Posted in  Buyers guide  on  October 18, 2022 by  Anisa0 comments

Not all pearls turn out perfectly round. The ones that feature a non-spherical shape are called baroque pearls.

Most freshwater pearls are baroque, as they do not include a completely spherical shape. Baroque pearls have irregular shapes. The pearl may appear pinched, curved, or lumpy.

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Where Do Baroque Pearls Come From?

Baroque pearls come from all over, as any pearl that includes irregularities in its shape is considered baroque. Cultured pearls from Japan, China, Tahiti, and Australia may end up as baroque pearls. There are four main groups of baroque pearls:

Freshwater baroque pearls are cultivated in freshwater using mollusks. Freshwater pearls are produced by inserting a small piece of mantle tissue into the tissue of the mollusk. The mantle tissue is a small piece of reused shell.

The other types of baroque pearls are produced in seawater. Seawater pearls are produced by inserting a small bead nucleus into the soft tissue of the oyster. A small piece of mantle tissue is then placed on top. The difference in the culturing process increases the likelihood of a perfectly round pearl.

While seawater pearling is less likely to produce baroque pearls, pearl farmers still end up with irregular pearls. As much as 60% of the pearl harvest may include baroque seawater pearls. However, the rate of baroque pearls is still lower compared to freshwater pearl cultivation, which can include up to 90% of baroque pearls.

How Do Baroque Pearls Get Their Shape?

Pearls rarely achieve a perfectly round shape in nature. Most pearls are not symmetrical. They may appear elongated, pinched, or lumpy.

The vast majority of baroque pearls are freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are produced using a different process that is more likely to produce pearls with irregularities.

The bead nucleus is a small sphere that serves as the center of the new pearl as it forms. Without the bead nucleus, the oyster is more likely to create a baroque-shaped pearl.

The shape of the pearl may also be impacted by any interruptions that occur during its formation. Additional irritants and changes in the environment can disrupt the formation of layers around the pearl sac and alter its shape.

Common Sizes for Baroque Pearls

Baroque pearls can vary in size from 1 mm to 25 mm, as they come from all types of pearl cultivation. Pearlers can create pearls of almost any size. Smaller pearls take less time to produce while a larger pearl may need to spend two to three years in the water.

Baroque pearls made in the Akoya oyster are often the smallest and may range from 3 mm to 9 mm. Baroque Tahitian pearls may measure 8 mm to 18 mm. Baroque Australian pearls may measure up to 25 mm (1 inch). Most baroque freshwater pearls measure 11 mm to 12 mm.

What Color Are Baroque Pearls?

Shapes of Baroque Pearls

Baroque pearls come in many colors. Baroque Akoya pearls are often white with overtones of rose, silver, or cream. Baroque Australian pearls are typically white with hints of gold.

Baroque Tahitian pearls are often black or dark gray. These pearls may also include hints of green, blue, pink, purple, and other colors.

Along with natural colors, baroque pearls come in many color-treated designs. You can buy baroque pearls dyed black, orange, or dozens of other colors that you may not find in nature.

What Is the Typical Luster of Baroque Pearls?

The luster of baroque pearls can range from dull to mirror-like. Luster measures how light reflects off the surface. It also measures the sharpness and the overall glow of the pearl.

Jewelers and appraisers often grade the luster of pearls as excellent, very high to excellent, and very high. Akoya pearls are most likely to receive the highest rating, followed by Australian pearls and Tahitian pearls.

How Much Do Baroque Pearls Cost?

The cost of baroque pearls depends on various factors, including size, luster, and the type of jewelry. The average price of a perfectly round pearl is about $300 to $1500. A baroque pearl may cost about 25% of the price of a round pearl, resulting in an average cost of $75 to 375.

Perfectly round pearls with a high-quality luster are typically the most expensive pearls. Semi-round pearls with smooth, symmetrical surfaces are the second-most expensive type of pearl.

Baroque pearls are often the least valuable type of pearls. However, some baroque pearls can be quite pricey due to unique characteristics or the region where it was produced.

For example, South Sea (Australian) baroque pearls are often more expensive compared to freshwater baroque pearls and Tahitian baroque pearls.


In the end, baroque pearls include any pearls without a perfectly round shape. These pearls are often less expensive but can still appear in pricey pieces of jewelry. The unique shape makes baroque pearls more common in pendants and earrings.

About the Author


I am a pearl and oyster enthusiast who loves to share her knowledge and experiences about fashion with the world. I am neither a certified gemologist nor a reseller of pearls.

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