Carats and pears: A sharp silhouette with soft features...
While round and square-shaped gems are classic options that make up a bulk of diamond sales around the globe, they’ve recently found some competition in the shape of longer silhouettes. Oval, marquise, and pear-shaped diamonds are excellent choices for buyers who wish to make their fingers appear lengthy and delicate.🤚🏻
The pear-shaped diamond is particularly lovely, as it has the soft curves of a round diamond with a sharp point reminiscent of other elongated silhouettes.
If you’d love a little extra length for your finger, pear-shaped diamonds are a great place to start. Let’s discuss the details of these diamonds, including:
- Pear-shaped diamond basics
- The anatomy of a pear-shaped stone
- How to choose the right pear-shaped diamond for you
- The best settings for pear-shaped stones
- How to wear a pear-shaped gem
- The pros and cons of the pear silhouette in diamonds
Basics: What is a pear-shaped diamond?
So what is a pear-shaped diamond, and is it a new style? Not exactly. In fact, pear-shaped stones have been around for over 500 years! However, their popularity has peaked in the last decade.📈
In 1458, Louis Van Berquem—a gem polisher—combined the features of round and marquise diamonds by cutting a fresh stone with a “scaif” or polishing wheel. The product was the first pear-shaped diamond, which Van Berquem cut with exceptional symmetry and precision.
Throughout the centuries, pear-shaped diamonds have evolved into the silhouette we know and love. Also called a pear-cut or teardrop-shaped diamond, the main features of this shape are one rounded end and one pointed end similar to a drop of water as it falls.
Considered a “fancy” shape, the pear-cut diamond makes for a lovely center stone in an engagement ring, but it’s also ideal for pear-shaped diamond earrings and pendants. The dropped cut makes for an elegant yet enlarged silhouette against one’s neck, providing a deep sparkle and luxe appeal.
One of the oldest diamond cuts available, the pear-shaped stone is a work of art. This cut requires perfect symmetry, otherwise, the brilliance and fire of the entire diamond will suffer. Next, let’s look at the different parts of a pear-shaped diamond and how they coincide.
The anatomy of a pear-shaped diamond
As we mentioned above, symmetry is everything when it comes to pear-shaped diamonds. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a pear-shaped stone to understand what you’re looking for in a quality diamond.
When it comes to the anatomy of a pear-shaped diamond, here are a few common terms to know:
|Head||The rounded end of the diamond that most resembles a round brilliant cut stone.|
|Shoulder||The curved slopes just below the head of the diamond. These should be gently rounded and flow into the belly without squaring off or tapering inward too quickly.|
|Belly||The middle of the pear-shaped diamond before the sides begin to taper inward to form the wings. The belly should not be bloated or overly arched, but rather a natural continuation of the gently sloping sides.|
|Wing||The wings of the diamond are the final, narrowed section before the point. They should form gentle yet prominent arches that sweep into the point. Short wings create a stubby silhouette, and flat wings make the diamond look too narrow.|
|Point||The final edge of the diamond, the point is the pinnacle of the entire shape. It should be sharp and fierce without a rounded edge. The point should also be perfectly centered over the head of the diamond.|
In addition to pear-shaped diamond terminology, it can be helpful to understand the more generic terms used to describe faceted diamond parts and how they relate to symmetry:📝
|Faceted Diamond Part||Description|
|Culet||A facet at the bottom of the diamond—below the pavilion—created to prevent chipping. Some diamond shapes do not have a facet at their tip, which is known as a closed culet.|
|Crown||The upper portion of a diamond, located above the girdle. For a pear-shaped stone, this is the entire portion above the girdle line.|
|Girdle||The center line or band that creates the periphery of the diamond’s shape and separates the crown and pavilion. The girdle of a pear-shaped diamond is the teardrop shape around the edge.|
|Pavilion||The bottom portion of a diamond, located below the girdle. This section of the diamond is faceted to reflect light upward through the crown. For a pear-shaped diamond, this is the entire lower portion below the girdle line.|
|Table||The largest, topmost facet of a diamond. For a pear-shaped diamond, it sits at the center of the stone, acting as a window to the gem’s light play.|
We’ll discuss ratios, percentages, and the ideal measurements for a pear-shaped diamond in the next section, but knowing the terms above is the first step in being able to identify a well-cut diamond!
How to select a pear-shaped diamond?
You should always try to get the best quality diamond for your budget! However, with pear-shaped diamonds and other fancy shapes, this can be a bit tricky.
Pear-shaped diamonds don’t have traditional cut grades, and their color and clarity can be deceptive. Furthermore, some grading authorities won’t give an overall cut grade to a pear-shaped diamond, while others do. It’s important to recognize the metrics used for cut grading and choose your diamond accordingly.
Here’s a breakdown of pear-shaped diamond grading and what it means when shopping for a new stone.
The cut grade of a pear-shaped diamond isn’t straightforward, and a rank of “Very Good” or “Excellent” doesn’t tell you enough about this particular shape. Rather than provide an overall cut grade, the GIA breaks down pear-shaped grades into polish and symmetry, which are two crucial factors in a diamond’s overall sparkle and appeal.💡
When it comes to these grades, opt for pear-shaped stones with Good, Very Good, or Excellent grades for both polish and symmetry. This will ensure the diamond was cut with enough precision to achieve optimal or near-optimal light performance.
When reading the diamond plot for a pear shaped-stone, make sure you pay close attention to any listed imperfections in symmetry. Imagine a line drawn down the middle of the stone from the point to the rounded end, as the diamond should appear the exact same on both sides.
Here are some common problems to look for in a pear-shaped diamond:
|Diamond Part||Common Issues|
|Shoulders||Too high or low, making the base of the stone too narrow or broad|
|Wings||Bulged or flat, narrowing or bloating the overall shape of the diamond|
|Point||Undefined, softening the overall silhouette|
|Culet||Off-center, negatively impacting both symmetry and balance|
|Table||Off-center, producing misshapen facets and impacting both symmetry and light play|
Another common issue for pear-shaped diamonds is the bow-tie effect, which is a perceived darkening of facets in the center of the stone that take the shape of a bow-tie. It’s caused by light blockage from a poor cut, but some wearers actually prefer the classy look of the bow tie.
Other recommended cut qualities for a shapely pear diamond include:
- Depth: 53% - 71%
- Table: 51% - 68%
- Length-to-width ratio: 1.50 - 1.75
Unlike round brilliant diamonds, pear-shaped stones do not hide color very well. The point of a pear-shaped diamond tends to carry most of the color, concentrating any yellow tint in one spot.
To combat this, we recommend a color grade of H or better for white gold or platinum settings. The color in these gems will be much less apparent, and the white metal will only enhance the stone’s brighter hues.
But, if you’re looking for a yellow or rose gold setting, you may be able to select a diamond with a lower quality color grade. Yellow and rose tones mask a diamond’s color, so J, K, and L grades can appear white in these settings. This is also a great way to save money if shopping for a pear-shaped diamond on a budget!
For stones greater than 2 carats, we recommend choosing a diamond with a color that is one level above our suggested grade. The larger surface area of these bigger gems tends to show color more aggressively.
If you want a halo or side stones for your ring, try to match the color of these gems to your center stone for a cohesive look.
The brilliant cut and facet pattern of a pear-shaped diamond hides inclusions beautifully, so your clarity grade is a great place to save money if you’re on a budget!
A VS2 grade diamond or higher would be the best choice overall, as these diamonds are typically clean of any visible inclusions that could be damaging over time. However, anything SI1 or higher can be eye-clean, as the facets of the diamond will mask imperfections and shine beautifully.📝
An SI2 grade may also work after inspecting the diamond closely to ensure its inclusions do not affect the structural integrity of the stone.
When reviewing a diamond plot, be sure to search for any large inclusions near or under the table. These flaws are harder to mask, as the table will act as a giant mirror and reflect their issues outward.
Similarly, avoid a diamond with inclusions near its point. An inclusion in this area can cause breakage or chipping over time!
Carat weight and size
If you’re looking for a diamond that appears larger than it really is, you’re in luck: pear-shaped diamonds often look much larger than they actually are! In fact, this shape creates an 8% increase in surface area, making pear-shaped stones larger than their equally weighted counterparts.
As such, a 1-carat stone is perfect for most fingers, but you can always play with the length-to-width ratio to find your ideal silhouette. A 1-carat diamond is also a great entry point for most budgets, averaging about $3,000-$4,000 in price.
If you want a larger stone, be ready to shell out a bit more cash! Pear shapes are tricky to cut, so the larger the stone, the steeper the price. Expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000 just to size up to a 2-carat pear-shaped diamond with decent specs!
Best setting styles for pear-shaped diamonds
Making a pear-shaped diamond look beautiful isn’t as simple as buying a quality gemstone. To enhance the diamond’s brilliance and mask any natural flaws, you should try to buy a setting that compliments your gem. Here are 4 of the best settings for pear-shaped diamonds:
A classic silhouette, prong setting engagement rings are ideal for most diamond shapes, but they have a particular knack for flattering points and curves. As such, a pear-shaped diamond looks larger and more voluptuous when set among dainty prongs.
The most fragile feature of a pear-shaped stone is the sharp point, so placing a v-shaped prong around it can increase durability for the diamond overall. Prong settings also hold the diamond securely in place, so snagging won’t leave you with a loose diamond!
Finally, prong settings create a minimalistic basket for your diamond, meaning its full body is on display to catch as much light as possible for optimal light performance.🌟
Although finding the right balance between this setting and a pear-shaped diamond can be tough, the payoff for the correct match is dazzling. Bezel settings are great for hiding the symmetry issues of a pear-shaped stone, so they can actually make a diamond with a less than perfect cut look grades better!
Additionally, bezels provide an extra layer of protection for your pear-shaped stone, surrounding it in a thin layer of metal. While you may have to sacrifice a bit of light performance for a bezel setting, the added security means less maintenance costs and snagging in the long run.
However, you have to be careful, as a bezel setting can highlight your diamond's color—and not in an ideal way. Any smidge of color comes to the surface in your diamond, meaning your H grade pear can look a couple of grades lower. To offset this, try a two-tone setting or opt for a white gold bezel instead.
Halo settings offer protection with a glamorous sparkle.❤️ While a halo can be as large or small as you want, they definitely add an extra layer of bling to your ring! The line of diamonds surrounding your pear-shaped stone protects it from all sides, keeping it safe from any blunt damage. Plus, they even make your center stone look larger, especially with a double halo!
While the setting itself is safer than most options, be ready to pay for extra accent stones over time. These stones can fall out, but they’re much cheaper to replace than a center stone.
Pear-shaped diamond rings with halo settings are great for showcasing a bit of your personality, as you can customize the halo to be whatever color you want! Try some pink diamonds for a feminine appeal, or choose sapphires for a cooler brilliance. Sapphires can even make your stone look whiter, which is perfect for diamonds with lower color grades!
Side stone settings
If you’re not sold on just a pear-shaped diamond, side-stone settings allow you to add other silhouettes to your piece. While these extra diamonds don’t offer any additional security, they certainly highlight the brilliant sparkle of your center stone!
There are several ways to add side stones to your pear-shaped diamond engagement ring. Three-stone settings are a popular way to make your ring look larger, or you could choose a cluster of side stones for a more decorative touch. Or, if you like the look of a solitaire and just want a bit more shine, try a pavé band for a hint of glittering light.
Which direction should I wear my pear-shaped diamond?
So which direction is the point of your pear-shaped diamond ring supposed to face? Are there rules you must follow? Traditionally, the point of the diamond faces outward and away from your palm. However, position comes down to preference nowadays, and there are several ways to spice up the look of your pear-shaped diamond!😊
Here are 4 popular ways to wear a pear-shaped diamond:
Traditional: Point facing outward
A tried and true way to wear a pear-shaped diamond, this position with the point facing outward is classic. The upward-facing point elongates your finger, creating a thinner silhouette and making it appear more slender.😘
However, if your diamond sits too high in its setting, you may end up snagging plenty of sweaters and other fabrics on that visible point! If you enjoy the traditional position of a pear-shaped diamond, either choose a protected setting, such as a halo, bezel, or low profile ring, or be extra careful when wearing your piece.
Modern: Point facing downward
You can also choose to wear your ring with the pear’s point facing downwards towards your hand for a more contemporary take on the standard diamond position. Doing so doesn’t have the lengthening effects of the traditional style, but it can make the diamond appear larger in certain settings.
This is another position where you may have to worry about the point of your diamond snagging fabrics. Halo settings, bezels, and low profiles are your best friend to avoid any damage! Also, get used to people telling you you’re wearing your ring “the wrong way”, as some enthusiasts have strong feelings about this choice!
Unconventional: East-west orientation
Don’t want the anxiety of choosing which way the point of your diamond should face? Just turn it sideways! East-west-oriented diamonds are becoming more and more popular, and they provide a fresh take on the traditional look of a pear-shaped stone.
East-west settings won’t make your finger look longer, and they may even have the opposite effect if you have broad fingers due to the way the diamond lays across your knuckle. However, you’ll have way less issues when searching for a wedding band to fit this style as it won’t overhang!
Avant garde: Asymmetrical
For an entirely new look, you can just tilt your pear-shaped diamond in its setting! Asymmetrical diamond settings are fun and exciting, as you can shift the diamond any way you see fit. With endless customization options, this is a great choice for someone who likes to make their jewelry entirely their own.
These diamond rings may still require protected settings or larger prongs near the point of your diamond, as it can still snag on fabrics. You may also have to custom order these pieces, as they’re not readily available at all retailers.
Wrapping up: Pros and cons of pear-shaped diamonds
Did you catch all of that? If not, here’s a handy roundup of the pros and cons of pear-shaped diamonds:
- This shape creates an elegant silhouette with timeless appeal, and it looks great in any setting.
- Wearing the point of a pear-shaped stone facing away from your palm can actually make your fingers appear longer, which is great for individuals with small hands.
- A pear-shaped diamond looks larger than other silhouettes, as they’re roughly 8% larger than diamonds of equal weight when it comes to surface area.
- Pear-shaped stones are typically affordable, and you can expect to pay about 10-30% less than you would for an equal quality round brilliant stone.
- You can easily customize your pear-shaped diamond jewelry by simply changing the orientation of the gem. Each position offers a different appeal!
- Their pointed end makes pear-shaped diamonds fragile, and they are prone to chipping or breaking with wear. A protected setting with a v-prong or a bezel can offset this fragility.
- It can be difficult to find a pear-shaped diamond with a high quality cut, meaning a longer—and possibly more expensive—search for the right stone.
- The differences in pear-shaped silhouettes makes the cut inconsistent. Some are long and narrow, while others may be short and stubby.
- Pear-shaped diamonds can feel asymmetrical naturally, as one end appears much heavier than the other.
- Pear shaped diamonds can show color more easily than some other shapes due to concentrated areas in the diamond (such as the point). If budget allows, stay above an H color grade to avoid any yellowish hue.
Picking pears: Loving your new diamond
Pear-shaped stones are an excellent way to find balance between classic, romantic features and modern, pointed silhouettes that are popular today. There are so many ways you can position your pear diamond to create a new look each time, and these stones look as beautiful in earrings and pendants as they do in rings.💋
If you don’t already have your heart set on a pear-shaped diamond, you may like one of the many other silhouettes available on the market! Learn more about different diamond shapes and their strengths in our diamond shape guide. Or, if you’re ready to make a purchase, try our diamond buying guide for a walkthrough and helpful tips!
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