EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A man eating oysters at a Manhattan restaurant got quite a surprise when something unexpected and precious went from the plate to his mouth.
It was a pearl worth thousands of dollars.
CBS2's Dave Carlin spoke with the lucky patron about the find and what he plans to do with it.
Rick Antosh of Edgewater walked in to a Manhattan restaurant for lunch with a friend and walked out with something valuable and rare.
"That was the best oyster pan roast I ever ordered," Antosh said with a laugh.
It happened on Dec. 1 at the Oyster Bar inside Grand Central Terminal. Antosh said at first he didn't even know he had found a pearl.
"We were engaged in conversation and all of a sudden, whoop, what is that?" he said. "I didn't bite on it, but I sensed something was odd. I thought maybe it was a filling or a tooth."
He examined the pea-shaped treasure, noting that it was not perfectly round. And another thing about it jumped out at him.
"When I saw the black dot that really intrigued me. What is that? I first thought is this something that broke off a utensil from the kitchen?" he said.
A restaurant chef confirmed that, yep, it was a pearl, adding finding one this way is extremely rare.
"The one chef in the restaurant said he's been there 28 years and this is only the second time this has happened," Antosh said.
So what to do with it?
"I would put it on a ring, I think," tourist Olivia Kuykendall said.
"It's a lucky charm, maybe," tourist Nate Moser added.
"Make a little keepsake out of it or something," Caitlin Riddell said.
"The wonderful thing about this is it has a story," Antosh said.
Antosh said he has heard it is likely worth thousands of dollars, but likely he won't have it appraised because he won't be selling it.
As long as his crafty cat doesn't somehow swipe it, he expects it will stay with him and bring him luck.
"The end of the year, you know, for next year, this is a sign," Antosh said.
He said he loves oysters and will eat them even more often now, hoping to beat the odds again and make it a set.
The chance of a pearl forming in an oyster is estimated at 1 in every 10,000. It usually occurs when a piece of sand gets in the shell.
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