By Peter Von Perle

NEW YORK – August 21st, 2021 – On June 14th, 2021, in New York City NY, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® has certified and recorded the largest collection of pearls discovered. The record was achieved by the counting and verification of a collection of 2,392 natural saltwater pearls, which are part of “The Columbus Pearls” collection, in the presence of two expert witnesses.

Experts agree that due to the geographic region, historic provenance tying them directly to Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the pearl coast during this third voyage in 1498, the excellent condition the individual pearls are in, despite their age, that this treasure is worth in excess of 100 million US$.

The world record attempt was streamed live on YouTube on June 14, 2021, and took approximately 45 minutes. The counting was performed and witnessed by Barry S. Block and Antoinette L. Matlins.

Block, GG, CSM, NAJA, ASA, AGA is a gemologist based in New York, a master gemology appraiser, and the CEO of Jewelry Judge. Matlins, PG, FGA, is an internationally respected gem and jewelry expert, author, and lecturer. She has appeared on ABC, CNN, NBC, Oprah, CNBC, and other media. Among other books, she has authored “The Pearl Book,” which is now in its 4th edition.

Recently found, “The Columbus Pearls” is the world’s oldest and largest natural saltwater pearl treasure discovered. They are from the Pinctada species, and carbon dating revealed that they are approximately 500 to 550 years old. Scientists confirm that the pearls are in exceptional condition for their age, many of them showing luster and orient of gemological quality.

Testing results also concluded that the pearls date back to the time of Christopher Columbus and were identified as a type produced by a mollusk unique to the Caribbean within an area from the coast of Argentina to Panama. The pearls are directly tied to the third voyage of Columbus and his arrival on the American continent and his discovery of the “Pearl Coast”.

Pearls are the rarest of rare gems, revered by humans for thousands of years and these pearls are of particular historic and economic importance because, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, pearl exports from America’s exceeded 54 million carats (11 tons), more than all the other exports combined (gold, emeralds, spices, etc); pearls were also used as a commodity in the New World, making them the first official financial instrument. It was those pearls that saved Europe’s economy and brought riches to the explorers. Being the only survivor from this era and geographic region makes “The Columbus Pearls” collection priceless. To obtain more information visit

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