Rare pearl found inside clam

WARWICK, Rhode Island (WJAR) – A 25-year-old Warwick, Rhode Island man said he found a large pink and purple shaded pearl inside a quahog he dug up from Narragansett Bay.

Michael Morales was digging for quahogs last June.

He was having an afternoon clambake, when he found the surprise.

“Decided to go out back and eat. And the next thing you know I crunched down onto a nice little present,” he said.

The pearl is 2.29 carats.

Since then, Morales has kept the pearl in a safe in his house.

When he’s had time, he’s researched what the pearl may be worth.

“It’s not just the thought of what it could be worth, it’s exactly what a person wants to imagine what it wants to be worth. You could get $100 per carat. You could get $1,000 per carat. It all depends on what a person wants to sell it for,” he said.

The pearls are produced when a parasite or grain of sand gets inside the shell. The quahog naturally makes the substance, a liquid that hardens to become the pearl, to isolate the intruder.

The bigger and more purple, which is unique to quahogs, the higher the price.

Kelsey Morales, Michael’s wife, said she has enough jewelry, so they’re selling it on eBay to the highest bidder. They are hoping the whole family can take a trip to Disney World.

“You dig, like any other person from here, and you go home, and that’s it. You eat. Never one out of 25 years did I ever find anything like this,” Morales said.

Morales didn’t want to tell NBC 10 exactly where he found the rare pearl, but said it was between the middle and upper part of the bay.

“Prefer not to disclose that because they’re special hotspots,” he said.

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