South Seas Cultured Pearls –
South Seas cultured pearls are (most commonly) grown by implanting a mother of pearl (MOP) spherical bead inside a large oyster (species varies based upon where in the South Seas the oyster is being raised). The nacre build up around the MOP sphere is greater in the warm waters of the South Seas, hence the larger finished cultured pearl. In the image above, the golden cultured pearl is from Indonesia, whereas the baroque white cultured pearl is from Australia.
Baroque cultured pearls were once considered the misstep in the growing process of spherical pearls. Considered “off-shape,” they were very much affordable. Because of both their uniqueness and affordability, baroque cultured pearls became the choice for jewelry designers.
As growing spherical cultured pearls improved, baroque shape cultured pearls became less available. Coincidentally, baroque cultured pearls were gaining in fashion popularity. Hence, they were no longer as affordable as they once were.
Photo by Gary Roskin