I'm not sure where to put this, so I'll just put it here.

I've been tossing around a hypothetical question this evening. I remember when Paspaley grew their massive pearl a few years back. To my recollection, it was undrilled. There are essentially three things that can be done with a pearl: string it, put a post in it, or simply have it in a collection "as is". These choices require a through-hole, a partial hole, and no hole respectively (although in the case of the latter, one may of course, keep a pearl in a collection unused while still having been drilled).

The run-of-the-mill pearl is not worth that much on its own. My question is for the truly exceptional pearl. Once a pearl has been drilled can never be undrilled, so it seems that an undrilled pearl would be worth more. However, when a pearl is drilled, there is risk of chipping. So an undrilled $500,000 pearl can turn into a worthless pile of shards, yet a pearl of the same characteristics that has been drilled can be worn. This is all complicated by the fact that those with a pearl worth $500,000 probably don't want to wear it, but would rather keep it in a collection.

So, intuitively it seems that when talking about the very valuable pearl, that which is undrilled would be worth more. Is this true?

Thanks in advance.