Given the formation process of pearls it is not surprising that they rarely occur in completely round form. The majority of pearls are off-round or 'baroque' in shape.
The degree to which a pearl varies from the round form is another of the important criteria by which we judge its quality. Perfectly round pearls are extremely rare, highly prized and therefore carry a significant premium.
The table below demonstrates some of the varying shapes in which pearls may be found.

Pearl Shape
Round    Mostly Round    Off Round

It should be noted that some off-round shapes, such as 'tear' or 'pear'-shape pearls can also be highly prized particularly if a matching pair can be found. It is the uniformity of the shape that counts.

Advice on pearl shape

The shape of pearls within a strand should be reasonably uniform. The emphasis is on making sure that pearls are well matched, whatever shape they are.
At Heming we only offer pearls that are 'all round' or at least 'mostly round'.

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