The yellow to iridescent pinkish orange pearl in this auction is remarkable on three accounts.
Firstly, for its exceptionally rare colour. Colour in pearls is derived from the host oyster depending on the type of oyster and the water conditions in which it lives. Most common are shades of white and yellow although almost any colour imaginable can be produced. The Book of the Pearl by Kunz and Stevenson 1908 refers to many different coloured pearls but interestingly it does not mention the colour orange, the closest references being pinkish tones and browns. The orange pearl in this sale is reminiscent of the orange colour of a melo pearl. However this is not a melo pearl, having a far stronger lustre and smoother skin. It is impossible to state that the colour of this pearl is unique but for certain it is exceedingly rare.
Secondly, the shape of this pearl is exceptional. Technically it is a button pearl owing to the fact that it has one slightly flattened side. However it is very close to being perfectly round. To achieve the perfect shape in a large pearl is rare, be it a round, button or drop shaped example, as almost all are slightly distorted or baroque in form.
Thirdly, the huge proportions of this pearl make it a highly uncommon specimen. It is the fourteenth largest natural saltwater pearl recorded so far, and the second largest button pearl. The largest button that weighs 452 grains is baroque in shape therefore one can state that the orange pearl in this sale is in terms of size and shape the largest button pearl of gem quality so far recorded and undoubtedly one of the rarest pearls in the world, given its exceptional colour, exceptional shape and exceptional size.