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Big Bargain Baroques
Jewelry Scene

Every year it seems like freshwater pearls are getting bigger. New “fireball” bead-nucleated freshwater pearls from China are 13x16mm in size. At first glance, the white colors resemble South Sea baroques. But the prices don’t. Retail prices begin at just $3,000. “I’ve sold a ton of them,” says Chris Brehaut of The Pearl Gallery in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. “Last week I sold four or five strands. The most popular retail price point is from $3,500 to $4,000.” The freshwater baroques come in white, multicolor, and a peachy-bronze that is Brehaut’s favorite. “They are such a big look for such little money, people get excited. Because of the economy, prices are too low. I think they’ll go up.”

Baroque cultured freshwater pearls
Baroque cultured freshwater pearls from Sea Hunt Pearls, (415) 543-7900.
Photo by Robert Weldon, courtesy of AGTA.