By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer
Thu May 3, 2007
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – It has been passed down for 800 years, from Chinese emperors to Marco Polo. The name of its current owner is a secret. But Thursday, hundreds of people will get the chance to buy the world’s largest natural pearl on the market.
The “Arco Valley Pearl” – 3.1 inches in length – will be up for bidding at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace and on the Internet, where it is estimated to fetch up to $8 million.
The 575-carat pearl from 12th century Mongolia once belonged to Chinese emperors, Persian kings, the grandson of Genghis Khan and Marco Polo.