A pear-shaped diamond might be better described as a teardrop shape — a rounded body at one end, a fine point at the other, and a sparkling array of facets in between. In recent years, the pear-shaped stone has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance, adorning the fingers of celebs from Katherin Heigl to Jessica Simpson, but the pear cut actually goes much farther back.
History of the Pear-Shaped Diamond
The pear cut is a mix between a round cut at one end and a marquise cut at the other end, designed to be worn with the point oriented away from the hand to make the hands and fingers look more slender and elegant. It’s a difficult diamond to cut, and as such has always signified the utmost in quality jewelry.
One of the most famous pear cut diamonds of all time is also one of the biggest diamonds ever cut — the Taylor-Burton Diamond. Purchased by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor, it was cut from a rough stone weighing nearly 241 carats and had a final weight of 69.42 carats. Taylor wore the stone on a pendant around her neck, accented by hundreds of other round and marquise diamonds.
What to Look For in a Pear-Shaped Diamond
Since the pear-shaped diamond has such an unusual, asymmetrical shape, it pays to know what you’re looking for so you can have an educated conversation with your jeweler.
The Anatomy of a Pear Cut
Look at the stone from the top down, with the smooth face of the diamond facing you. The round end of the stone is called the “head.” It’s flanked on either side by the “shoulders.” Below that, in the rounded curve at the center of the profile, is the “belly,” followed by the “wings.” Finally, the “point” is, you guessed it, the pointy end of the diamond.
The shape of a pear-shaped stone varies, and it’s up to your personal tastes and the setting of the ring to decide which shape is right for you. A stone with narrower shoulders and wings will look slender and delicate, while a wider stone might not emphasize the unique profile of a pear cut to your liking. Ask your jeweler to see the stones to decide what’s right for you.
Shape and Color
Like a lot of other fancy diamonds, pear cut stones tend to hold more color than a typical round brilliant diamond. If you’re looking for a pear cut stone, pick one that’s on the higher end of the GIA color scale — colorless or near-colorless — to avoid a yellowish appearance.
You’ll also want to look for perfect symmetry. Unlike a round or cushion cut diamond, a pear cut has only one obvious center line — from the head to the point — so it will be very obvious if the wings or shoulders don’t match.
Beware the Bow-Tie
One unique feature of the pear cut is the “bow-tie” effect — the illusion of a dark band across the middle of the stone that can range from gray to black. This is not actually a discoloration of the stone itself, merely an artifact of the way it refracts light, but it can be distracting in the wrong settings. Try to look at a stone in a variety of lighting conditions to ensure that you don’t find the bow-tie effect too distracting.
Protect the Point
Diamond is one of the hardest materials in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. The delicate point of a pear-shaped diamond is susceptible to chipping and breaking, so make sure you purchase your pear cut stone in a setting that covers the point with a prong or isolates it by surrounding it with other stones. The last thing you want is for this majestic stone to be damaged by a careless slip of the hand.
The Perfect Ring for the Perfect Partner
If a pear-shaped diamond sounds like the style that’s right for you, come visit acredo! We carry an enormous array of rings in all shapes, colors, sizes, and materials in our showroom. You can browse them in a no-pressure environment, taking inspiration from the settings, stones, and metals we offer and combining them with your own creativity and style to design the perfect ring.