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Lewisburg Man Helps Friend in Philippines with Massive Pearl

LEWISBURG -- Charlton Hollenbach of Lewisburg is helping a friend with what could be the largest pearl ever discovered--an 81.5-pound clam pearl from the Philippines.

"I was just ecstatic as far as, I never held one before. And I did a Google search for the largest pearl ever and realized the value of the pearl,” said Hollenbach after holding the pearl this week.

Hollenbach's friend, Gloria Huetter, lives in the Philippines and is the owner of the pearl. She asked him for help a few months ago after the pearl was found. Huetter won't say where.

So along with others, Hollenbach helped fill out paperwork and eventually had the precious cargo shipped from Manila to Hong Kong and finally to New York City where experts are verifying the pearl is real.

If it is, experts estimate it could be worth more than $130 million.

"It's almost impossible to pull off what we did. First of all, they are national treasures. You should go through the National Museum of the Philippines at first to get them certified. By doing that, they automatically become government property. To get this into the United States, I think we're probably the first ones for this size to pull off what we did."

Gloria Huetter does missionary work in the Philippines. She feeds, clothes, and schools children and others in need. She actually worked with Mother Teresa with the poor in the Philippines.

Huetter plans to use the money to help the underprivileged in her country. She calls the pearl was a gift from God.

"I got a vision, and I heard when I prayed along my bed, I heard the voice of God. He gives me more blessings, more than that. More than that, and that's why I know it is a sign that I receive,” she said.

Hollenbach says this has been an incredible experience and he's been glad to be a part of it.

"I feel honored. It's a privilege to be part of history, to be a part of a success story coming from the Philippines. I mean, they desperately need help."

The gem experts in New York City expect to know if the pearl is real by Wednesday or Thursday.

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