Guy's Dinner Find: Pricey Pearl in a Clamshell

'It's like a once in a lifetime event' for NJ's Michael and Maria Spressler
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2022 6:55 AM CST
Updated Mar 5, 2022 7:45 AM CST
Pearl Found in Clam Dinner Could Be Worth $100K
Michael Spressler’s pearl looks a lot like this.   (Getty Images/Stakon)

Michael Spressler thought he'd cracked a molar after biting into a raw clam at his favorite South Jersey restaurant. "But then when I poked it out into the palm of my hand, it was a perfectly round white pearl." That pearl might just cover the cost of his meal at the Lobster House in Cape May and then some. At 8.83 millimeters, it could be worth as much as $100,000, reports, though it has yet to be appraised. Spressler, 58, considers it his lucky day as the chance of finding a pearl in a clam is reportedly 1 in 10,000. "I've been eating clams all my life. This is the first time this ever happened to me," Spressler tells And it happened to be a special occasion. Spressler and his wife, Maria, say their dinner last month marked the 34th anniversary of their first visit to the restaurant in 1987.

Spressler almost always orders a dozen clams on the half shell as his appetizer. "He's eaten dozens and dozens of clams and we've never found anything like that so it was pretty exciting," Maria tells KYW. "It's like a once in a lifetime event." Michael Spressler says he was "down to the 12th one and when I picked it up on the fork it looked kinda heavy, but I didn't think nothing of it." He then felt a small, hard item in his mouth. Maria hopes to have the pearl made into a piece of jewelry "but I've got to get it appraised first," says her husband. "It could be worth thousands." Meanwhile, they've inspired one longtime restaurant employee to try more seafood. "I've never had raw clams or oysters, but since somebody found something I may have to give it a shot," Sarah Stadnicar tells (Read more pearls stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.