A local tourism officer brought the world’s attention to the pearl, revealing its actual value, reports International Business Times (IBT).
"He noticed that it was lodged on a shell and swam down to pull up the anchor, and also brought the shell with him. This was a decade ago and he kept it at home," announced Puerto Princesa City Tourism Officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao.
The precious pearl is 33.5 cm wide by 67 cm long, making it the world's largest. It weighs a hefty 35 kg.
"He didn't know how much it was worth and kept it tucked away at home as a simple good luck charm,” said Amurao.
The officer also added that if not for the fire that forced the man to flee with his precious treasure to local authorities, the pearl could have remained hidden for another decade or two in the fisherman’s hut.
"We were amazed when he brought it to us. We now need help from gemologists to fully certify it. We're waiting for authentication from Gemologist Institute and other international authorities,” highlighted the tourist officer.
According to IBT, giant shells with pearls are extremely rare to find, making this one unusual and valuable.
The world’s largest pearl prior to the discovery, the Pearl of Lao Tzu (previously known as the Pearl of Allah), was sold to an American by a tribal chief from the island of Palawan in 1939 and is valued at 26.6 million dollars; it only weighs 6.4 kg.