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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl
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    Default Shape query - SBQ?

    I have a query that may lead to many different opinions because it did in a recent conversation I had with a fellow pearl enthusiast. Do you think "semi-baroque" is a pearl shape?

    Would be interested in knowing what contributors here think based on their experience/thoughts.

    Not sure this is the correct forum to ask the question on but as it is a term that has been used for decades it seems the appropriate one.

  2. #2
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Hmm, I pulled out my info from the GIA Pearl Grading class. Thanks for asking this, Orient! This was a good review for me! Under the VALUE FACTOR shape classifications the following are given.

    Spherical
    Round - appears round to the eye
    Near-Round - appears almost round to the eye. Some might be slightly out-of-round, elongated or flattened

    Symmetrical
    Oval - symmetrical, rounded, oblong shape
    Button - symmetrical, flattened or slightly flattened, circular shape Can be a high button or low button
    Drop - symmetrical, rounded, pear shape. Can be a long drop or short drop

    Baroque
    Semi-baroque - non-symmetrical, off-round, slightly irregular oval, button or drop shape
    Baroque - non-symmetrical shape - will have a noticeably irregular appearance

    For any other shape other than the seven standard shapes, describe the shape as it appears --bar, cross, or coin, for example.
    Some pearls have one or more grooved or ridged rings around the circumference. If the grooves extend around the entire circumference of the pearl, describe it as a circled pearl. Use the shape category along with the circled modifier --for example, circled drop."
    Last edited by pattye; 02-06-2020 at 04:50 PM.
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  3. #3
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Renee Newman uses the term in her Pearl Buying Guide. Chapter 4, "Pearl Shapes" , Fig. 4.1 shows 4 strands of pearls, top to bottom being round, slightly off-round, semi-baroque and baroque.

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl
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    Thanks for the replies pattye and Pearl Dreams. The question is probably a bit lost here as was hoping for more feedback. There are some that say "semi-baroque" should not be used as a shape description for pearls. Obviously GIA and Renee Newman do not agree.

    I see that Jeremy also uses the term: https://www.pearlparadise.com/produc...hitian-pendant

    So do Jewelmer: https://www.jewelmer.com/the-pearl

    Paspaley don't mention it on the other hand: https://www.paspaley.com/our-pearls (have to click on the shape field)

  5. #5
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Orient, who were you hoping to get more feedback from?
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  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I just checked Elisabeth Strack's book, Pearls. She uses the term "semi-baroque" when talking about shapes for akoyas, south sea pearls and pearls from French Polynesia (Tahitians). I also saw the term "slightly baroque" referring to pearls from Lake Biwa and some natural pearls.

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl
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    The wider community who handle pearls on a regular basis and use shape terms really pattye.

  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Well, let's hope others check in, curious myself!
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  9. #9
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    To me, semi baroque are pearls that are supposed to be round, but aren't quite round. Baroque are definitely not round, but are odd shapes

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl
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    Thank you BWeaves too. In fact, baroque is used, as I am sure everyone would agree, for those pearls that are too "out of a specific shape" to be called anything else. SBQ is used for those that are not as bad but can't really be classified as baroque and then we have, per GIA and some others, SBQ as a qualifier for buttons, ovals, drops that are not perfect forms of the shapes but bear some resemblance to the shapes (crooked/distorted forms of them). So as an example a semi-baroque drop would be one that does not show a nice tapered point to thicker end vertical axis but is perhaps flattened and the point is off to one side. The discussion I had with a pearl colleague in another part of the world is that SBQ should not be used with a natural pearl drop for instance. Hence the original query about the topic of "semi-baroque" (SBQ).

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