A Brief History of Pearls: Shape of Akoya Pearls

  A brief history of pearls


One of the most important factors in an Akoya pearl's value is its shape. Some shapes are more common than others are. In fact, Akoya pearls rarely appear as buttons, circles or ovals.

The most common shapes of Akoya pearls are:

  • Round
  • Semi-round
  • Drop
  • Baroque

Because these pearls are so beautiful, they're a prized asset in many jewelry collections. In order to find an exceptionally matched necklace strand, a pearl expert must sort through thousands of pearls.

How Does Shape Affect the Value of Akoya Pearls?

Naturally, every pearl has its own distinct characteristics. Although shape is an important factor in determining an Akoya pearl's value, it isn't the only factor. Like other types of pearls, both natural and cultured, Akoya pearls are judged on their size, luster and color, as well as a number of other characteristics.

The circumstances under which Akoya pearls are produced are typically very controlled, but the outcome is far from predictable. That's why completely round pearls are still rarer than those with irregular shapes are.

How pearls form in oysters
How pearls are harvested
How pearls brought to market
Know your Akoya pearls
Akoya Pearl Cultivation
Akoya Pearl Harvesting
Akoya Pearl Processing
Akoya Pearl Evaluation
Quality Factor One: Luster
Luster of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Two: Surface
Surface of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Three: Shape
Shape of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Four: Color
Color of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Five: Size
Size of Akoya Pearls
Know your South Sea pearls
South Sea Pearl Cultivation
South Sea Pearl Harvesting
South Sea Pearl Processing
South Sea Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of South Sea Pearls
Surface of South Sea Pearls
Shape of South Sea Pearls
Color of South Sea Pearls
Size of South Sea Pearls
Know your Tahitian pearls
Tahitian Pearl Cultivation
Tahitian Pearl Harvesting
Tahitian Pearl Processing
Tahitian Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of Tahitian Pearls
Surface of Tahitian Pearls
Shape of Tahitian Pearls
Color of Tahitian Pearls
Size of Tahitian Pearls
Gift Giving Occasions

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