Record-Setting Natural Saltwater Pearl to Auction

Prior Record Holder Sold for Over $1.3 Million Dollars

LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey, Nov. 6, 2014 / PRNewswire — On December 7, 2014, Rago Auctions will auction the largest near-round natural saltwater pearl discovered to date.

The%20largest%20near round%20natural%20saltwater%20pearl Record Setting Natural Saltwater Pearl to Auction

The largest near-round natural saltwater pearl discovered to date will auction at Rago ( on December 7. It is the central element of the “Putilov Pearl Brooch”, carried by a Russian industrialist to Paris in 1918. The pearl is 8% larger than the prior record holder, which sold for $1,368,075 in May 2014 at Woolley and Wallis auctions in England. Accompanied by a GIA Pearl Identification Report. The 19th c. brooch, 2″ x 1 5/8″, is formed of 16 old mine cut diamonds (28ct tw) and rose cut diamonds set in silver topped gold. Unrecognized marks. Bidding opens at $100,000.

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About the Putilov Pearl Brooch

GIA Pearl Identification Report #2165503254 describes the Putilov pearl as a drilled natural saltwater pearl of the Pinctada species of oyster measuring 19.08 x 18.88 x 16.50mm. with no indication of treatment; near-round; white body color; orient overtone. The pearl is full-drilled with nacreous plugs, one now detached.

The 19th century oval brooch onto which the pearl is set measures 2″ x 1 5/8″. It is framed by 16 near colorless old mine cut diamonds, approximately 28 carats total weight, in cutback collets, and by numerous smaller rose cut diamonds set in silver topped gold. Detachable pin findings orient either horizontally or vertically. The frame bears the unrecognized scratched marks KAM and N677. It weighs 19.7 pennyweights.

History of the Putilov Pearl Brooch/Origin of the Name

Alexei Putilov, a Russian financier and industrialist, brought the brooch from Russia to Paris in the spring of 1918. Putilov had been a powerful man in Russia prior to the Revolution. His family founded the Putilov Metal Works Company. He resumed his banking career in Paris under a Gallicized name.

The consignor is the great grandchild of Putilov.

The Prior Record Holder

The near-round natural saltwater pearl that was the largest on record, and now holds the title of second largest, sold at the British auction house of Woolley & Wallis on May 1st, 2014 for £811,000 (US $1,368,075). The lab report, from SSEF, Switzerland, states that the pearl measures 17.44 x 16.51mm.; weighs 33.147cts. (132.59 grains); is roundish; half-drilled; white; and a natural saltwater pearl.

The product of this pearl’s longest and shortest diameter is 287.93 mm. squared.

The product of the Putilov Pearl’s longest and shortest diameter is 314.82 mm. squared – approx. 8% larger than that of the pearl which sold at Woolley and Wallis.

A Prize for Serious Bidders

Rago is asking a $100,000 hold from any party interested in bidding. For more information, to set an appointment or sign up to bid, please contact Sarah Churgin at 609.397.9374 or

Catalogue online at as of November 17, 2014.

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