It was an unexpected, but luxurious, surprise for a couple who found a pearl inside an oyster at a restaurant in northern New Jersey.
On Saturday, while dining at Stern and Bow in Closter, Anton and Sheryl Schermer came across the tiny treasure inside a mollusk.
According to Anton, they were eating their meal when he felt a tiny object rolling around in his mouth.
“Wait, what’s this? A shell or something? Whoa, look at this!” he said and pulled a small pea-sized pearl from his mouth.
The unexpected find was inside a Taylor Kumamoto -- a small oyster from Washington state.
Natural pearls formed in free-range or wild oysters living at sea, without human intervention, are extremely rare, experts say. When an irritant, such as sand, shell fragment or a parasite, becomes lodged inside an oyster, it gets coated with layers of nacre, ultimately, creating a pearl.
Kevin Joseph, resident oyster expert of Empire Oysters said that "although rare, I’ve heard of pearls discovered in warm water Gulf oysters but never, ever have I heard of a pearl found in a cold water Kumo. It’s a once in a lifetime event.”
In the end, the Schermers, from Tenafly, subsequently gave the pearl to the restaurant’s owner, Russell Stern, as a good luck charm and memento to commemorate his new establishment.