BEVERLY, MASS. — “Waiter, waiter, there’s a pearl in my soup!” Really. A story that has grown into nearly ridiculous proportions with all the media attention it has received deserves one more serving, since it involves one of Antiques and The Arts Weekly’s notable auction houses.
Kaminski Auctions recently announced that it sold a rare natural single lavender pearl found by a local police officer in his seafood soup for $16,000, including buyer’s premium. The story was featured by numerous local and national media outlets, including The Boston Herald, The London Daily Mail, National Geographic, World News Tonight, Good Morning America, People Magazine, CBS television and ABC. A top featured story on Yahoo.com, the “pearl found in his soup “ story took on a life of its own.
The six-plus-carat pearl is a rare non-nacreous pearl from the Mercenaria Mercenaria mollusk, according to Kaminski catalogers. The occurrence of a gem quality stone in a quahog is estimated to be only one in two million. Rare quahog pearls are mostly found by accident during home processing or consumption. The pearl was accompanied with a GIA pearl certificate and described in the report as a “Natural undrilled Quahog saltwater pearl, 11.43mm x 8.36mm, 6.22 carats, from a Northern Quahog clam with GIA report ‘no indications of treatment.’” Natural light purple Quahog pearls are one of the most precious in the world, being the only saltwater purple pearl of any significant size.
The pearl was appraised conservatively by Kaminski Auctions senior appraiser Harry Morgan at $12/15,000. It ended up with a Japanese collector through a US pearl broker.