Man finds rare purple pearl inside clam at Delaware restaurant

A Phoenixville, PA man was on vacation, enjoying a meal with his family at Salt Air Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, DE when he came across a surprise in an order of clams: a purple pearl! 

"It was the end of the dish and I felt something hard and crunchy as I was eating, and I looked at what it was, and thought it was something purple - at first, thought it was a bead, or a piece of candy, or one of those button candies that comes on the paper, because it was a bright, lavender - almost purple, and we had not heard of clams producing purple, so didn't know this was a possibility."

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Overland continued: "But then when we looked at the shell, it had a little indentation on the shell where something was growing and we put it in there and it was a perfect fit!"

The pearl is "perfectly round" with a lavender color, and fit perfectly inside the shell. Overland went on Google to learn how valuable they could be, and saw they could run anywhere from $600-$1,600 based on the size and shape. 

Overland confirmed to FOX 5 that he had the pearl recently GIA certified and appraised, and it came in at a value of $4,071.

"Not too bad for a bowl of clams on vacation," Overland exclaimed. He did not indicate if he has any plans to sell the pearl.

Natural pearls are organic gems created when a clam pearl secretes a substance to coat a foreign irritant that enters the shell during feeding. Over time, the secretion can develop into a round-shaped pearl.

His two kids are excited about it and consider it a unique souvenir from their trip to the beach. He went on to say "We went on vacation expecting to bring back a T-shirt or a mug, our kids got some hermit crabs, we didn't expect to come back with something like this." He went on to note that the pearl discovery is something they'll have the memory of for some time.