CAPE MAY, N.J. (KYW) – A couple celebrating a milestone anniversary at a seafood restaurant on the Jersey shore left with something extra special to remember the event. And it’s worth enough cash to keep celebrations going for some time.
Michael and Maria Spressler were at The Lobster House in Cape May, New Jersey, last Sunday.
Michael Spressler ordered his usual appetizer: a dozen clams on half shell. He said he made it down to the 12th one and when he picked it up on his fork, he said it looked kind of heavy.
“When I started to eat it, I noticed something was in my mouth,” he said. “I actually thought one of my teeth broke.”
But it wasn’t a tooth. It was a pearl.
“He’s eaten dozens and dozens of clams, and we’ve never found anything like that, so it was pretty exciting,” Maria Spressler said.
The timing of the surprise was perfect for the occasion.
“It was actually our anniversary of 34 years coming here for the very first time, so that makes it even more special,” Maria Spressler said.
The couple had come to the restaurant for the first time during President’s Day weekend in 1987. The popular restaurant is celebrating its centennial year, which further adds to the Spressler’s lucky discovery.
“I have worked here for around 10 years now and I’ve never heard of someone finding one in one of our oysters or clam shells,” Sarah Stadnicar, with The Lobster House, said.
The pearl is 8.8 millimeters in size and could go for thousands of dollars.
But money is not a factor for the couple.
“I would like to have it set into a nice piece of jewelry, maybe a mermaid or something nautical,” Maria Spressler said. “It’s a beautiful remembrance of that day, and what we have is so special.”
Their story is also inspiring others to take a closer look at their food.
“I’ve never had raw clams or oysters, but since somebody found something I may have to give it a shot,” Stadnicar said.
According to The Pearl Source website, the sea stone could be worth between $50,000 to $100,000 depending on the body of water it came from.
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