According to Pliny the Elder, Cleopatra, in a display that proves that crazy people rise to the top, dissolved an obscenely large pearl in vinegar and drank it in order to win a who-was-the-most-wasteful bet with Mark Antony.
You know, if I had more money than I knew what to do with I would send a large pearl through the innards of a dog, just to tell you if this news story from 1930 has any truth or not.
Of course my findings in that case might end up being guesstimates made from the far end of a shovel and won’t be entirely scientific.
I don’t have anything like that much money so we will just have to rely on internet rumour and speculation to make any findings. The inside of a dog is unlikely to be as acidic as Cleopatra’s carefully prepared dish, so even if the actresses pearl passed all the way through it would have still looked like a pearl at the other end. I expect that it would hardly have the same lovely sheen when is was recovered though.
An emetic induces vomiting, so in this case they didn’t have to wait for the pearl to pass by the normal means. This probably means they got it out rather quickly and makes me quite suspicious of this insurance claim. I wonder how long a pearl has to spend inside a gut to reduce significantly in size? I wonder if the actress had a smaller pearl just hanging around and found a use for it?