Baroque- What Does That Mean?
Baroque is a description of a pearl that is non-symmetrical and shaped irregularly. More importantly, barroque (french spelling) was first used to describe pearls. It was not until the 17c. that Baroque came to mean a form of art and architecture.
But, what exactly is a baroque pearl and are they valuable?
Baroque pearls are much more than just "irregularly shaped pearls". They can be nucleated with a round globe that usually creates a fireball shaped pearl or they can be non-nucleated, all nacre. These are second growth pearls that are called Keshi pearls. These are the most valuable of the baroque pearls.
The surface luster and orient of baroque pearls can be more extraordinary than a round pearl because of the undulating topography of the pearl. The irregular surface catches the light and overtones of the pearl.
Baroque pearls can also be freshwater or saltwater pearls. In fact, over 90% of freshwater pearls are baroque. Of course, this includes tear drop, potato, circle, coin and fireball shapes. The majority of saltwater baroque pearls come from French Polynesia, Tahitian islands, and the Western coast of Australia. Most freshwater baroque pearls come from China.
Baroque pearls can be fake as well. You can tell a fake from real the same way you use the surface to spot a fake round pearl. Rub the pearl against your teeth and if the surface is rough, instead of very smooth and slippery, it is a real pearl.
Baroque pearls are not as valuable as round pearls simply because round pearls are so much more rare. There is beauty and uniqueness to a baroque pearl if used in the correct setting for jewelry. Whether or not to buy a piece of jewelry that has a baroque pearl is a decision of personal preference. If you value the uniqueness of the shape of the baroque pearl, you will be getting a good value. If you are buying for a financial investment (really?), buy White South Sea round pearls.