Guests on a Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour in Broome witnessed the surprise of a lifetime recently, when a priceless pearl was harvested before their eyes.
Staff and guests alike were delighted to discover a 20.12 mm round pearl with excellent lustre and pink gem tones hidden within a Pinctada maxima oyster. Weighing an impressive 11.847g, this pearl is the most valuable single pearl ever harvested at Willie Creek Pearl Farm, with a value of at least AUD $150,000. The previous most valuable single pearl harvested at the farm was valued at $75,000 in 2019.
Named ‘Don’ as a tribute Don Banfield, the late husband and father of the owners of Willie Creek Pearls, this extraordinary gem features all the desirable characteristics of valuable pearls, based on the five virtues - shape, size, colour, complexion and lustre.
It can take up to two years for an oyster to produce a pearl, and this pearl comes as the result of the progressive and innovative work of the Willie Creek Pearls commercial pearling team, in addition to meticulous husbandry practices and Willie Creek’s unique farm location.
Don is proudly displayed at the Pearl Farm and will be a highlight for your incentive group experience, while the Willie Creek Pearls Team are now holding their breath just a little bit more at every harvest!
Robert Banfield, owner of Willie Creek Pearls, said he was very excited by the amazing pearl and felt quite emotional.
“I am grateful to be involved in producing something that is recognised as being amongst the best in the world – this is why we do, what we do,” Mr Banfield said.
“Harvest time is very rewarding for us and to be able to share it with our guests on tour makes it even more so.”
Willie Creek Pearls is a Western Australian family business, celebrating over 30 years of service excellence. They sustainably produce the best pearls in the world: Australian South Sea Pearls. Willie Creek Pearls educates, entertains and engages with thousands of visitors each year on their multi award winning tours in Broome and Perth. The Willie Creek Pearls team is dedicated to delivering a unique and memorable product which is perfect for business events and incentive groups as a truly Western Australian authentic experience.