NJ couple finds pearl ‘worth thousands’ in clam



Auctioneers could shell out some serious clams for this.

A New Jersey couple might’ve feasted their way to fortune after they found a pearl potentially worth thousands in a restaurant clam.

“I thought one of my molars cracked,” Michael Spressler, 58, told NJ Advance Media of the fortuitous find, which he uncovered last Sunday while dining with his wife Maria at the Lobster House in Cape May.

The Brick native said that he happened across the 8.8-millimeter-wide pearl while polishing off a dozen raw clams on the half shell.

“I was down to the 12th one and when I picked it up on the fork it looked kinda heavy, but I didn’t think nothing of it,” Spressler told a local CBS outlet. “Then when I started to eat it I noticed something was in my mouth. I actually thought one of my teeth broke.”

He initially thought it was a “little stone” — but “then when I poked it out into the palm of my hand, it was a perfectly round white pearl,” he said.

Michael and Maria Spressler had been going to the Lobster House since the 1980s.CBS Newspath/KYWNeedless to say, the man was floored by his whole-lotta-bang-for-your-shuck find.

“I’ve been eating clams all my life. This is the first time this ever happened to me,” said Spressler, who’s been dining at the Lobster House with his wife since the 1980s. In fact, the discovery occurred on the 34th anniversary of the lovebirds’ first trip to the clam shack.

Spressler was especially awestruck as the odds of finding a pearl in an edible bivalve is extremely rare: only one in 10,000 oysters harbor these oceanic treasures.

“I’ve been eating clams all my life. This is the first time this ever happened to me,” said Spressler. CBS Newspath/KYWHis wife told CBS that she wanted to have the nautical bauble “set into a nice piece of jewelry” like a “mermaid” to commemorate the special day. However, her other half said he’s more interested in finding out the value of the pearl, which the impromptu pearl collector estimates “could be worth thousands.”

“She wants to put it in a piece of jewelry or something, but I’ve got to get it appraised first, to get some kind of value,” Spressler told NJ Advance Media. “I don’t know how much it’s worth. I really don’t know and I’d like to know.”

Meanwhile, the sea stone could go for anywhere from $50 to $100,000 depending on the body of water it originated in, according to the experts at the Pearl Source website.

In a similar discovery closer to home, a NJ man found a pearl potentially worth thousands in his oyster stew at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in 2018.

Per the Pearl Source website, the sea stone could go for anywhere from $50 to $100,000 depending on the body of water it originated in.CBS Newspath/KYW

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