Pearls found in dinner plates!

January 15, 2008

It's raining pearls at dinner plates.

Last month, a Florida couple found a rare purple pearl while eating a plate of steam clams. George and Leslie Brock stopped into Dave's Last Resort & Raw Bar during a day at the beach. George Brock was about halfway through a dozen clams when he chomped down on something hard - a rare iridescent purple pearl. The gem could be worth thousands.

In another incident, Mike McHenry of Washington Township, NJ, found a pearl while eating his fried oysters. He thought he had chomped down a piece of shell and insted spit out a pea-sized pearl.

"You might break your teeth on it if you crunch down too hard," he said of his discovery at Russo's Ristorante in Washington Borough.

Russo's owner, Rick Giacobbe, said McHenry's discovery marked the first time in his 33 years in the restaurant business that a customer found a pearl in an order of oysters. He said the guy he orders seafood from is flummoxed, too.

"He said maybe once in a couple of years his girls will find something and it's a teeny tiny thing," Giacobbe said. "This was half the size of a jellybean."

While Brock's purple pearl may be worth thousands, it appears McHenry isn't so lucky.
Greg Fliegauf, who manages Fliegauf Jewelers for his uncle, thinks the pearl isn't worth much because it's misshapen and has some discoloration.

"It's a souvenir I'll put on my bar, maybe," McHenry said.



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