Both diners chomped into the pearl without realizing it.
The odds of finding a pearl inside an oyster are about one in 10,000. In New York City, those odds are apparently a little better.
This week, a woman who ordered oysters at a bar in Williamsburg found something hard when she bit down. The woman, 29-year-old Kristin Pulaski, told the New York Post that she originally thought it was some kind of foreign object.
“My first thought was, ‘Is this like a screw or something in here?’ ” she said. “And I took it out and saw that it couldn’t have been anything else [but a pearl]. It was pearly white and round.”
It turned out that Kristin had bitten into a pearl, making her the second New York diner to find a pearl in a dish of oysters. Earlier in the month, 66-year-old Rick Antosh found one at the famed Grand Central Oyster Bar.
Like Pulaski, Antosh said he only found the pearl when he nearly ate it.
“We were engaged in conversation and all of a sudden, whoop, what is that?” Antosh told CBS New York.
“I didn’t bite on it, but I sensed something was odd. I thought maybe it was a filling or a tooth.”
But as Antosh examined it more, saw a black dot and thought it was maybe a piece of a kitchen utensil that had broken off in his food. When he showed it to the restaurant staff, the chef knew immediately — it was a pearl. Antosh said the chef had worked at the restaurant for 28 years and never seen a pearl in an oyster dish.
There originally appeared to be a bit of a price difference between the two pearls. The one Antosh found was originally valued at about $4,000, but Kristin Pulaski learned that her pearl wasn’t quite so valuable.
“Natural pearls can be very valuable, but when they come in shapes that are imperfect like this and don’t have that sheen, it would only be worth about $200,” said Eddy Livi, the owner of DSL Pearl, where Pulaski had it appraised.
Antosh’s pearl turned out to be within the same price range. Livi said he estimated the price for Antosh’s pearl based on the photograph he saw, but in person he realized it was smaller than it first appeared and estimated it at $400.
But it may not matter much. Both Rick Antosh and Kristin Pulaski said they planned to keep the pearls, and both will always have an interesting story to tell.
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