Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Almost Ate a Purple Pearl

Diners find rare pearl in plate of clams

Mon Dec 31, 6:48 PM ET

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - 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.
I expect that because of the lustre, color and roundness of this pearl, it will fetch a very nice price on the auction market! The American Museum of Natural History hosted an exhibit on pearls, you can read about their history here.

Inlaid mother of pearl has been use since ancient times to decorate everything from furniture to game boards. The famous twenty squares gameboards excavated by Woolley at Ur had delicate mother of pearl decoration.

The artisans of the Middle East and Egypt in particular have continued the tradition of using mother of pearl as a decorative inlay in gameboards. You can find examples of such work here.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...