By Yahoo News Australia and agencies

A lucky Thai policeman has found a rare Melo pearl while eating seafood for dinner with his wife.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Phongsakorn Chantana bought a bag of sea snails to grill at home with his wife.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Phongsakorn Chantana bought a bag of sea snails to grill at home with his wife in Buriram province on April 16.

While the couple was eating, the husband bit into something round and hard while chewing on the snail.

Phongsakorn spat out the object but he said he was confused when he saw a pearl the size of a corn seed. He showed it to his wife and realized it might be a rare pearl.

Officer Phongsakorn said he and his wife were hopeful that the pearl was a genuine Melo but they were planning to take it to a nearby university for it to be examined and confirmed.

It is believed the pearl could be worth up to $437,000.

Melo pearls range from orange to tan to brown in colour – with orange being the most expensive shade.

They are usually found in South China Sea and Andaman Sea off the coast of Burma and are produced by predatory sea snails called Volutidae.

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