Largest abalone pearl
Dat Vi Truong
United States (Elk Grove)

A 718.50 carat baroque abalone pearl measuring 14 x 8 x 4 cm (5.51 x 3.14 x 1.57 in) was found by Dat Vi Truong (USA) in Mendocino, California, USA, on 31 May 2010. Mr Truong found the pearl when he was on holiday with his wife in Mendocino, California. He knew he had found something special when he pried open one of the three abalone shells he collected from the ocean floor.

Abalone pearls cannot be produced by manufacturing methods, so all of them are natural in origin. The abalone mollusc inhabits mid-temperature oceans and are fairly common. However, it rarely produces pearls. When it does, the result is an irregularly shaped gemstone, with iridescent colours including reds, greens, blues and yellows. There are several species of abalone, whose shell colours vary. The main colour of the pearl that grows inside, reflects the colour of the shell of the abalone.