A Florida man was about halfway through a plate of steamed clams when he chomped down on something hard — a rare, iridescent purple pearl.
George Brock and his wife, Leslie, had been spending a day at the beach Friday in South Florida and stopped at Dave's Last Resort & Raw Bar for a bite. Their find could be worth thousands.
"Few are round and few are a lovely color, so this is rare," said gemologist Antoinette Matlins. "I think they have found something precious and lovely and valuable."
The gems occur most frequently in large New England quahogs, clams known for violet coloring on the inside of their shells. The clams in the $10 plate came from Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle, said restaurant manager Tom Gerry.
The Brocks, of Royal Palm Beach, plan to have the pearl appraised and said they may sell it if it is valuable.