PUERTO PRINCESA: A poor Philippine fisherman found what is thought to be the world’s largest pearl, but hid it under his bed for a decade without knowing its worth, local authorities said.

The man found the 34-kilogramme pearl inside a giant clam that was snagged by his anchor as he waited out a storm at sea, according to local tourism department chief Cynthia Amurao, who is also his aunt.

Not knowing it could be worth tens of millions of dollars, he kept the 30-centimetre by 60-centimetre pearl in his thatch hut on the western island of Palawan, tucked under a wooden bed as a good-luck charm, Amurao added.

In July, the nephew moved to a new address and took the object to his aunt in a tricycle, asking her to hide it for him, said Amurao, the city tourism officer for Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital.

“I was awestruck when I saw it just sitting on the dinner table,” Amurao said.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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