Maria and Michael Spressler got the surprise of a lifetime after they found a valuable pearl in their clam appetizer. The N.J. couple was celebrating their anniversary at The Lobster House in Cape May. According to reports, it could be worth thousands!

The amazing surprise happened last Sunday. Since 1987, the couple has been going to The Lobster House every year to celebrate their anniversary. This year, the couple was celebrating 34 years, and they got a gift they’d never received before.

“I 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 said. “Then when I started to eat it, I noticed something was in my mouth. I actually thought one of my tooth broke.”

Instead of a tooth, the Spresslers found an 8.8-millimeter pearl in their clam. “We’ve never found anything like that, so it was pretty exciting,” Maria explained.

Maria and Michael Spressler pearl
A N.J. couple got an anniversary surprise when they found a valuable pearl in their clam appetizer. The discovery could be worth thousands. (Credit: NBC New York YouTube).

While the pearl might be worth thousands, Maria and Michael Spressler said they are planning on keeping the pearl. They want to have a piece of jewelry made with it to remember their adventure.

“I would like to have it set into a nice piece of jewelry, maybe a mermaid or something nautical. It’s a beautiful remembrance of that day and what we have is so special,” Maria Spressler said.

According to the Pearl Source, a pearl’s worth can range from $300 to $1,500. It depends on the body of water that it comes from. “The value of a pearl can vary dramatically depending on many factors, such as its type, size, color, surface quality, and more.”

Michael always orders similar things at The Lobster House. But this was the first time he’s found a pearl while eating clams on the half shell. Michael thinks the restaurant has the best seafood in N.J., which is why they keep returning.

The N.J. man did some Internet research and found that the odds of finding a pearl while eating clams is 1 in 10,000.

“She wants to put it in a piece of jewelry or something, but I’ve got to get it appraised first, to get some kind of value,” he said. “(I’ve heard) it could be worth thousands, but I don’t know how much it’s worth. I really don’t know, and I’d like to know.”

Many of the employees at The Lobster House have never seen someone find a surprise in a clam. Sarah Stadnicar, who has worked at the restaurant for a decade said, “I have worked here for around 10 years now and I’ve never heard of someone finding one in one of our oysters or clamshells.”

After the amazing discovery, the restaurant shared the news on its Facebook page. Many regulars at the restaurant were excited about big news at the local seafood place. One person said, “I was literally just there yesterday and had that waiter lol. Awesome.”

Another person joked and said, “Yes! With my bad luck I would’ve cracked a tooth.”

A similar surprise happened in 2018 when Kristin Pulaski found a pearl in Williamsburg, N.Y. She found it at Grand Central Oyster Bar. And, according to one appraiser, the customer’s find was worth a whopping $4,000.

“I’ll usually bite down on oysters a few times because I like the taste, but I know some people just swallow it whole,” she said. “So maybe people swallow pearls more than they think.”