As It Happens

Seattle woman finds a rare purple pearl in her dinner

Date night turns into a windfall for Lindsay Hasz when she discovers a gem in her seafood dinner.
A woman in Washington state got the surprise of a lifetime when she found a rare purple pearl in her seafood. (Lindsay Hasz)

Lindsay Hasz was eating dinner with her husband at a restaurant near Seattle when she bit down on something hard and discovered a rare purple pearl in her food.

Someone told me I have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting one of those pearls.- Lindsay Hasz

"I took it out and I couldn't quite tell what it was," Hasz tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "It looked really circular and almost perfect, like a bead."

Hasz was eating clams and mussels for dinner, so she didn't know if the object she'd bitten down on was a pearl because she assumed they only came from oysters.  

When Hasz got home and examined the object under the light, she noticed it was a deep purple. After a quick Google search, she thought she might have a Quahog purple pearl, so-named because they're found in Quahog clams.

Lindsay Hasz holds a rare pearl that she found in her seafood meal while dining at an Italian restaurant in Issaquah, Wash. ( via Associated Press)

"Someone told me I have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting one of those pearls," laughs Hasz.

She took it to a gemologist, who determined it was a Quahog purple pearl worth about $800.

Ted Irwin of the Northwest Geological Laboratory says the find is rare because only one in a couple million are of gem quality.

The pearl is just more than one carat in size and Hasz says she plans to turn it into a necklace as a good luck charm.

"Everyone keeps telling me to buy lottery tickets, but I thought if I turn it into a necklace and wear it then maybe it will bring me good luck."

With files from AP


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