A villager who found a pig’s gallstone is set to become a Chinese millionaire after experts valued it at nearly half a million pounds.
The extremely rare object, known as a ‘bezoar’, is a mass comprised of hair and other indigestible materials usually found in an animal’s gastrointestinal system.
Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine call them ‘Pig Treasure’ and believe products made from the bezoar can remove toxins from the body, making it a rare and valuable substance to have.
Villager Bo Chunlou, 51, found the 4-inch long, 2.7-inch wide bezoar this August when he slaughtered an eight-year-old sow on his farm in Ju County in Rizhao City in China’s eastern Shandong Province.
Bezoars were used as a ‘magical medicine’ in England during the 1600s. They continue to be used in Chinese medicine today
The 550lb pig had the large gallstone inside her gall bladder when she was killed, which the villager’s neighbours told him made it of great medicinal value.
At first dubious, Bo and his son Bo Mingxue, 26, eventually travelled to the major port city of Shanghai, where they spent £4,500 (40,000 RMB) getting an appraisal from experts.
The pair were told the market price for pig bezoars of this size is up to £450,000 (4 million RMB). According to experts, the stones only have value if found in the animal’s gallbladder. Bezoars found in the stomach are worth nothing. Bo, who now has an appraisal certificate to show for his special ‘Pig Treasure’, says he would accept offers starting at 1 million RMB (112,120 GBP).