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The Wide World of Pearls, Our 80th Issue: Baroque Pearl LOVE

 

Pearls of Joy Pearl Quote of the Week: "It is no more easy to make a good picture than it is to find a diamond or a pearl. It means trouble and you risk your life for it.” - Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

Eye Candy

Baroque Freshwater Pearls

 

"SUBLIME ORIENT" 

These incredible freshwater baroque pearls display amazing amounts of rainbow iridescence, visible on every bit of pearl surface. 

 

 

Baroque Pearl LOVE

What are Baroque Pearls?

 

Pearls come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colors. One of the more over-looked shapes is baroque as most people are much more familiar with the traditional round pearl shape. That said, we think the baroque pearl shape offers an amazing opportunity to have fun wearing pearl jewelry, enjoying the uniqueness and carefree creativity that these pearls denote.


Often baroque pearls' irregular surfaces cause color to concentrate in some areas due to build up of nacre in various areas, creating intense coloration, electric orient (that rainbow iridescence) and very bright luster that you may not find with traditional, perfectly round pearls. 

The term "baroque" in gemological terms simply means: irregularly shaped. Baroque pearls account for about 40% of any pearl harvest, so you can imagine they are pretty prevalent! Within the term "baroque" pearls can have a number of different categories: Drop-Shaped, Circled and Free-Form / Assymetrical. Let's take a look and explore all their organic, spectacular beauty!

Smooth Drop Shapes

What are Baroque Pearls: Smooth Drop Shapes

 

Smooth drop-shaped pearls are arguably the most popular and romantic of all the baroque pearl shapes. The pearls can be traditionally  tear-drop shaped, or take on a more oval or barrel shape. As long as the pearls are perfectly smooth and symmetrical however, they count as a Drop!  

 

Classic Baroque Pearls

What are Baroque Pearls? Classic Baroque Pearl Shapes

 

Classically baroque pearl strands feature a WIDE variety of shapes from dropish, to top-shaped, oval, barrel and off-round to buttons ... many of them will have other features like tips, knobs and "bubble"-looking characteristics. They may or may not have some light circling. 


Circled Baroque Pearls

What are Baroque Pearls: Tahitian Baroque Pearl Necklaces

 

Circled baroque pearls (also known as Circlé pearls) are baroques with multiple, clearly defined and visible rings circling the circumference of the pearl. Circles often feature very strong, saturated pearl colors caused by the intense compaction of nacre in those areas.


Circled pearls were first marketed in the 1970s as "Circles of Love" by Tiffany & Co., when they began selling Tahitian pearls, and have since become a favorite of pearl lovers around the world. 


Free-Form Baroque Pearls

What are Baroque Pearls: Free-Form Baroque Shapes

 

One of the most playful and interesting shapes are free-form baroque pearls. These are totally asymmetrical, with tons of features like ripples, knobs, tips, plenty of texture and have the highest chance of displaying truly out-of-this-world orient and luster.

Free-form baroques are often used by jewelry artists to create unique, one of a kind designs like pendants and brooches, where their fantastical shapes can be turned into animals, mythical figures and other items. 


Soufflé Baroque Pearls

What are Baroque Pearls? Souffle Freshwater Baroques

 

Soufflé pearls are a relatively new phenomenon, and were created just a decade ago. Soufflé pearls are made exclusively using the freshwater pearl mussel; farmers figured out that they could nucleate an existing pearl sac inside the mussel with a mud mixture and allow the mussel to continue to coat the pearl sac with luster. After harvest, the resulting pearls are very large (usually around 15.0-16.0mm or more), intensely lustrous and with plenty of electric orient.


The mud mixture is soaked and blown out of the interior and the pearls are cleaned thoroughly before use in jewelry items, making essentially a hollow pearl that's incredibly light in weight. Technically Soufflé pearls are free-form baroques, but they do get their own designation specially as Soufflé's as the freshwater pearl type and specific cultivation technique makes them totally unique in the world of pearls.


Ripple Baroque Pearls

What are Baroque Pearls? Freshwater Ripple Pearls

 

"Ripple" pearls are also a shape exclusive to freshwater pearls. These are baroques that are usually drop-shaped to off-round and are distinctive in their heavily textured surfaces. Ripples get their name from a "Hershey's Kisses" crumpled wrapper texture - think a ton of crinkles which causes light to bounce and refract in a million directions at once!  


Also relative new-comers to the pearl markets, Ripple pearls are the result of years of cultivation experiments as Chinese freshwater pearl farmers attempt to get their mussels to produce freshwater pearls that can rival White South Sea pearls in size and quality. Pretty neat, eh? 

 

 

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Featured PearlsWeekly Product Spotlight: Circled Tahitian Baroque Pearl Necklace

 

 

8-10mm Dark Tahitian South Sea Circle-Baroque Pearl Necklace

Set your eyes on this gorgeous Tahitian black South Sea pearl necklace. This strand is perfect for the pearl lover who wants a unique look. An exquisite Tahitian pearl circle-baroque necklace with a gorgeous dark color indicative of the South Sea. Circle-baroque pearls are treasured for their unique and exotic look. This Tahitian pearl necklace measures at 8mm in the back and graduates perfectly to a gorgeous 10mm centerpiece. All pieces in this black pearl necklace are AA+, with high luster.

 

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