A group of middle schoolers found a rare discovery while enjoying the outdoors at Maryland River over the weekend. The kids were exploring Winters Run, a 14-mile river in Harford County. There, they opened a clam and found a pearl inside, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said on Sunday.
Corbicula clams, like the one seen in Winters Run, are part of an invasive species. They don’t originate in Maryland but have been found there before. The mollusks are also referred to as Asian clams or golden clams. They can live “on the muddy or sandy bottoms” of lakes and streams, according to the Maryland State Archives.
“Like all clams, it has the capacity to produce pearls,” the department of natural resources wrote in posts announcing the kids’ “cool find” on social media. “This is obviously very rare, so these kids got lucky!”
Native to Asia, Africa and Australia, Corbicula clams were initially discovered in the U.S. in the 1930s. The clams were found in Washington state at the time. The department said they may have first arrived as imported food. Today, they reside across the country thanks to their reproducing in large quantities. They have been known to clog pipes and waterways. The clams typically have an outer shell that is yellow-green in color with white spots, and an inner shell that is purple.
Pennsylvania Man Found Extremely Rare Pearl in Clam While Eating
Close to Maryland, a Pennsylvania man recently found a rare purple pearl in his meal in a Delaware restaurant.
Scott Overland of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania dined at Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with his wife and children a few weeks ago. He made the discovery in his $14 appetizer. He spoke to NBC10 in Philadelphia about finding the rare treasure. At first, he had no idea what he’d come across.
“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. 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.”
As it turns out, Overland was chewing on a perfectly round lavender-colored pearl. After some research, Overland discovered that what had happened to him was quite rare, and that this pearl may actually hold substantial monetary value. The value of the pearl could be anywhere between $600 and $1600 depending on the size and shape.
He plans to have the pearl appraised for its value, but he doesn’t have any immediate plans to sell it.