New Jersey Man Finds Pearl in Oyster Dinner


    It's not often that a person orders a plate of fried oysters and walks away with a souvenir.

    But that's exactly what happened to Mike McHenry, of Washington Township, on Wednesday night when he thought he had chomped down on a piece of shell and instead spit out a pea-sized pearl.
    "I was just grateful I didn't break my teeth," said McHenry. McHenry tells the full story of his discovery to WCBS 880's Wayne Cabot.

    McHenry's find at Russo's Ristorante was a rare one, according to Gef Flimlin, a marine extension agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, who said 95 percent of pearls are cultured for production, unlike the naturally formed pearl [] McHenry found.

    "It's unusual to find one in this type of oyster," McHenry said. "Like one in a million."

    Russo's owner Rick Giacobbe has been in the restaurant business for 33 years, but said this is the first time he's had a customer find a pearl in an order of oysters. He said the guy he orders seafood from is flummoxed too.

    "He said maybe once in a couple of years his girls will find something and it's a teeny tiny thing,'' Giacobbe said. "This was half the size of a jellybean."

    Greg Fliegauf, who managers the local Fliegauf Jewelers for his uncle, examined Giacobbe's pearl, and thought it wasn't worth much because it's misshapen and has some discoloration.

    "It's a souvenir, I'll put on my bar, maybe," McHenry said.


    First in Florida and now in New Jersey? Wow!
  2. Another one! WOW!

    I like the purple pearl in the earlier story though. I've worked with pearls and never saw one that color before. (Those tainted ones the Japanese create don't count, I dislike the metallic look to them. You know, the gun metal greens and blacks. They get those colors by raising the oysters in polluted waters.)
  3. i love oyster!! what a great find.
  4. What a lucky find!
  5. I've gotten a pearl in an oyster before, but never one that big!
  6. That's so cool.