Unique Beads: A Buyer’s Guide to Baroque Pearls

There is no denying the timeless beauty and elegance of pearls. While spherical white stones are often the first things that come to mind when we think about pearls, though, these unique gems come in a wide range of shapes and colors. Perfectly round pearls may always be considered the most valuable and desirable variety, but ones with different shapes can be incredibly beautiful, too. And those that aren’t perfectly spherical in shape are as unique as the people who wear them.

white baroque pearls strand

Whether you are a professional jewelry designer looking to create unique pieces to sell or you are simply searching for unusual ways to add the beauty of pearls to your own collection, baroque pearls are an excellent option. Keep reading to learn more about these unique beads, their value and how to use them in your own one-of-a-kind creations.

 

What Are Baroque Pearls?


Despite their exotic-sounding name, baroque pearls are, quite simply, pearls that are irregularly shaped rather than round. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and they are some of the most interesting organic gemstones on the market. Each stone is truly one-of-a-kind. This uniqueness lends to their desirability.

When pearls are assessed, shape is one of the main factors that is taken into consideration. Round, symmetrical ones are classified as traditional pearls. All others are labeled as “baroque.” Baroque pearls come in many different shapes. They can be coin-shaped, roughly tear-drop shaped, cylindrical…the list goes on and on. Essentially, the only shape that a baroque pearl can’t be is round!

Baroque shapes can be found in all types of pearls. However, they are most common among freshwater pearls. In fact, only about one in 10 freshwater pearls are perfectly round. This means that the vast majority of these gemstones are classified as baroque.

baroque pearl necklace pendant

How Much Are Baroque Pearls Worth?


When purchasing baroque pearls, it is important to understand their value. They are not typically as valuable as perfectly spherical specimens, but they do still carry value. Because of their unique shape, however, they are not valued based on the same standards that are used to determine the value of traditional pearls.

The two main characteristics that are taken into consideration when determining the value of baroque pearls are type and shape. Since most baroque pearls are of the freshwater variety, they tend to be less valuable than, say, baroque saltwater or Akoya pearls.

While traditional pearls are valued based on how well-rounded they are, baroque ones are assessed based on their specific shape. Baroque keshi pearls, which form without a center particle, are the most valuable shape because of their rarity. Cross-shaped baroque pearls are also valuable.

There are other factors that could impact a baroque pearl’s value, too. Gemstones that are especially lustrous or colorful tend to fetch higher prices than plainer ones. And, of course, larger pearls are almost always more valuable than smaller ones.

 

How to Care for Baroque Pearls


Baroque pearls can be cared for in the same way in which you would care for any other type of pearl. After all, the only real difference is the shape. If you know how to clean freshwater pearls, you know how to clean baroque freshwater pearls.

When not in use, store your baroque pearl beads and jewelry individually in soft pouches in a container that is not airtight. This prevents scratches and helps keep them from drying out. Follow the rule of “last on, first off” when wearing your pearls. Put them on after you’ve applied any lotions, makeup, hairspray, etc., and take them off first thing at the end of the day. You should also remove pearl jewelry prior to showering, swimming, using harsh cleaning chemicals, etc.

Wash your pearls using a soft, damp cloth. If they are particularly dirty, use a gentle soap. Because of their unique shape, some baroque pearls have indentations or nooks and crannies in which debris can accumulate. Be sure to clean these areas thoroughly to prevent damage and keep the gemstones looking their best. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or harsh jewelry cleaning chemicals to clean your pearls. When you are done, dry them thoroughly.

baroque pearls strand

Conclusion


If you are looking for unique gemstones to add to your jewelry creations, baroque pearls are an excellent investment. These stones are prized for their beauty and uniqueness, and because they cost less than spherical pearls, they are an excellent way to enjoy the timeless elegance of pearls at a fraction of the cost.