In Florida recently, George Brock bit down on a juicy piece of Clam meat and bit right into a rare iridescent purple pearl.
Mr Brock had only eaten around half a dozen clams when he discovered the pearl while he and his wife Leslie, were dining at a local restaurant.
One expert stated the find could be worth thousands.
“Few are round and few are a lovely color, so this is rare,” said Vermont gemologist Antoinette Matlins. “I think they have found something precious and lovely and valuable.”
And a pearl found by Corinne Morgan and David Burns last August in Ottawa, was an unforgettable find when Burns also took a tasty morsel of clam meat and bit down on a small purple pearl.
At first, he first thought it was just a piece of shell but then, pulling it out, revealed a pearl the size of a pea. He wiped it clean with a napkin and the place it in his wife’s hand saying, “Happy anniversary!”
They did not know quite what sort of pearl it was. “I knew it was purple, but I’d never heard of such a thing,” said Morgan, 45. “I thought at some point I could make a piece of jewellery out of it and said we’ll just save it.”
The pearl is about eight millimetres in diameter. Experts say the chances of finding a similar purple pearl of high quality inside a clam is one in 100,000.
“I would describe this pearl as very rare for this size,” said Vermont gemologist Antoinette Matlins, author of The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide.
“If it is as beautiful as it appears in the photos, then it is not only very rare, but precious,” Matlins said of the Ottawa couple’s find. A high-quality purple pearl of similar size could fetch thousands of dollars, Matlins also said, although she commented it was difficult to appraise the pearl without examining it herself.
It’s worth depends on the pearl’s colour, shape, sheen and surface, but a similar-sized purple pearl with high qualities could fetch at least $5,000 US. The pearl’s value drops, by as much as thousands of dollars, if it lacks certain qualities, such as shininess.
So, you never know, bite carefully next time you bite into those tasty clams!