Shape

The greatest misconception about pearls is that they are, or should all be, round. Off-round, drop, baroque and fancy-shaped pearls are becoming increasingly popular.

Akoya Pearls

The majority of the production is harvested in round and off-round shapes, but there are substantial quantities still harvested in baroque shapes and occasionally oval, drop or buttons can be found.

Freshwater Pearls

Non-nucleated pearls come in all shapes (rice, flat, oval, baroque etc.) whereas nucleated freshwater pearls will mostly come in round and off-round shapes.

Black and White South Sea Pearls

Only a small percentage come in round. Most pearls come in off-round, drop, oval, button, and circle, fewer in the well desired and demanded shape of baroque.

Keshi Pearls

Keshi can come in all sort of shapes from near rounds to drops, ovals, baroques, fancy shapes, and even sticks, in flat or thick. They almost never come in round shapes.

Conclusion

The shape of the pearl is not a quality issue, however, there are stronger demands for round shapes and perfect drop shape pearls. The more perfectly round the pearl, the more valuable it will be. Rare and perfectly symmetrical drop pearls can reach as high a value as round pearls. Baroque or unusually shaped asymmetrical pearls are less expensive than round, yet they can be equally attractive.