Kathleen Morelli of Virginia Beach swung by the Great Machipongo Clam Shack in Nassawadox, on Virignia’s Eastern Shore, to pick up a couple of bags of clams on her way to Philadelphia to visit her sister. It was Kathleen’s tradition. The family steamed them up and dug in.
“I bit down on it and I pulled it out and said, ‘Look at this,'” says Kathleen.
She’d bit into a 4.5 carat purple pearl.
The distributor who sold the clams says they were the littleneck aquacultures grown in Hog Island Bay, somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. While it’s common to find tiny pearls in wild clams, it’s rare to find them in farm-raised claims, and especially rare to find a purple pearl of that size.
“From what I’ve read, one in 5,000 clams will grow a pearl; when you’re talking about anything of decent size” it’s much more unusual. A pearl of this size and type is more like a one-in-a-million-clam find, says Kathleen’s husband, Joe. He estimates the peal is worth about $3,000.
Kathleen didn’t mind crunching down on it so much, as the bag of claims cost only $15.
Read the full story and see the picture at DelmarvaNow.com