What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more than 3.1 billion dollars? Are you guessing a new high-tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well, it’s a big ball of fluorite that glows in the dark.
Yemengzhus, also known as Legendary Glow Pearls in China, are balls of a rare glow in dark fluorite.
It is very rare in the mineral kingdom for a specimen of fluorite to glow in the dark without the aid of an ultraviolet light. So rare, in fact, that Western geology textbooks still don’t recognize this species of fluorite.
This new deposit was first reported in the Chinese press in November 1982. Workers from the Guangdong Provincial Geological, Metallurgical and Geological Exploration Company found a Yemengzhu Fluorite deposit in a Tungsten mine in Guangdong China. The company ground the deposit into a round sphere (Pearl) and the Chinese government gave it an appraised value. In 1983 the Chinese government published an appraisal valuing this Yemengzhu at 900 million dollars.
What I found interesting about this appraisal report is that the government clearly states its reasons and methods for arriving at the $ 900,000,000 price. They compared the pearl with the best grade of diamonds. This appraisal can be found on the Internet.
Since the first Yemengzhu came to light in 1982, several more pearls have been made, each larger than the last and priced even higher. Here are two well-documented cases.
On January 15, 2002, the world’s largest Yemengzhu was exhibited in Shenzhen, its weight was 14.35 kilograms and it had a diameter of 21 cm. This pearl was valued at 1,200 million US dollars.
October 2007: A new world record holder is exhibited in Shanghai. Certified by The World Guinness Headquarters. The weight of the Yemengzhu is 6.1 tons and is valued at 3.1 billion dollars. For a rock ???
I have found documentation on other smaller pearls that have been on the market since 1982. They range from the size of an egg to the size of a basketball. Prices are on the full scale from $ 64,000 to $ 108,000,000.
What makes a six-ton rock worth more than a small country? Actually, there is a lot of debate about that in China right now. National pride and traditions are driving the markets. Every child in China knows the story of The Legendary Luminous Pearl. Touching a pearl is believed to bring you great prosperity and good luck. The belief has spawned an entire multi-billion dollar industry that makes and sells man-made Yemengzhus for the home.
There is documentation on the web that counts all the millions that have been won and lost with Yemengzhus. My favorite is one about a Chinese supermarket owner who borrowed $ 70 million from his shareholders to buy a Yemengzhu and display it in his chain of stores. When the company went bankrupt, they sold the pearl for only $ 5 million because the market is now cooling down. The owner is nowhere to be found by the press.
I hope you find this story as fascinating as I do, I am still looking for more documentation on the internet and I hope to write a book on why a stone ball is worth $ 3.2 billion dollars.