Pearls are typically assigned to four categories in the sorting process: Round/Semi-Round, Drop, Baroque, and Circle Baroque.
Among all shapes, round pearls are the most valuable and typically most desirable. Semi-round pearls are nearly round, and typically appear round when strung as a necklace.
Drop pearls are symmetrically elongated pearls that typically take the shape of a tear-drop. These pearls are truly unique and are very valuable when a pearl has that perfect "pear-shape."
Baroque pearls are pearls that are irregular in shape and sometimes elongated. Many people enjoy the unique "character" of baroque-shape pearls, and these pearls are often used in designer jewelry. Circle Baroques have unique rings around the pearls, which may even be indented around the pearl. They are most commonly found in Tahitian and White South Sea Pearls. Baroque pearls are typically the most affordable of all four pearl-shape categories.