One morning at Gosman’s Fish Market in Montauk a few weeks ago, the kitchen staff was shucking fresh Quahog clams from Mattituck while making a big batch of New England Clam Chowder, when one of them hit something hard inside one of the clams. A pearl. And not just any pearl, an enormous pearl. The work stopped and the owner, Bryan Gosman, was called over.
At first, he thought this must be a joke. This pearl was the size of a gumball, just under an inch in diameter. Nobody, including Bryan, had ever seen a pearl of this size.
Rebekah Harris, who owns a jewelry store in the Gosman complex was called over, and she said she hadn’t seen one this size either, and yes it was a pearl. There was a brief discussion about who now owned the pearl, but it was quickly decided that it should be sold off and the money made selling it gifted to the Montauk Food Pantry. It could be sold by raffle. Or, if valuable, by silent auction. In the meantime, the pearl would be taken to the Gemological Institute in New York City for an appraisal.
Dan’s Papers spoke to Guy Spaulding, the head gemologist at London Jewelers in the Hamptons, providing him a photo of the pearl, and he offered the following comments:
“Natural clam pearls are relatively rare. To find such a large, gem quality, natural specimen is like winning the lottery. Highly sought after by private collectors and museums, the value is determined by many characteristics: origin, size, shape, color, overtone, luster, iridescence, lack of blemishes and orient. This will sell for a considerable amount of money.”
When pressed for an amount, he said somewhere between $3,000 and $30,000. Later, we spoke to another expert who told us a giant natural pearl, found in a clamshell at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in Manhattan several years ago, fetched $4,000 at auction. But this one is bigger.
The proceeds from this will feed many, many people. What a gift from these folks at Gosman’s.