Oyster on Chinese Buffet Yields a Pearl

by Andrea Freygang
(Rome, Geogia-Tribune Staff Writer )

Vickie & LaDon McDaniels

Vickie & LaDon McDaniels

A lifelong love affair with oysters finally paid off for a Silver Creek man.

LaDon McDaniel was dining with his wife Wednesday at New China Buffet in West Rome when he said he found a small pearl inside his oyster.

"I was eating it in the half-shell and scooped it out and started eating," he said. "I started choking, and I spit it out."

"Yeah, he told me he found a pearl," and I said 'yeah right,'" added his wife Vickie McDaniel. "He loves raw oysters and wasn't even planning on getting any."

McDaniel, however, ended up with a purplish colored pearl.

He said this is about the third or fourth pearl he has found, though he said the others were discarded because of deformities.

"I eat oysters any chance I get," he said. "Oh yeah, I've probably eaten several thousand oysters in my lifetime."

The McDaniels took the pearl to a friend, who is an amateur geologist, for an opinion. They said he told them it was real.

"I think this has happened a couple times," said Wendy Lin, manager of New China Buffet on Redmond Circle. "I think they are just lucky because we eat oysters, too, and have never found any."

The McDaniels plan to keep the pearl for now, possibly to make jewelry. If they do sell it, Vickie McDaniel said, they will donate money to the National Epilepsy Foundation. Her husband is epileptic, and the foundation has helped him a lot, she said.

Read more about McDaniel's pearl here.

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Aug 12, 2008
Obama Presidential Pearl is Priceless to us!
by: Vickie Mcdaniel

We went back to the Chinese resturant where we found the pearl and they had our news article framed on the front wall behind the register they are as proud of it as we are. When Obama is president our Obama Presidential Pearl will be worth many stories and an hierloom to pass on through many generations ! Thanks Kari for a chance to show our pearl off!

Feb 23, 2008
A Treasured Piece of History
by: LaDon McDaniels

"It doesn't matter if my pearls worth 20 cents 20 dollars or 20 thousand, the money value isn't important, but, I found this pearl when I was campaigning for Obama and that's why I named it the Obama Presidentiial Pearl as he is as unique as my pearl is and since I am Native American he is the only candidate that I have personlly heard mention Native Americans in his campaign speeches. Regardless of the value, my wife will be the only woman who can say, whether in her hand or on her finger or around her neck, when Obama walks into the White House she wears the Obama Presidential pearl. For me that makes it priceless as we own a piece of history. I'm sure there will be other people out there do the same but we will be the first."

Feb 20, 2008
Will there be a restaurant rush?
by: Kari

I was wondering if there has been a rush at the Chinese buffet with folks buying oysters? I'd sure check it out if I was in your area. They should hang a big sign outside: "Pearls Found Here!"

Thanks for sharing!

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