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World's largest known freshwater pearl to go under the hammer

"The Sleeping Lion" pearl
"The Sleeping Lion" pearl   -   Copyright  Reuters
By Euronews  with Reuters

The world's largest freshwater pearl will go under the hammer in the Hague on Thursday. Called the Sleeping Lion because of its irregular shape it is believed it could fetch anywhere between 340,000 and 540,000 euros.

"The reason [to sell the pearl] is that it is owned in a private collection. I think it's an important piece of nature and it had to be exhibited in a museum or an institution," explained Herman A. Dommisse, the owner of the pearl and chairman of the Amsterdam Pearl Society.

This will be the first time in over 240 years that the pearl will be sold, it is believed to have originally come from China and to have been once owned by Catherine the Great of Russia.