Yes you heard right, a beautiful natural pearl necklace, once belonging to the Spanish Royal Family, is being sold in 2 days time at Christie’s… interested? Our Pearl Team are! These rare 19th century natural pearls were collected by King Ferdinand VII of Spain for his wife Marie Christina of Bourbon -Two Sicilies, they were inherited by their daughter Queen Isabella II of Spain. Later they were sold to Frank H. Hargrove, Esq, where they have remained ever since.
Natural pearls occur when a piece of shell, coral or large piece of grit hooks into the flesh of an oyster. The oyster will try to expel the intruder but if it is unable to dislodge the irritant, the ‘foreign body’ will be covered in layer upon layer of nacre. A grain of sand is hardly ever involved in the production of a natural pearl as the oyster lives in sand and can easily expel it.
One of the most famous seawater natural pearls is La Peregrina a drop shaped natural pearl which was discovered in the Americas, it was given by Phillip II of Spain to Mary Tudor as a wedding gift. On her death it returned to Spain and was taken to France. Prince Louis Napoleon sold it to the marquis of Abercorn in 1837, the marquis’s son, drilled La Peregrina and recorded its exact weight, 10.192 grams [ over 50 carats in weight]. In 1969, Elizabeth Taylor was given La Peregrina by Richard Burton, Mr Burton is recorded to have paid $37,000 in 1969 for La Peregrina, two years ago it sold for 10 million dollars plus saleroom fees!