Purple clam pearl from Sea of Cortez

by Mike
(Riverside, CA)

Rare purple pearl from Sea of Cortez

Rare purple pearl from Sea of Cortez

While enjoying a feast of steamed clams with friends in 1992 at a beach home in Puerto Penasco,Mexico, (a fishing village on the east side of the Sea of Cortez Gulf of California), I bit down on something hard. Much to my surprise it was an oval- shaped lavender/purple pearl. The clams are harvested locally and morphologically resemble Mercenaria (i.e., internal purple band on the inside perimeter of the shell). Upon returning to Tucson, we were informed that it was not valuable but, given the unusual nature of the object, we had it set (by Carlos Diaz) into a ring (as pictured). The pearl is 6.6 mm in diameter. Recently (Sept. 2012), while surfing the web, I can across your website and was elated to learn that purple clam pearls are relatively rare (perhaps even rarer since it came from a clam on the west coast as opposed to the more common occurrence on the east coast of North America) and that it could be fairly valuable. We are not interested in selling but would like to know its relative value for insurance purposes.

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Sep 28, 2012
Beautiful purple pearl
by: Kari

Hi Mike,

Your pearl is just beautiful and I like the setting. Since you found your pearl in 1992, I'm assuming that's when you were told it had little value. Today, these lovely natural purple pearls are realizing more of their true value as you can see by the prices on the quahog pearl sale page. I understand that EGL in NYC often appraises these between $200-$800/carat.
Thank you for sharing about your wonderful Sea of Cortez pearl. John Steinbeck would be proud!

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