Bezoar Stone. Shipwreck: Atocha 1622. Recovered in 1985. Weight: 77.3 grams. Estimate $28,000 – $35,000. Photo Guernsey's.
In the 17th century, bezoar stones were believed to have the ability to remove poisons and toxins from liquid, and were therefore quite popular among the upper class. This bezoar stone is mounted in a gold cage, and it was meant to hang from a chain so that it may easily be dipped into a drinking cup. Although it is known as a bezoar stone, in reality, a bezoar is not actually a stone at all, but rather a biological mass taken from a two-stomached animal such as a goat or llama. The casing for the pendant is finely-etched and worked, comprised of high-karat gold with black enamel inlay. The center contains an egg-shaped bezoar stone about 3-3 1/2" inches in length. These stones are very rare and still sought after today by many people for medicinal purposes.