What's Ambergris? Behind the $60k Whale-Waste Find
A beachcombing U.K. boy just stumbled upon a chunk of ambergris possibly worth up to $63,000. So what exactly is it, and why is it worth so much?
Walking along the beach in Dorset with his dad, the boy found what looked to be a very odd rock. He and his dad used Google to help identify it as ambergris. Weighing more than a pound, it is said to be worth up to U.S. $63,000.
The value of ambergris lies in its role in the fragrance industry. High-end perfumes from houses such as Chanel and Lanvin take advantage of the ability of ambergris to fix scent to human skin.
The smell of ambergris itself varies from piece to piece, ranging from earthy to musky to sweet. If a perfume house's "nose"—the person responsible for choosing scents—likes the aroma, the ambergris can be worth thousands an ounce.
Though it is illegal