A Pennsylvania man made quite the discovery inside a clam served to him at a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, restaurant: a purple pearl.
Scott Overland of Phoenixville said he was dining with his wife and children at Salt Air when he made the discovery. He spoke to NBC10 Philadelphia about his family’s first thoughts on finding the rare treasure.
“At first my wife thought it was, like, a bead, or one of those — it looked like one of those ‘Dot’ candies on the paper,” Overland said. “We thought the chef dropped something in there.”
Upon closer inspection, however, they realized the object must have originated inside the shell.
“As we were looking at the shell, we saw this little indentation on the shell, inside the clam where it was growing, so we figured it was probably something from inside the clam,” he said.
While the oyster is typically thought of as the pearl-producing animal, pearls can also form from sand under pressure inside the shells of other mollusks like clams and mussels.
Overland said that he had actually almost sent the clams dish back even before finding the pearl — because it came with a bell pepper garnish, and his wife is not a bell pepper fan. After the subsequent find, however, he is glad he decided not to return it.
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He said he plans to have the pearl appraised and may hold onto it.
Purple pearls, depending on their size and quality, can be quite valuable – some are worth thousands of dollars.