Popular and common pearls are usually spherical in shape. They are formed by mollusks, which attempts to get rid of irritants that enter their shells as foreign objects or minute worms. A study conducted by scientists showed that the larva of a tapeworm is responsible for the irritation, causing the mollusk to secrete nacre coating to the irritant and forming the pearl. In freshwater mussels, flukes also act as irritants.
But in general, sand is the most common culprit that forms the nucleus. The mollusk surrounds the irritant and excretes nacre, which solidifies into a thin layer. After which, more and more concentric layers re formed until a spherical pearl is formed. Baroque pearls, on the other hand are solid but not so well-shaped. They are irregularly shaped and can come from freshwater pearls to saltwater pearls. They can be oval shaped or teardrop-shaped.
Some Akoya pearls or the Japanese saltwater cultured pearls are also considered baroque. Mollusks or mussel shells are inserted with a foreign object that makes the animal react by secreting nacre to coat the irritant. The Japanese have pioneered in this type of industry, culturing pearls as early as the 1920s. They use a mother-of-pearl bead inserted into the mollusk or mussel, usually three-quarters to nine-tenths of the diameter of the desired size or shape of the pearl. Cultured pearls usually form spherical shapes but baroque pearls are produced through the culturing process.
In the past, they have been considered failed attempts but they are now highly valued for their color and their distinct shapes. Natural baroque pearls however, are more treasured because of their beautiful colors and luster. Tahitian baroque pearls are among the world's best. Jeremy Shepherd, CEO of a pearl-trading company describes them as having "turquoise and peacock overtones". They have a quality in them that can be attributed to the waters as well as the types of mollusks and mussels found in the islands. They can be made into stunning pieces of jewelry.
Diana Holden, a jeweler says that baroque pearls are very flexible pieces of gemstones because of their shapes. She likes using them for her avant-garde designs that younger people like to wear. Although spherical pearls occupy the top position, their perfection can be monotonous. Holden says she likes the naturally made baroque pearls versus the cultured ones because their colors can be unexpected. However, for pieces that require uniformity, she relies on freshwater cultured baroque pearls.
You can make practically any type of jewelry with baroque pearls. Necklaces are common items. The teardrop-shapes can rest as the pendant while smaller ones can complete the strand.
Just a few years ago, pearls hit the market in a big way. Women started wearing pearl strands as well as chandelier pearl earrings in many different lengths and sizes. The very modern take on a very classy piece of pearl jewelry gave way to baroque pearls as becoming a fashion statement. It also became fashionable to file strands of pearls as bracelets, earrings and rings. Baroque pearls were much preferred for their flexibility, color, size and shape. They are also much more inexpensive compared to spherical ones.
Ironically, it is their imperfection that has made them a commercial success.
For more types and shapes of baroque pearls, freshwater pearls, pearl necklace and pearl earrings and other pearl jewelry, visit YouPearl Jewelry at http://www.youpearl.com