A New Jersey couple, Michael and Maria’s Wrestler, recently unearthed a valuable pearl while dining at the iconic Lobster House restaurant in Cape May. This discovery has taken the culinary world by surprise and has left the couple and the restaurant’s management in disbelief.
The Lobster House, located in Cape May Harbor, has been a staple of the region’s culinary scene for decades. As of 2011, it was ranked among the top 50 privately-owned restaurants in the United States. The restaurant’s history traces back to 1926 when it was originally part of the Cold Spring Fishing Supply Company. Over the years, it has grown exponentially and can now accommodate up to 550 diners at a time. The Lobster House is renowned for its exceptional seafood offerings and is a go-to destination for seafood aficionados.
The Wrestlers, who have been loyal patrons of the Lobster House for over 30 years, were celebrating their 34th anniversary of visiting the restaurant when the extraordinary discovery occurred. Michael Wrestler ordered his regular appetizer, a dish of shucked clams with hot sauce and lemon spritz, a favorite among seafood enthusiasts.
However, as he savored his meal, he came across something unexpected in the 12th clam. Michael initially thought it might have been a broken tooth, but to his astonishment, it turned out to be a perfectly round, white pearl measuring 8.83 millimeters in size. The likelihood of finding a pearl in a clam is approximately 10,000 to 1, making this discovery exceedingly rare.
Following the discovery, Michael Wrestler embarked on research to determine the value of the pearl. Pearls’ worth can vary significantly based on factors such as condition and type. For instance, round freshwater pearls can fetch anywhere from $50 to $2,000, while Akoya saltwater pearls can be valued at up to $6,000 or more. Even more exotic Tahitian pearls can range from $500 to a staggering $25,000, with the highly sought-after South Sea pearls commanding prices from $1,000 to $100,000.
Maria Wrestler expressed her desire to have the pearl set into a piece of jewelry, possibly with a nautical theme, as a cherished keepsake rather than merely seeking financial gain.
The discovery of the pearl has significantly boosted the Lobster House’s profile and business. Customers from across the country have expressed their intrigue and interest in the restaurant, and business is on the rise.
Pearls can form inside clams, mussels, and oysters as a result of an irritant, such as a grain of sand, getting inside the shell. The animal responds by secreting a protective substance, which hardens over time, resulting in the formation of a pearl. While such discoveries are relatively rare, they do occur, adding an element of intrigue to seafood dining.
Experts in the field of pearls have weighed in on this remarkable discovery. Eric Morris, a marine food supplier, noted that the Wrestlers’ find was indeed exceptional, as pearls of this quality are not the norm in clams or oysters. While some have found pearls in their seafood dishes before, the value of these pearls typically varies widely, with few reaching substantial sums.
Instances of discovering pearls in seafood are exceedingly rare, but not unheard of. In the past, individuals have stumbled upon pearls in oysters and clams, though the frequency of such discoveries remains low.
The Wrestlers plan to have the pearl appraised to determine its exact value. Regardless of its financial worth, the pearl will remain a cherished memento of their memorable visit to the Lobster House.
This remarkable discovery reminds us that hidden treasures can often be found in the most unexpected places, even within a humble clamshell. As the story of the Wrestlers’ pearl continues to captivate the nation, it adds a new layer of mystique to the world of culinary adventures.