A crab fisherman was delighted after being surprised by a rare orange Melo pearl in his seafood lunch.
40-year-old Prasarnphon Phunwan took home a large sea snail he caught while trawling for crabs in Prachuap Khiri Khan in Thailand.
The fisherman boiled the seafood for a meal, but while he was slicing off the cooked meat, he hit on something hard and found a pearl.
He then took the bright yellow-orange pearl to his younger brother, who checked the internet, and told him it might be a type of expensive Melo.
Fisherman Prasarnphon said: “My family had been fishing for generations but I believe our fate is about to change because of my lunch.”
The precious gem is being kept by the family in a plastic container wrapped in a cotton ball, but has not yet been weighed.
Officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and local fisheries department have been informed but they are yet to visit the family to check the authenticity of the pearl.
Curious neighbors, however, have already flocked to their house to have a look at the pearl.
Prasarnphon added that they will be ready to sell the pearl at the right price after it was checked by officials.
He said: ‘We know that the pearl is expensive so we want to give it to the person at the right price after it has been checked.’
In February, trucker Monthian Jansuk found a similar pearl in Chonburi province, while fisherman Hatchai Niyomdecha stumbled upon the rare gem in Nakhon Si Thammarat in January. Hatchai was offered up to $351,000 for the 7.68-gram precious gem—so the most recent lucky fisherman could truly see his fortunes change quite soon.
Melo pearls range from orange to tan to brown in color, with orange being the most expensive shade. They are usually found in South China Sea and Andaman Sea off the coast of Myanmar and are produced by predatory sea snails called Volutidae.