What Are Baroque Pearls And How Should I Style Them?
Posted by Natalie Cochrane on 8th Mar 2023
Renowned for their lustre and individuality, baroque pearls have become a jewellery box essential. These perfectly imperfect gems come in irregular shapes and sizes, making them a modern take on the classic pearl. But what are baroque pearls? How are baroque pearls formed? How do you clean baroque pearls? Let us guide you on everything you need to know about the world of baroque pearls.
What Are Baroque Pearls?
Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped pearls, they are not symmetrical. Baroque pearls come in an array of shapes such as teardrop, oval and irregular. The word baroque originates from the French word barroque meaning 'irregularly shaped'. Although the name has French origins, baroque pearls do not come from one place. Baroque pearls can be found across the globe.
Baroque pearls are also commonly known as 'keshi' pearls in the jewellery industry. However, keshi generally refers to all-nacre, non-nucleated pearls that form during the culturing of South Sea pearls
How Are Baroque Pearls Formed?
Baroque pearls are formed in a similar way to other types of pearls. Baroque pearls are created when an irritant such as a grain of sand or a piece of shell becomes trapped inside a mollusc. The mollusk secrets a substance called nacre to coat the irritant which forms a gorgeous pearl.
Once the pearl has been formed, it can be cultivated and used in jewellery. Baroque pearls are highly prized for their unique and irregular shapes. Their individuality adds to their attractiveness.
What Is The History Of Baroque Pearls?
Baroque pearls were first used in jewellery during the Baroque Era (1600-1750). Renaissance jewellers commonly incorporated the irregular-shaped gems into their work. In particular, baroque pearls were heavily used by Italian Renaissance jewellers.
One of the most famous baroque portraits is the Vermeer painting "Girl With A Pearl Earring". It depicts a young girl wearing a large baroque pearl earring. The piece of art was nicknamed 'Mona Lisa of the North'.
Traditional pearl shapes took precedence in the 20th century and carried on until after World War II. After the soldiers returned home from the War and the world became more stable, jewellery designers started to experiment again with incorporating baroque pearls into their designs.
What Are The Different Types of Baroque Pearls?
Baroque pearl is a term which encompasses a large range of irregular shaped gems. These include:
- Keshi pearls - these are non-nucleated pearls which come in an array of sizes.
- Teardrop pearls - these pearls form the shape of a teardrop and make great earrings and necklaces.
- Coin pearls - these pearls are known for their smooth and flat appearance which gives it a coin-like shape.
Are Baroque Pearls Expensive?
Baroque pearls are real pearls meaning they are valuable. Like all pearls, the value of baroque pearls depends on the size, colour, shape of the irritant and the species of mollusk. At Lily Blanche, we only use real baroque pearls in our pearl jewellery and earrings. The baroque pearl is an affordable yet luxurious piece of jewellery which can be passed down the generations.
Did you know that the largest pearl in the world is a baroque pearl? The most expensive baroque pearl is valued at $100 million and weighs 75 pounds.
How Do You Clean Baroque Pearls?
Pearls are timeless pieces of jewellery which if looked after, can be passed down the generations. Here are our top tips for looking after baroque pearls:
- Store pearls away from other gems and metals to prevent scratching.
- Always put your pearl necklaces, earrings and rings on after you have put on your perfume and hairspray. These products can contain chemicals which can damage pearls.
- Wipe your pearls with a damp cloth after wearing them.
Never submerge pearl jewellery in soapy water, cleaning solutions or ultrasonic cleaners. Pearls are delicate and very heat sensitive.
Why Should You Choose Baroque Pearls
Baroque pearls are popular in modern jewellery due to their lustre and irregularities. Irregularities are no longer viewed as imperfections, they add interest to the gem. The irregularities also accentuate the lustre and iridescence of the pearl. Baroque pearls also allow the wearer to own a classic piece of jewellery at an affordable price.
How To Style Baroque Pearls
A simple way to style a baroque pearl necklace is by wearing a single pearl on a gold chain. It's elegant yet simple. Our black baroque pearl necklace is a modern take on the traditional pearl. Combine it with our gold rope chain for an on-trend look.
Layer your baroque pearl necklace with a freshwater pearl pendant to add interest. Our silver baroque pearl necklaces are the perfect piece to layer with any pearl jewellery.
Experiment with different chain lengths and types to add interest. We recommend wearing your heaviest piece at the bottom, adding the baroque pearl of your choice and finishing the look with a shorter chain or pendant.
Need some inspiration? Discover our Baroque Pearl Necklace collection of real ivory, black and grey baroque pearl jewellery.