There is something undeniably satisfying about a well-proportioned pear cut diamond.
Situated half way between a round brilliant and a marquise shape, the pear cut offers the best of both worlds. One end gives the smooth, pleasing edge and fiery sparkle that round brilliants are famous for. The other end glides gracefully to this impossibly perfect, delicate point. The combination is breathtaking.
The style imparted by a pear cut diamond seems eternally young, hip and fresh, but this is actually one of the oldest cuts of any gem. If you’ve ever seen the crown jewels, you know just how classic the pear cut actually is.
You would think in hundreds of years of crafting this cut, they’d have it down perfectly, but sadly, that’s not always the case. And that is why we’ve assembled this tutorial on what to look for when you are looking for a perfect pear cut diamond.
Like with any diamond, the single most important factor to pear shapes is the cut. No matter the quality of the stone, a poorly cut pear just won’t sparkle as it should.
The single most obvious ‘tell’ that a pear is cut poorly is if it has a severe bowtie effect.
A bowtie is a black mark that runs across the round part of the stone. It is narrower in the center of the stone, and sort of bleeds wider towards the stone’s outer edge.
Bowties happen when a pear shaped diamond is cut too shallow or too deep. The worse the proportions, the more obvious the bowtie effect will be.
The bowtie is a direct result of the stone not being able to reflect light properly, and no matter how you mount that pear cut diamond, if the proportions are bad, the bowtie will be there, diminishing your ring’s sparkle. The bowtie is one deficit that cannot be overcome.
If the diamond has little to no bowtie, the front to back proportions of the stone are likely pretty sound. Now it’s time to consider the shape of the pear itself. Like pears in nature, pear cut diamonds can display some pretty creative variations…
Diamond cutters can get rather crafty with pear cuts, in part because unlike round brilliant diamonds, there are no guidelines to dictate what a pear cut’s “perfect” proportion would be.
Remember that diamonds are sold by carat weight, and because diamond is the rarest material on earth, small differences in carat weight can equal big differences in sale price.
As a result, diamond cutters will sometimes leave too much ‘fat’ on the stone. In other words, they’ll compromise the diamond’s sparkle in order to retain more of its material. That is not a recipe for a beautiful diamond.
So let’s talk about what a pear shape should be.
The round side of the pear is pretty simple. It ought to be round. Notice, we didn’t say rounded. We said round.
The round edge shouldn’t be cushion-like. A pear shaped diamond shouldn’t come to a line that is nearly straight, as though it could sit up on its rounded, back edge.
Nor should it seem wide at the base, as though it’s actually a softened triangle. The rounded end of a properly cut pear shape should be as round as a round brilliant diamond. You are looking for a perfect half circle at the rounded edge.
Once you’ve found a diamond that has that rounded backend and no real bowtie to speak of, it’s time to look at the diamond’s sides. Without exception, they need to be symmetrical.
A pear cut is all about graceful lines, and so the edges leading away from the rounded side need to be the right length and angle for the size of the diamond. Pear cut diamonds with voluptuous, bulging sides can often appear stubby, as though they were meant to be ovals but then came to last-minute points instead. Not only will this added girth cost you in carat weight, but it will also diminish the brilliance of your diamond.
Similarly, a pear cut with too long of sides will begin to look too narrow. The effect will seem harsh, like an ice pick, rather than elegant, like a diamond. Again, a too narrow pear cut will lack the sparkle and depth that these diamonds should offer.
Ideally, your pear cut diamond should have a length that is somewhere between 1 ½ to 1.65 that of the diamond’s width. Where exactly you fall within that range will be a matter of personal preference. However, anything moving too far beyond that range will reduce the diamond’s sparkle and compromise its pleasing, graceful shape.
Pear cuts are one cut that you absolutely should not buy online. They are a less regulated cut than other shapes, and that room for variation means there are way too many ways for a diamond cutter to take liberties with the stone. Because no paper “certificate” can tell you whether the stone has a severe bowtie or whether its sides look too swollen or too emaciated, you really need to see a pear cut diamond for yourself, with your own, naked eye.
We suggest buying pear cut diamonds only from a reputable, independent jeweler; the sort who truly hand selects every diamond in their inventory. Even once you find that jeweler, be sure to look at a number of different pear shaped diamonds. Where you land within that length to width ratio will be a matter of personal preference, and you’ll only know what speaks to you if you’ve looked at a lot of gorgeous pear cut diamonds.
Once you’ve found your perfect pear, play around with mountings. One benefit of pear cut diamonds is that they will actually cause the wearer’s finger to appear longer, meaning they are universally flattering on all hand types.
Solitaire styles and halo mountings continue to be the most popular choices for pear cuts, but we’re also seeing some very cool, vintage-inspired designs. The one thing you’ll want to make sure of is that your pear is mounted with a bracket at its pointy tip. No matter how effortlessly chic some modern bohemian designs can be, an unsupported tip is a risky proposition.
The narrow lines leading to the diamond’s tip make it more prone to chipping than almost any other diamond shape. However, there’s no need to panic. Diamonds are still the hardest, strongest material on earth. Protecting your perfect pear really is as easy as choosing a responsibly designed mounting.
Still not sure whether the pear cut diamond is right for you? Take a look at our gallery below to see just how amazing a pear cut diamond ring can be!