarantine, the Chinese buyer is willing to go through all that to own the treasured pearl and hold it in his own two hands.
Why the massive price? Well, as stated, these pearls are among the most uncommon. Even better for the fisherman, orange are the rarest amid Melo pearls, so they fetch the highest prices of all. Most are discovered in the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea off the coast of Burma, but this family caught a lucky break. Still, it pales in comparison to the $100 million pearl discovered off the coast of the Philipines, the world record holder for the most expensive pearl. Still, we doubt the Niyomdecha family is complaining!