Finding something unexpected in your food is not usually a pleasant experience. But a Pennsylvania man walked into a Delaware restaurant and found an unexpected treasure buried in his meal: a rare purple pearl.
Scott Overland of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania said he was dining at Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with his wife and children when he made the discovery in his $14 appetizer. He spoke to NBC10 in Philidelphia about finding the rare treasure. At first, he had no idea what he came 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.”
It turns out what Overland chewed on was a perfectly round lavender-colored pearl. After he did some research, Overland found out the occurrence was actually quite rare. 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.
Natural pearls are organic gems created when a clam secretes a substance to coat an irritant that enters the shell during feeding. Like a grain of sand. Over time, the secretion can develop into a valuable round-shaped pearl.
Purple Pearl Makes a Lasting Memory
Overland admitted he nearly sent his dish back because his wife didn’t like the bell pepper relish garnished on top. But he continued eating and eventually chewed on the valuable mineral.
The find became a viral moment so Overland spoke to many outlets hoping to cover his discovery. He spoke to Fox 5 in DC and went into a little more detail about the experience.
“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,” Overland said. “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.”
He went on to say his kids were excited about finding the pearl and consider it a unique souvenir from the vacation to the beach.
“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 added the discovery of the pearl will stand as a valuable memory for quite some time.