A Washington state woman almost swallowed a rare and valuable pearl that somehow found its way into her dinner.
According to ABC News, Lindsay Hasz was dining with her husband at Montalcino Ristorante Italiano a few weeks ago when she bit down on something hard in her Frutti di Mare, a dish typically featuring pasta, shrimp and clams.
I felt like I almost broke my tooth when I first bit it. It was pretty dark in the restaurant, so it was hard to tell what it was, but when I looked at it closer, it looked totally round and perfect. Too perfect.
She took the pearl to Ted Irwin, a gemologist who serves as president of the Northwest Gemological Laboratory and director of the Northwest Gemological Institute.
Hasz said Irwin first believed she was either joking or was pranked.
Those who come to him thinking they found rare gems often turn out to be wrong.
Iriwn told ABC News,
The Mr. Skeptic in me originally may have dissuaded her at first since a lot of pearls people find aren't really anything most of the time. But I took a look at it, and sure enough, she did have Quahog pearl.
Irwin said Quahog pearls were previously found in clams indigenous to the northeastern United States, so it appears this restaurant gets its clams from somewhere in the New England region.
After studying the pearl's surface, shape and color, Irwin estimated its value to be approximately $600.
The chances of someone finding a pearl of such magnificent quality are literally "one in a couple million," he said.
Hasz plans on turning the pearl, which was estimated to be a little over one carat, into a necklace.
The owners of the restaurant told ABC News more and more customers now order the Frutti di Mare to see if any treasures are waiting for them as well.