The wide range of natural shapes makes the pearl suitable for every jewellery styles, from the classic to the most avant-garde.
The first stage of a classification is undertaken during the pearl harvest and is defined by five basic shapes: Round & Semi-Round (R/SR), Drop (DR), Semi-Baroque (SB), Baroque (BA or BQ), and Circled (CL).
Following, the category Semi-Baroque can be divided into sub-categories:
Near round (NR), Button (BT), Oval (OV), Semi-Drop (SDR).
Far from all pearls are round, and of these categories some are more valuable than others, a fact which is determined by the rareness of the gem. Thus round and the perfect drop are the most sought after. Baroque pearls were once very abundant, now more rare especially in the larger sizes and highly appreciated for their individual shapes as two pearls are never alike.