The word Baroque pertains to a style of art that originated in the early 17th century, in which sculpture and ornaments typically featured extravagantly ornate and abstract shapes. The term Baroque has been adopted to describe pearls with irregular, or non-spherical, shapes.
Many cultured pearls, especially saltwater pearls, are bead nucleated, a process in which a tiny, perfectly spherical bead is inserted into the oyster. The round bead creates a base for what often becomes a round pearl. While Baroque shapes are found in any pearl type, they’re most common in freshwater pearls, where the oysters tend to be mantle tissue nucleated. The irregularity of the tissue that is inserted into the oyster produces pearls that vary in shape, from almost perfectly round to totally non-spherical.
Irregular shapes include anything from slightly off round to the stick or cross shaped. Often Baroque jewelry is made with larger, unmatched Baroque pearls to create striking and unique strands, though strands made with near-matching oblong pearls have grown in popularity in recent years.
The individuality of Baroque pearls sets them apart, lending Baroque pearl jewelry plenty of impact and intrigue.
PEARL OF WISDOM
While Baroque is often used to describe teardrop pearls, the term is actually an umbrella for any non-round pearl, including coin, button, stick, cross, heart, and keshi shapes.