Last updated on October 9, 2020
The pear cut is the combination of round and marquise cuts. Like other fancy cut diamonds, pear shaped diamonds come in a variety of ratios; however, your personal preference will dictate the choice anyway. If you are interested in buying a diamond with a unique shape and character, our pear shaped diamond guide is a must-read.
History of Pear Shaped Diamonds
The pear cut, also referred to as the teardrop or pendeloque cut, was created by Flemish diamond polisher Lodewyk van Berquem back in the early 1400s. In addition to creating the pear cut, van Berquem is responsible for the placement of facets in the modern diamond cuts and the use of symmetry in the diamond cutting process. Without him, diamonds won’t be cut in a certain way to maximize the brilliance and sparkle.
Usually featuring 56 to 58 facets, the pear shaped diamond combines the brilliance and design of both the round and the marquise cuts that result in a unique shape with a tapered point and rounded end.
Being one of the most popular diamond shapes today, pear shaped diamonds were not as much of a success when their creator first introduced them to the world. Although the pear cut was favoured by the public due to its beautiful shape, many diamond cutters at the time were not happy with the amount of rough diamond lost during the cutting and polishing process.
Pear Shaped Diamond Cut Quality Guide
While the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) provides cut grading for some cuts, such as the round brilliant, it doesn’t provide cut grading for pear shaped diamonds due to their complex and unique structure. However, there are some parameters to be considered to have a brilliant and sparkly stone.
An ideal pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry, meaning the pointed end should line up with the apex of the rounded end. The shoulders and wings (curves on the right and left sides) should be symmetrical without straight edges, while the rounded top should form a semi-circle.
To help you evaluate the cut of pear shaped diamonds use the table below as a general guideline.
|TABLE %||53 - 63||52 or 64 - 65||51 or 66 - 68||50 or 69 - 70||<50 or >70|
|DEPTH %||58 - 62||56 - 57.9 or 62.1 - 66||53 - 55.9 or 66.1 - 71||50 - 52.9 or 71.1 - 74||<50 or >74|
|GIRDLE||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Thick||Very Thin to Very Thick||Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick|
|CULET||None||Very Small||Small||Medium||> Medium|
|LENGTH TO WIDTH RATIO||1.45 - 1.55||1.40 - 1.44 or 1.56 - 1.65||1.35 - 1.39 or 1.66 - 1.80||1.25 - 1.34 or 1.81 - 2.00||> 1.25 or < 2.00|
Pear Shaped Diamond Colour Guide
In terms of importance, colour is considered to be the second most important factor after the cut to affect the overall appearance of pear cut diamonds.
Like most diamond shapes, smaller pear shaped diamonds will hide colour better while larger stones will show yellowish and brownish tints easier.
The colour chart below provides a guide for evaluating colour in pear shaped diamonds based on carat weight. However, evaluating colour in diamonds is quite subjective as first of all it’s based on your personal colour preference.
|< .50 ct.||D - G||H - I||J - K||L - M||> M|
|.51-1.0 ct.||D - F||G||H - I||J - K||> K|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G - H||I - J||> J|
|> 2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G||H - I||> I|
Pear Shaped Diamond Clarity Guide
The issue of clarity is the same in all diamonds.
Depending on their type, inclusions can affect the brilliance and fire of a diamond. However, pear cut diamonds due to their unique design tend to hide inclusions well, especially if the flaws are at the tapered end.
It’s even harder to see imperfections in a smaller pear shaped diamond than in a larger one, meaning you can opt for a smaller diamond with lower clarity grade and have a stone with an eye-clean appearance.
The clarity chart below provides a general guide for choosing the right pear shaped diamond based on your inclusion tolerance.
|< .50 ct.||FL - VS2||SI1 - SI2||I1||I2||> I2|
|.51-1.0 ct.||FL - VS1||VS2 - SI1||SI2||I1 - I2||> I2|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1 - VS2||SI1 - SI2||I1||> I1|
|> 2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1 - VS2||SI1||SI2||> SI2|
Bowtie Effect in Pear Shaped Diamonds
Many pear shaped diamonds show a bowtie effect. This pattern usually appears across the width of the stone from the centre of the table.
Depending on its intensity and size, a bowtie detracts from the overall appearance of a pear shaped diamond. A bowtie gets darker as the length to width ratio increases and pavilion angle variations become more extreme.
A well-cut pear shaped diamond should show a minimal bowtie, but there will still be a noticeable contrast between light and dark areas in the diamond. In most cases, you may not be able to avoid a bowtie, but you can find a stone in which it is suitable.
Pear Shaped Diamond Length to Width Ratio
The length to width ratio expresses how relatively long or wide a diamond appears. It is calculated by dividing the length of the diamond by its width.
Each fancy diamond shape has a certain length to width ratio that is considered most appealing for that shape. While personal preference prevails, the optimal ratio for pear shaped diamonds is between 1.50-1.75. Diamonds with a lower ratio may look too chubby, while diamonds with a higher ratio may have a very elongated shape.
Cover image credit: Bloomberg