A Pearl in My Oyster?

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Will I find a pearl in my oyster? is a question I hear from many people who visit my talks. It makes sense, right? Pearls come from oysters (or mussels) and it only seems fair that if you eat a bunch of these, especially raw, you are entitled to find a pearl. Right? Well, here is the problem: Natural pearls are just not that common. The estimate I hear over and over is that only about one oyster in 10,000 oysters will actually have a pearl. Now, I have NO CLUE how they ever came up with that number but here is the point: pearls just are not that common. I guess if they were an everyday occurrence, they just wouldn’t be so luxurious, right?

So, as the bearer of bad news, I want to say give it up. Here is the problem, though, I am a gambler! Did you know that about me? Yes, I love to play the odds. And just like the lottery always has a winner, there is always someone, every once in a while, who finds a pearl in their oyster.

Last week in Brisbane, Australia Judith Maizey was that someone. She was settling into her meal of fresh oysters from Coffin Bay in South Australia when she chewed on what she thought might be a piece of oysters shell. And, what she found instead, was a tiny round pearl. And imagine, if she had not been chewing on those oysters, she may have just swallowed her little treasure! But, she found her little pearl, an all natural beauty untouched by any steaming, frying roasting or more. Yes, it is best to find that pearl in the raw.

Here is her little beauty:


So, here a natural pearl has been found and it is no doubt sweet and luxurious but here lies the problem with natural pearls. Just because you find one does not necessarily mean it will be a gem quality pearl. It might be full of imperfections, or have an off shape or poor luster or more. Judith has a lovely pearl here and I am sure it will make a lovely keepsake.

Now, as for the people who play the lotto every week (which despite my view on gambling, is not something I regularly do), you better get to eating oysters. You have 10,000 to put away before you can have a pearl just like Judith’s!

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