New Jersey Couple Out for Dinner Finds 'Once In a Lifetime' Pearl Inside Oyster - NBC4 Washington
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New Jersey Couple Out for Dinner Finds 'Once In a Lifetime' Pearl Inside Oyster

Natural pearls formed in free-range or wild oysters living at sea, without human intervention, are extremely rare, experts say

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    Rare Pearl Found in Oyster at New Jersey Restaurant

    A diner thought he bit down on a piece of shell while eating oysters at the Stern and Bow restuarant, only to find it was a small pearl — a rare find. The restaurant's owner was given the pearl, and has a nice gesture in mind for the couple who found it. NBC New York’s John Chandler reports.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019)

    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.”

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    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019)

    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.