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Montoursville’s Smith’s Jewelers breaks Guinness World Record for largest collection of pearls

PHOTO PROVIDED A small selection of the 2,392 pearls that were collected, beating and achieving a Guinness World Record. Smith believes the pearls could be connected to Christopher Columbus’ third voyage to the Americas. It is believed that the pearls held religious significance to the Indigenous peoples in the Caribbean.

Just a few short weeks ago, Smith’s Jewelers in Montoursville broke the Guinness World Record for largest collection of pearls.

Gary L. Smith, owner of Smith’s Jewelers, achieved this feat with help from a friend from Tucson, Arizona.

For 45 minutes, his friend sat and counted the pearls, collecting 2,392 pearls all together.

“They were in incredible condition,” Smith said. “These pearls were unique. Nothing like (the pearls) have been found before…even in early tombs, there is nothing like this.”

The pearls, which were found on a Caribbean island and uncovered in a clay pot, are thought to be tied to Christopher Columbus, Smith said.

Some of the pearls also appear to have been “pierced” or drilled as well as previously used for religious ceremonies by the Indigineous people on the island.

Smith believes that the pearls were kept at the shore line to keep them damp and were buried for upwards of 550 years.

Smith’s friend gathered the pearls and flew to Montoursville for his help to certify and test the pearls as Smith’s Jewelers is one of 500 accredited laboratories to do these tests and certifications as well as one of two that have forensic gemologist capabilities.

They were also sent to the Gemological Institute of America, where it was found that this collection of pearls could be worth more than $100 million.

Smith and his friend have been working together, speaking for the pearls ever since and are planning to do an auction of pieces of jewelry that Smith has made out of the pearls that were collected. A date for this auction is not yet determined.

“It is a great honor and it sets me apart,” Smith said. “The thing that is so exciting about this, is that (the pearls) are going to be available for others.”

According to the pearl’s website, there will also be a book detailing the “secrets” of these pearls, published soon.

For more information or to watch videos of the counting of the pearls, please visit the website at https://thecolumbuspearls.com/.

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