Fisherman Finds Rare Orange Pearl Worth $34k On The Beach While Picking Up Sea Shells

Fisherman Finds Rare Orange Pearl Worth $34k On The Beach While Picking Up Sea Shells

The Melo Melo pearls are so rare that the chances of finding them are one in several thousand. Thai-based Hatchai Niyomdecha managed to find one in a bright orange shade.

Cover Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Liné1/CC BY-SA 4.0

The pearl is a gorgeous and precious gem that is made by marine oysters and freshwater mussels. Natural pearls are super expensive because of how rare they are. The mollusks producing the pearls are also on the brink of extinction because of over-harvesting and have been since the 18th and 19th centuries. This means the pearls found on ocean beds are extremely rare. Now, we have cultured pearls that are not as expensive. But if one was to come across a pearl in the ocean, it would be worth a fortune. One lucky fisherman came across one of the rarest pearls to exist and now his fate is about to change.



Hatchai Niyomdecha is a 37-year-old fisherman from Thailand. When Hatchai was with his family, picking up oyster shells from a beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, they came across a discarded buoy washed ashore with a number of shells and three snail shells stuck to it, reported the Daily Mail. Hatchai and his brother Worachat decided to take it home. The snail shells they found were handed over to their father Bangmad, 60. It was the father who chanced upon the pearl while in the process of cleaning the snail shells. They had no idea about the value of what they had just discovered.



The pearl that the Niyomdecha family found is the Melo Melo Pearl. The pearl is easily worth at least £250,000 or $342,365. According to Pearlwise, the Melo pearls come from the Melo Melo snail. It is also known as the Indian volute or the bailer and is commonly found around Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. But the chances of finding a pearl in a Melo Melo is one in several thousand. They come in a range of colors varying from a pale, faint yellow to intense orange. The most valuable variety is the vivid orange pearls, and this also happens to be the type the Niyomdecha family managed to find in what feels like winning a lottery.


The pearl that was discovered is about the width of a dime and weighs 7.68 grams. Hatchai believes that stumbling upon the pearl was divine intervention. He explained how he had a dream a few days before they found the precious pearl. "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 find the pearl. I want to sell the pearl for the highest price. The money won't just change my life, it will change my destiny. My whole family will have better lives," he said. The family has already been approached by wealthy business people who have offered to buy the pearl. But they have only been offering a fraction of the actual cost and the family rejected these offers hoping for a better deal.

However, a Chinese buyer is interested in buying the pearl and is willing to offer the 10 million Baht ($342,365) for it. The negotiations are underway and the buyer is expected to fly in to check out the pearl in person. The buyer will fly out to Thailand next week but will only be able to visit Hatchai after undergoing the required two-week quarantine.



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