Rare Purple Pearl Found in Accabonac Clam

Rare Quahog Pearl photo: David E. Rattray

Rare Quahog Pearl photo: David E. Rattray

Alex Miller was heading home and thinking about dinner Tuesday evening when he decided to stop at Stuart's Seafood Market, an Amagansett favorite. He bought some plank salmon and coleslaw. As an afterthought, he said, "Why don't you give me a dozen little neck clams — medium-sized little necks?"

At home in Springs, he shucked them — half the quahogs were from the shellfish hatchery and the other half from the wild (he could tell by the striped pattern on the shell). On the 11th wild clam, something he thought was a marble fell out.

Almost perfectly round, and purple in color, it rolled around in the sink before he picked it up and realized, "It's a pearl!"

Such a find is rare, and most likely valuable, according Barley Dunn, the director of the East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery.

"It is amazing. It's pretty rare for any of our shellfish to produce pearls, let alone ones that are relatively round — then add to that it's a wampum purple," he said after looking at pictures. Mr. Miller knew to go right to him, as he was one of the first oyster gardeners in Mr. Dunn's oyster gardening program.

Read entire article here: https://www.easthamptonstar.com/News/2019515/Rare-Purple-Pearl-Found-Accabonac-Clam

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