Pearl of Allah, Fact; Pearl of Lao Tsu, Fiction

Hi Knotty,

No, I know many families have records. Mine has been traced back several hundred years, but Lao Tzu is believed to have been born between 600-300 B.C. I find it hard to think many families would have documented unbroken family lineages going back more than 2000 years. I mean, if they can only get his life narrowed down to a 300 year time range, there must be a lot of guess work going on. After all, 300 years would represent a lot of generations.

PS Did you quess my trust issue? Private message me and I will let you know. heehee

Whoohoo message 100
Salem: Of course I don't doubt your opinion of wiki. I truly did think your comment was funny and I wasn't being sarcastic at all.
Read the article more carefully....It says the pearl was carbon dated to 600 bc. That makes it a full 2,400 years old!. Now tell me ANYone believes this story! The Chinese were doing fabulous thing in 600 BPE, they even did business with Palowan way far back, according to authentic records, but until this one appears in ancient records, I don't believe there is any evidence that this thing was cultured in China and moved to the Phillipines for any reason. I do believe it grew right there where it was found and due to the size, it may be as old as it is possible for tridactnas to get.

The reference given for the carbon dating is a more recent appraisal for Mr. Barbish. The appraisal does not give any documentation of any carbon dating, nor does any other reference in the article. The info from an unnamed carbon dating lab was referenced in the appraisal, but that is not good proof. I am currently trying to find references to the appraisor, I am not sure he is of the standing needed for claims of this nature.

My question arose, not because I doubt the scientific value of carbon dating, but because I wanted to know how they got the material from the "pearl" for the carbon dating. Since pearls grow by adding successive layers, to get the date back to 600 BC would require a plug going to the center, such as they do in tree ring dating. I question that any one would be allowed to remove a plug from a pearl such as this. So I question that it was ever carbon dated at all.

I think perlas has a good argument based on the longevity of tridacna clams. Also the claim that moving the pearl from clam to larger clam sounds silly as the clam grows along with the pearl. After a certain point, there would be no larger clams available, even if you could pry one open far enough to insert the object under discussion. This part of the story sounds like an urban legend. In fact the entire "spiritual" history sounds like it was confabulated to add to the reputation of an otherwise ghastly clam pearl.

The is simply NO evidence of this pearl in historical texts, not until AFTER it was found in 1934.
There is no evidence, including carbon dating, that this pearl is 2,400 years old.
There is no evidence it was implanted in China and moved to the Philippines.

I am just using my college critical thinking course. It's just logic. If any more facts about this pearl turn up, they would be welcome here.

PS Flat coinlike Buddhas made of metal were inserted into, I believe it was freshwater mussels, and the resulting images were removed when they had a good coat of nacre. Thus the Chinese were the first on record to grow cultured pearls ca the 12 century and they did grow little buddhas. But why implant a quarter sized piece of metal into a tridactna in the first place? They don't evn produce nacreous pearls. This urban legend has more holes than than we already noticed.
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I bet they do know something they aren't telling, mabe NOW clams do not live to be 600 years old but they lived a lot longer 600 years ago... flukes do happen.. Some of those biig clams have been dated to over 200 years old... So I am told...

I do not think it is cultured. how come now its coming to light???? culturing had been about way before Minimoto he just stoile techniques from his kid se a precidence and made it popular.

There is for sure a lot of secrets, legends and lore, secrets are kept I do not think we will ever really know the truth of it.. just for certain that it was found in 1934 by a Philipine pearl diver...

Will be interesting to follow as things unravel.. the last thing I heard abotu that pearlwas osama bin laden secretly was tryin to buy it as a bribe gift for Saddam Hussein.. for 60,000,000 clams..... :rolleyes: but who knows how true that is as well.

still the lore continues.....

Ash ?7

"The Emperor T'ang T'ai Tsung returned … to visit Lee to not only thank the man who took him in and communicated the Pearl's message … but to have Lee's blessing for the selection of an artist to paint the great pearl. The aging Lee gave his permission and recommended a young artist. The resulting work was of such character that paper rubbings of the pearl became popular as New Year's greetings between friends and loved ones. One such rubbing, although of reduced quality due to age, has been preserved in the Li family archives." [Emphasis added.]

The website quoted is the current owner’s website. If this were not true, why would they publish this information as fact? The rubbings must be of the pearl itself, as the article states, not of the painting of the pearl, and must be undeniable.

Back to my original question – cultured? or am I missing something.
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LOL, Ash, you're a hoot! 60,000,000 clams! LOL.
Actually, it's cultured. Sorry for the round about way of getting to that conclusion. Love all y'all!:)
If this were not true, why would they publish this information as fact?
The article on the pearl for peace foundation website has no references nor any provenance connecting the found pearl in the Philippines to the to the lost pearl of Lao Tsu. They say it is a legend in the first paragraph. And in almost every other paragraph they also refer to the "legend".

At no point do they indicate when they are talking fact, and they have no evidence, so I conclude it is all legend.

There was supposedly an authentication from the Museum of Modern History, but if it was a verbal authentication several decades ago, it is worthless as proof. They do not state what was authenticated, the fact that it is a tridacna gigos pearl? What else could be authenticated about it and how was it done? If it was a written authentication of some sort, it would be a valuable part of the pearl's provenance. Without documentation, it remains a legend.

The part about the Li families' paper rubbing is more legend. They have not even shown there is such a family or persons named Lee or Li connected with the pearl. The name Lee or Li is like Smith or Jones in America I have seen no Chinese reference that there is actually an authentic Chinese legend concerning a giant tridacna clam pearl.

Nothing on the wiki website or the pearl of heaven website is backed by facts. All that remains is an unattractive tradacna clam pearl with a bunch of hype being whipped up on the website and a wikipedia article. I examined both articles before my last post. Nothing meets even a high school level of referencing. All references are to or from each of the other articles! There are no peer reviewed articles, for instance, no appraisal by a big time outfit as would befit such a pearl.

There never was a headline about its carbon dated age, which there should have been if it were so old!

I say it is natural and grew in an especially large tridacna, supposedly 160 lbs, near Palowan.
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knotty panda said:
Salem: Of course I don't doubt your opinion of wiki. I truly did think your comment was funny and I wasn't being sarcastic at all.

LOl, sorry Knotty. I think you misunderstood me. I didn't think you were being sarcastic at all. I was happy you laughed. ;) I was just wondering if you knew who I was comparing Wiki too. I was just(perhaps lamely) trying to continue the joke and have you quess my edited comparison. Sorry for the confusion:)
Oh Salem! I totally got it! That's why I was laughing so hard. The comparison of ... well, we shan't bash, now shall we! It does kind of miff me that Wiki went and ruined their rep, though. I like that their information is up-to-the minute. "This just in ... so-and-so just sneezed!"
Yeah, Wikipedia. The problem with that, from what I understand is anyone can submit an article if there isn't one already on a certain topic. I had the feeling it wasn't really fact checked in general, but only if someone reported a problem. :rolleyes: It is sad to think of all the school children using it and getting misinforamtion.
You are correct. It is sad to see bs being spread. Anyone can go in and change it, if one is registered and signed in. I notice there is a bit of feedback about the lack of references in the discussion section.
Now hold on here a second. I’m not ready to throw the wiki baby out with the wiki bath water. “Wikipedia” by it’s very definition means a collective, collaborate effort. I do not believe that everyone who edits an article has sinister, “bs” spreading motives. Edits are verified by a staff of librarians. If you have ever been or know a librarian, you better believe they take the responsibility very, very seriously. The encyclopedia Britannica we used as children now contains information that would be considered “bs” when, as children, we were taught it as fact. The internet is a pop culture tool and Wikipedia has brought information to children all over the world who would be without any information at all. No, I can’t condemn them for having delivered an imperfect tool in a world where no tool was available, nor can I call the whole thing “bs”. This is a discussion which belongs on another forum, just as does carbon dating.
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The (cultured) Pearl of Lao Tzu

The (cultured) Pearl of Lao Tzu

Well, that's still a really interesting article. I love a good "legend." Ironic that both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein reportedly wanted to purchase The Pearl, a symbol of "how to learn to live respectfully and united harmoniously for peace," even though our tastes and opinions will differ. Something which, according to Chinese legend represents Lao Tzu's mission "to find a path and way for peace."

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knotty panda said:
LOL, Ash, you're a hoot! 60,000,000 clams! LOL.

I was bored and watching the Flinstones movie could not resist....

Yes the flinstones movie Told you I was bored!!!!!

I am really enjoying this thread about the pearl it is not one of my faves.. but the lore and family who is trying to give information to the public about the pearl.. looking foreard to see how it goes and how many more "legends are born" becasue of the information that has come to light.

back to lurking and doings stuff not in the least related to pearls

Well, grab your popcorn because the story's about to get better!

In 1939, in New York City the Pearl was authenticated by Dr. Roy Waldo Miner of the American Museum of Natural History. Victor Barbish learned of The Pearl and in the 1970's he and his partners Henry Kyle, Robert Pease, Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), and Rudy Vallee (The Sheik!), offered $10 million dollars to the then owner, Mr. Cobb but he refused the sale.

After Cobb's death in 1980, Cobb?s family sold the Pearl to Peter Hoffman, a jeweler in Beverly Hills, for $200,000 through Probate. Headlines across the world's newspaper hailed it as a bargain considering its fame and appraisal by famed pearl dealer Lee Sparrow and his San Francisco Gem Laboratory for $4,200,000 at the time of the sale. Appraisals since have valued the pearl from $42,000,000 to $59,000,000 based on it being a unique world treasure.

Victor Barbish finally acquired half ownership in the Pearl from Hoffman at the time of the Probate sale.

Now, Mr. Barbish also had some partners, one Mr. Joseph Bonicelli who died approx. 1998. However, after his death, it was discovered that he had placed a hit on his first wife, in the 1970s. The children from that marriage filed a wrongful death suit against their father?s estate asking that the Pearl be sold should they win the wrongful death suit, which they did indeed win.

However, the case was appealed. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Appeals court upheld that ruling and now the Pearl must be sold and the proceeds divided.

As a result of that ruling, Plaintiffs' counsel is going to file a Motion to have the Pearl appraised.

The Defendant has stated they are appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Skip the Flintstones, Ash, and watch Court TV!
knotty panda said:
Well, grab your popcorn because the story's about to get better!

Skip the Flintstones, Ash, and watch Court TV!

So I see.... I am of to make pocorn right now, you want butter, salt, plain, parmesean cheese on your's.. LOL

Chers Ash
Mental note Boredom and Rednheds do not makegood bedfellows... LOL!!!!
Pearl For Peace Foundation: Pearl of Allah

Pearl For Peace Foundation: Pearl of Allah


Victor Barbish, owner of the Pearl of Allah, now has a website for his "Pearl for Peace Foundation", a non-profit organization which has various goals including the support of law enforcement agenies.

And for those joining at certain membership levels, a replica of the Pearl of Allah is given....pretty neat, uh? least for those wanting a replica of the world's largest pearl.


This is a discussion which belongs on another forum, just as does carbon dating.
knotty panda

Why would you think that? The pearl world is full of intrigue and mystery! And this pearl just reeks of mystery! This forum is here to present the facts of any aspect of pearls. We are the perfect place to discuss this pearl.

I think I may move this thread to its own "Pearl of Allah: facts and fictions" Thread. In my opinion, in taking into account the accuracy of an story includes looking at all the evidence for the claims. We just happened to hit on something here that stinks to high heaven with false claims of several sorts.

Edits are verified by a staff of librarians.

In a perfect world, maybe. Wikipedia does not have a staff that checks for accuracy; it has other reader/members who can make changes as they see fit. This particular article in the wikipedia is way out of line with wikipedia's own rules of referencing all facts. There are even flags saying it needs to be tended to quickly.

The excesses in this article will be removed at some point. Or maybe we will be the first to look beneath the surface hype here, to demand proper referencing be done and to remove everything that does not have a least one credible source. We can research it for genuine references and report back.:D

I am going to do a thorough google on the subject of this pearl. I have already read the wiki article, and all the references it gave. I went to each website listed. I visited the foundation and read their "legend".

There are contradictions in every version I have seen so far, and I have not seen enough background material to accept anything except that it it is a giant tridacna clam pearl, weighing and measuring, thus and so.
$60M Pearl of Allah to be sold

Denver Post

Colorado Springs - Shrouded in legend and entangled in a lawsuit, the 14-pound gem known as the Pearl of Allah moved a step closer to an eventual sale this week after a key court ruling.
The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a $32.4 million wrongful death judgment against the estate of Colorado Springs bar owner Joe Bonicelli, who had bought a share of the pearl.
The ruling clears the way for a probate court to settle Bonicelli's affairs. Three adult children of Bonicelli's first marriage, who filed the lawsuit, have said they want the pearl sold to pay the judgment.
Appraisers have valued the pearl at up to $60 million, said Richard Tegtmeier, a lawyer representing the three. It is believed to be the largest pearl in the world.
After Bonicelli died in 1998, the estate - and part-ownership of the pearl - went to his daughter by his second marriage.
The children from the first marriage filed the suit when they learned after their father died that he was implicated in the shooting death of their mother, Eloise Bonicelli. In 2005, a jury awarded them the $32.4 million.
Nicolina Angeli Bonicelli, the daughter of Joe Bonicelli's second marriage, appealed the award, saying it was too high and the lawsuit was filed too late, but the state appeals court disagreed.
In a statement, Nicolina Bonicelli said she was disappointed and that "the system has let me and the citizens down." She declined to say whether she would appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Tegtmeier called the ruling "very good news." His clients, Michael Bonicelli, Gwendolyn Garris and Donna Fuller, have said they want to establish a foundation in their mother's name to benefit abused children.
Tegtmeier said the pearl is stored in a Colorado Springs bank.
He said he would file a motion to have it pearl examined and reappraised.
Eloise Bonicelli was shot by a suspected intruder in her Colorado Springs home in 1975.
After Joe Bonicelli's death, police said they determined that his wife's slaying was a contract killing done at his behest. A Colorado Springs barber was convicted of killing Bonicelli's wife and the wife of another man whom Bonicelli had introduced to the barber.
The origin of the grayish, football-sized lump of pearl is surrounded by legend and myth.
One story says it was an amulet of Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu.
Another says it was lost in a shipwreck centuries ago, then found in 1934 off the Philippines by a diver who drowned when he reached into a huge clam to take it.

By The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 05/04/2007 03:08:48 PM MDT

How does this aspect relate to the foundation already begun?