Pearl Auction Postponed Due to Royal Death

A death in the Emirates royal family postponed the auction of the largest pearl on the world market, just hours before the bidding was to start Thursday, The Associated Press reports.

The news that Sheikh Saeed Bin Nahyan Bin Mubarak al Nahyan—son of the Emirates’ education and science minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan—had died in a car crash on Tuesday led to the postponement of the auction which was to be held at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace and online, The AP reports.

No new date was set, Paul Fletcher, manager of the Dubai-based Lifestyle Auctions told the AP.

The 800-year-old pearl, whose owners included Chinese emperors, Persian kings, the grandson of Genghis Khan, and the famous adventurer Marco Polo, was estimated to fetch $6 million to $8 million.

The 575-ct., 3.1 inch natural saltwater pearl is known as the Arco Valley Pearl. Auction proceeds were supposed to help rehabilitate the pearl trade in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region.