Posted in  History of Pearls  on  October 16, 2022 by  Anisa0 comments

It is coincidental that another famous pearl should be named ‘La Pellegrina’, which can only cause confusion due to the similarity in both the sight and the sound of the words (also see La Peregrina Pearl). However, La Pellegrina is perfectly spherical and weighs, approximately 111.5 grain.

It was purchased from an English admiral returning from India at Leghorn in Italy. It was purchased early in the 19th century, possibly around 1818, by Z. P. Zozima of Zozima Brothers, Moscow. It has been described as either the ‘Moscow pearl’ or the ‘Zozima pearl’.

It is possible that it was originally part of the French Crown jewels stolen from the Garde-Meuble, Paris, in 1792. A pearl termed ‘La Reine des Perles’, weighing 27.5 carats (= 110 grains) was included in the stolen jewels. Zozima died in Moscow in 1827 and his collection is said to have been stolen by a compatriot.

Records have it that a rich merchant who died in a convent in Moscow before 1840 had with him a superb spherical pearl in an elaborately-jewelled casket. In London in 1935 at an exhibition of Russian Art (Yusupov Collection), a pearl was exhibited as ‘La Pellegrina’. It is believed that Felix Yusupov simply mistook the name of the pearl and listed it as La Pellegrina (closely sounding like the widely known La Peregrina Pearl).

The pearl was finally sold in 1953 to a private collector from Europe. The most recent record of it’s sale was in 1987 during an auction at Christies (of Geneva). It reportedly sold for 380,000 US Dollars.

About the Author


I am a pearl and oyster enthusiast who loves to share her knowledge and experiences about fashion with the world. I am neither a certified gemologist nor a reseller of pearls.

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