Cultured pearls classification: THE SHAPE – part 1


Cultured pearls classification: THE SHAPE – part 1

How are cultured pearls classified?

To evaluate the quality of a cultured pearl we can rely on 6 main evaluation criteria:

  1. Form
  2. Dimension
  3. Brightness
  4. Surface
  5. Degree of cultivation
  6. Color

These criteria are always good to keep in mind when buying a cultured pearl of any type. There may also be other criteria but surely these are the ones that every good buyer has in mind, always taking into consideration the type of pearl in front of you and the price you are looking for.

Always remember that when you buy a cultured pearl you are buying a natural product: it is therefore always good to consider that some imperfections are tolerable.


Cultivated pearls: examples of different forms of pearls. Image source: supplier.

The forms of cultivated pearls

The shape that pearls can have are many. This is due to the fact that the pearl is a product of natural origin and the positioning of the layers of mother of pearl by the oyster is not controllable. The oyster covers the core independently and depending on whether the layers are more or less concentric we will have a more spherical shape or less.

The most common forms on the market are the following.

  • Round

The pearl is perfectly round. This form is the most valuable on the market and also the rarest. It is usually found in the best jewelers and is ideal if you are looking for a quality jewel for more formal occasions.

  • Oval

The pearl is slightly elongated at one end and its shape resembles an oval. This shape is easy to find on the market and is a less valuable shape than the oval one. When the oval shape is very pronounced and the thin shape you can have pearls that look like rice grains, these are a very trendy youth product lately.

  • Drop

The teardrop shape can be understood as a sub-category of the oval shape. The teardrop pearls are similar to the oval ones but the two ends of the major axis are not the same. One of the two is smaller than the other, thus giving the pearl a shape similar to that of a drop. The purest form of drop is the teardrop-shaped one, it is very rare. The value of the teardrop pearls is higher than the oval ones.

  • Baroque

The baroque shape of pearls is a very particular shape and is characterized by the fact that there is a more spherical end and a more elongated end. This is because the layers of mother of pearl are positioned on the spherical part near the core while on the other side they are not perfectly adherent to it.

  • Button

The button shape can be described as a squashed sphere. The button shape has a lower commercial value than the spherical one.


Stay tuned for the other criteria!

Examples of different shapes directly from our store!

Forms explanation – Tulipano: round and drop; For you: drop, Vanessa: baroque, Oslo: button

Trimi Gioielli - Gioielli artigianali in argento
Trimi Gioielli - Gioielli artigianali in argento

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