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Baroque Beads
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When you first look at this necklace from Tri-Gem Pearls, you are not quite sure what you are seeing. They look like a strand of baroque pearls but the luster and color of some of the baroques look a bit too good to be true. That’s because these Tahitian and South Sea cultured pearls are strung with some innovative new electroformed beads in 18k gold. “We first talked about casting gold in the shape of a pearl 20 years ago but they were too heavy,” says Lenny Federer of Tri-Gem. “Recently, we realized electroforming could solve all that and make beads that are durable but cost-effective.” The look of the strands mimics all-pearl strands that are three to four times the price. Many of the beads are enameled blue, purple, brown, and green to resemble the multicolor pearls that are currently in vogue. As baroque cultured pearls are more in demand and difficult to find in pleasing sets, these precious pretenders are a great way to extend a strand and also pump up the palette. — Cheryl Kremkow





Tahitian cultured pearls with 18k gold beads
Strand of Tahitian cultured pearls with 18k gold beads from Tri-Gem Pearls, suggested retail $9,000 to $12,000 per strand, (800) 422-0022.