Collected from Quogue, New York in November 2020.
“Color: Like sapphires and rubies, value is all about color. Some quahogs have no purple at all. Most shells have a little purple on the inside surface, but the color does not go much below the surface. A few quahogs have quite a bit of purple that goes deep into the shell, sometimes with nice banding. And a few very rare shells have intense purple that extends deep into the shell. These are the most desirable ones for making jewelry. The amount of color is partly due to genetics, and partly due to the minerals in the mud or sand where the quahog grows.“