baroque pearl necklace

Baroque Pearls: The Glamour and Elegance In Irregular Shapes

Beauty comes in every shape and size. Baroque pearls, the fascinating organic gems, are the glaring example of this statement. Without being perfectly round, they ooze striking beauty similar to that of Keshi, Biwa, and Nacre pearls. If you are looking for adding something exclusive into your jewelry collection, baroque pearls are the best choice because no two pieces are identical due to their asymmetric shape.

The word ‘baroque’ originates from the Italian word ‘barocco,’ which means bizarre. Often seen in Art Nouveau jewelry, the style of these pearls emphasizes something dramatic and bold, a harmony of disparaging parts. Ladies from the Renaissance and Art Nouveau periods used to wear ornament pieces crafted from these monster pearls.

The famous 450-carat Hope Pearl is a baroque. Part of its charm comes from its irregular shape and a remarkable color-grading featuring a blend of dark bronze and white.

How the Baroque Pearls Get Their Shape?

The longer the pearls reside within the oyster shell the higher the chance of them developing a distorted form, transforming into unusual shapes like a heart, potato, oval, leaf, and coin. Slightly asymmetrical button, egg, or teardrop-shaped pearls are considered as semi-baroque.

Baroque pearls get their unique profiles naturally due to debris getting into the muscle tissue of the mollusk. They can also be cultured by inserting an object into the oyster when the pearl starts forming. Most freshwater pearls are baroque because they are tissue nucleated instead of being bead nucleated. Saltwater pearls can be baroque too, but they form mostly a teardrop shape because of their spherical nucleation bead.

The Beauty of Imperfection

Available in a broad range of colors and figures, baroque pearls have their own appeal. They draw attention whether used as a single piece or in a cluster of gems in a jewelry piece.

The alluring charisma of baroque pearls has always inspired brands and renowned jewelers to experiment on them and reveal their inner beauty. Fueled by artistic imagination, the designers create exclusive jewelry pieces from these apparently unattractive gems. Their appeal mostly comes from their idiosyncratic nature that creates a distinct ‘character’.

Once highly popular for their abundance and inexpensiveness, baroque pearls have climbed the class strata because of the interests of fine jewelry designers in their organic nature and charm.

Some of the best examples of artistic transformation are the Pearl Geode Collection of Little h, Mikimoto’s gold and diamond rings, and Andre Marcha’s bracelet.

Little h’s Hisano Shepherd creates jewelry by cutting baroque pearls with hollow centers (known as soufflé pearls) in half and filling them with small diamonds, tiny pearls, and exquisite gems like rubies and sapphires. Yvel, a luxury jewelry company, works on Keshi baroque pearls and creates ornaments by combining them with diamonds, gems, and precious metals.

Some designers are more interested in taking an artistic approach with these pearls instead of following traditional ornament designs. The Spring Frost Collection from Michou could be the best specimen for this type. Taking inspiration from the Balinese traditions and jewelry-making techniques, the designers at Michou match freshwater baroque pearls with magnificent gems like the iolite, amethyst, and topaz. They either complement these expensive stones or be the focal point of the jewelry pieces.

Would you like to have these quirky pieces in your jewelry collection?

Until next time!


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