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Houston Woman Finds Rare Purple Pearl In Oyster Dish

 HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) ~ A Houston woman claims she found a rare purple pearl while eating an oyster at a local restaurant.

 Amanda Jerrigan and her boss left their downtown law office to partake in a Fat Tuesday lunch at, of all places, the Mardi Gras Grill. An oyster lover, she ordered a big platter containing two dozen, served on the half-shell. But after a few minutes into the meal she felt a crunch. "I also got some oyster shell in my tooth, so at first I was trying to dig that out and put that aside and he (her boss) kind of pointed it out and said, 'what is that?'" Jernigan said.

 It turned out to be an extremely rare purple pearl, something few have had the luck to find.

When Jerrigan returned to work, she researched the pearl on the internet and found out just how rare they are; the odds of finding one are about one in two million. "They call them a qauja pearl they are rare purple pearls, they can't be cultured so it's a natural pearl that came from the ocean," she said. A local jewelry store says they are so rare that you typically won't find them carried by any jewelry store.

In the meantime, the tale of the purple pearl has spread through the patrons who frequent the Mardi Gras Grill. Other oyster lovers are wondering if there's another precious gem to be found in the half-shells on ice. As for Jerrigan, she says she's keeping her options open as to what to do with her rare find. "Maybe I'll put it in a ring and give it to my daughter, keep it, I don't know," she said. Jerrigan said she plans to have the pearl appraised, and was even able to locate one for sale on the auction website eBay, listed for $6,000.

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