the compass rose
A Rhode Island woman found a pearl in a clam she was served at a restaurant and it ended up becoming her engagement ring. Sandy Sikorski and Ken Steinkamp said they were dining at The Bridge Restaurant and Raw Bar in downtown Westerly, with Sikorski’s brother and his wife in December 2021, when Sikorski ate the last of the quahog clams.
“That’s when I tasted this big round thing in my mouth. I’m thinking, ‘What the heck is this?’ So, I take it and spit it down on the table, in my hand, and my sister-in-law says, ‘Is that a tooth?'”
Sikorski’s sister-in-law, a jewelry enthusiast, soon surmised [that] the object was a 9.8 millimeter pearl. Marc Fishbone of Black Orchid Jewelers examined the object and confirmed the suspicions.
“He said it is called a Mercenaria pearl, which is a mollusk type of little animal, which makes what looks like a little pearl. It’s made out of the same material, calcite, and another mineral […]. [It] takes years and years to grow,” Sikorski said. “He said the weight of this and the size of this, [it} probably [took] 50 years to make.”
Sikorski and Steinkamp agreed that, if they ever decided to get married, they would have the pearl made into an engagement ring. That plan came to pass when Steinkamp proposed July 8, using a ring Fishbone had fashioned with the pearl as its stone. The couple celebrated their engagement by returning to the restaurant […].
UPI Odd News
Pearl Found In Clam
July 27, 2023
A Westerly woman feels like the luckiest girl in the world for two reasons. For the past four years, Sandy Sikorski and Ken Steinkamp have been regulars at The Bridge Restaurant and Raw Bar in downtown Westerly. For years, the restaurant, which looks over the Pawcatuck River, has offered deals on seafood.
“We come here often to get the clams,” said Sikorski. “They’re bigger, they come on platters, upraised, they have great horseradish and everything I love about it…they taste delicious.”
There was one [clam] left.
“What are the odds of a pearl being inside of this shell?” said Sikorski.
The perfectly shaped oval had been hiding in the meat of the clam. Sikorski held on to the […] pearl and became curious about it. First, she brought it to The Compass Rose in Westerly. The owner there took a look and referred her to their jewelry maker, Marc Fishbone, of Black Orchid Jewelers.
“Wow, you got a beauty there. It’s heavy,” stated Fishbone. “It’s probably one in a million, one in a million to have it perfect […]. [U]sually, there’s pieces of them missing and it looks like a tooth or something […]. [I]t is never like a whole, perfect little oval. Plus, it’s big.”
According to several online articles, the odds of finding one in a clam are about one in 100,000.
They wanted Fishbone to make the setting.
“[I] want it to be the most beautiful setting you’ve ever made and I like gold,” said Sikorski. “I didn’t want a hole in the bottom of the stone, I just wanted it secured.”
Steinkamp, who asked Sikorski’s dad for approval first, got down on one knee and popped the question with the beautiful ring in hand.
“[W]e’re not getting any younger and we felt, in a way, that this was kind of a signal or an odd bit of synchronicity,” said Sikorski. “It’s beautiful. It has diamonds, and a sparkle, and I know minerals are becoming more fashionable gemstones vs. a big diamond thing.”
She hopes to eventually pass the ring off to her 8-year-old granddaughter, Nora.
Westerly Woman Finds Rare Pearl
NBC 10 News
July 25, 2023
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