Size – Pearls are sold in millimeaer sizes and they are usually rounded to the nearest 0.5 mm. As with most gems the larger the pearl generally the more valuable. However, also as with all pearls this can change depending on how all the value factors of the pearl itself work together. Also each type of cultured pearl has a different range of sizes.
Shape- Round pearls are the ones that we think of the most when we think of a pearl. There are many different shapes from tear drops, coins and irregular freeform shapes. There are seven standard shapes although they are by far not all that we see today. These shapes are…
Round- This pearl appears round to our eyes.
Near Round – This pearl is almost round when we look at it. They can be out of round, flattened a bit and even elongated.
Oval –These are symmetrical. They appear rounded but with an oblong shape.
Button- They are symmetrical. These are flattened or slightly flattened in shape. The button can be high-dome or low dome.
Drop –This is a symmetrical rounded pear shaped pearl. It can be long or short.
Semi-baroque – This is a non-symmetrical, slightly irregular oval, off-round button or drop pearls.
Baroque – This is a pearl that is non-symmetrical in shape and has noticeably irregular appearance.
Any shape other than those 7 standard shapes they should be described by their shape, like a cross, a bar or a coin.