One of my many wonderful finds from this year's Tucson gem show was a new selection of baroque pearls. At the HBJ studio, we work predominately with freshwater baroque pearls, cultured in the USA and in China, and Tahitian pearls (which are saltwater). The baroque shapes and sometimes bumps, wrinkles or little pits and divots are all oddities that make baroque pearls so beautiful- as do their incredible, varying colors.
There are four main types of cultured pearls; most pearls posses overtones, the change in hue over the pearls body color. Some pearls also show the iridescent phenomenon known as 'orient'.
Within the HBJ collections, we utilize hues, or color, and neutral pearls- white, grey and black. Lavender pearls are beloved in the studio for their etherial aesthetic; the latest addition of apricot (light pink-orange) hued pearls contrast the organic grit of the baroque shape with a feminine color. The aubergine orient on Tahitian pearls adds even more magic and edge to the unusual body color.
Cultured pearls are created from the irritation of a mollusk, with human facilitation. One of their organs, the mantle (which acts kind of like skin), creates a liquid that hardens and said liquid forms into mother of pearl. Pearls are delicate, coming in at only 2.5-3 on the MOHs scale.
Stay tuned for new pearl pieces, coming soon...