Beachcomber finds rare Tahitian black pearl in Tin Can Bay
MOST people would be surprised to find the ghost ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Black Pearl, aground at Tin Can Inlet.
Almost as surprising would be to discover the real thing, a genuine, deeply lustrous Tahitian black pearl - wild, natural and uncultured.
But that is exactly what happened to Tim Pollard. A real 21st century castaway - homeless, unemployed and living in his car - Mr Pollard probably needed a break more than most of us.
"I was chatting to a mate when I saw what looked like a ball bearing in the sand," he said. But it was too light for that and Mr Pollard realised it was a probably a pearl.
Asking around, he received a range of offers, from $1 in one jewellery store up to a confidential and successful bid by Mary St cycle shop owner Dave Phillips.
"They come from a black-lipped oyster. They're rarer than the white ones," Mr Phillips said. "The natural ones are rarer still.
"You don't get natural pearls any more."