The Historically Magnificent Gogibus Pearl

The Historically Magnificent Gogibus Pearl

The Gogibus Pearl was lost to the world after King Philip IV of Spain died in 1665. It resurfaced in an 2010 auction.

The Gogibus Pearl was originally brought to Spain by Francois Gogibus, a native of Calais in 1620 from the West Indie Islands. The pearl was actually discovered by the indigenous people of the islands, but brought to prominence by Francois Gogibus, who sold it to King Philip IV of Spain. As no match could be found for the pearl, it was mounted in his royal cap. 

The pearl has been described as weighing not less than 126 carats, a pearl shape of white excellent orient. This is only the minimum weight, according to George Kunz. Kunz also described this pearl as having  the finest orient and luster. The luster of a pearl is a measurement of the quality and quantity of light that reflects from the surface and just under the surface of the pearl. Orient also known as iridescence is an optical property caused by the scattering of light as it passes through alternating layers of aragonite and conchiolin in the nacre

This pearl would have been from the Pinctada imbricata oyster, which is native to the Atlantic ocean.

Interestingly, Christopher Columbus was the first European to "discover" the beautiful pearls of Venezuela on hie third voyage in 1498. But this is another story.

After Philip's death in 1665, it is not known where the pearl ended up for 345 years. It appears to have resurfaced in an 18th century setting and offered for sale at the auction of Paul Frazer Collectibles on January21, 2010. It was advertised as the long lost Gogibus Pearl. There are many reasons that this is likely. The pearl is 143 carats and a white pear shape. As authenticated by Dr. Jack Ogden of the Gemological Association of Great Britain, it was a natural saltwater pearl discovered from an Atlantic oyster and having "fine orient". Dr. Ogden also believed the pearl to be of 17th century origin. Another piece of evidence is that the pearl is set as a pendant in a gold mounting covering the back of the pearl, where there might be a man made cavity that was used to mount the pearl on KIng Philip's royal cap.

It isn't known where this magnificent pearl is today. I would assume it is in a private collection and hope that it is getting the proper love and care.


Judi McCormick

Thanks, Judi
O dear, it disappeared. I love reading all about the pearls, etc, a lot to digest. I enjoy all the details from the very expensive, hard to find to the less expensive found often in the sea.

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