A Thai woman was left overwhelmed after she found an orange Melo pearl, worth tens of thousands of pounds, in her seafood.
On January 30, Kodchakorn Tantiwiwatkul bought sea snails for 70 baht (£1.65) from a local market for dinner in Satun, Thailand and as she was cutting the snails to cook, she discovered a round orange object inside one of the shells which she initially thought to be a rock. But soon, she discovered that she has come across a six-gram Melo pearl, measuring 1.5 cm in diameter and is worth a small fortune depending on its quality.
Kodchakorn and her family kept the discovery a secret fearing the vendor would ask for the pearl back but now she wants to sell her find to raise funds to pay for her mother’s medical expenses.
Her father, Niwat Tantiwiwatkul said they are desperately in need of cash as he recently had an accident and his wife is battling cancer and they could face a medical bill of more than a million baht (£23,500). He claims it is their “only hope to help them access the better treatment.”
Kodchakorn showed the pearl to her mother who said it’s a Melo pearl which is very valuable. She shares they also watched the news where a fisherman, who had also discovered one, had sold his for quite a fortune.
On March 18, Kodchakorn went public in hope of a potential buyer who might offer them a suitable price. Talking to the media, she says after seeing the stories of other people who sold their Melo pearls, she hopes they can do the same as the money will be of great help to the struggling family.
Melo pearls usually range from orange to tan to brown in color, with orange being the most valuable and usually found in the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea off the coast of Myanmar. These are produced by predatory sea snails called Volutidae.
In February, a trucker, Monthian Jansuk, also found a Melo pearl in their meal when their son bit into the rock. It was worth £70,000 and weighed 13.11 grams.