Pearl jewelry designers have met the dare-to-be-different challenge of today's fashion. Stepping up the funk factor, pearl jewelry this season takes many shapes—literally! A strong trend in pearl jewelry abandons traditional strands of as-perfectly-round-as-possible pearls in favor of the unique shapes of baroque. Baroque pearls (South Sea or Chinese freshwater, especially), in all their one-of-a-kind wonder are no longer the black sheep of the pearl world. Instead, baroque pearl pieces are a perfect fit for modern consumers clamoring for jewelry that's different, unusual, or unique—yet still "precious."