Pear Cut Diamond: A Buying Guide

Pear cut diamond.

The modified brilliant cut pear shapes feature a rounded edge tapering to a point at the opposite end. This unique shape flatters fingers and offers a distinctive look. A fusion of the marquise shape and the most popular round brilliant cut, pear shaped diamonds are intended to showcase the sparkle of the diamond, making it important to find a diamond with great symmetry.

Pear Cut Diamond

Pear cut diamond.

The diamond is always worn with the narrow end pointing toward the hand of the wearer. Like marquise and oval cuts, the pear shaped diamond comes in a variety of slim to wide cuts, and has the added benefit of making the wearer's fingers appear longer and slimmer.

Pear Cut Diamond Buying Guide

Also referred to as: PENDELOQUE or TEARDROP CUT

Pear Cut Diamond Quick Guide

Unique Features
Unique shape with single point and rounded end
Usually 56 to 58
L/W Ratio
1.50 - 1.70
15th Century
Expert Tip
Elongates finger, optimal colors H and above

Pear Cut Diamond Ring

Pear Cut Diamond Ring

Pear cut diamond ring.

Pear Cut Diamond Features

Pear Cut Diamond Features

Pear cut diamond features.

The pear shape is a unique and hybrid diamond cut combining the brilliance and design style of both the round brilliant and the marquise that results in a shape with a single point and rounded end.

The typical ratio is between 1.50 and 1.70 and the diamond is usually comprised of 58 facets, although the number of pavilion facets may range from 4 to 8. Additionally, pear shapes are sometimes cut with a "French tip," which replaces the large bezel facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets. French tips are also used in the heart and marquise shapes. Pear shaped diamonds may vary in appearance with some having what is referred to as "high shoulders", making the diamond appear more angular.

The pear shape can suffer from a so-called "bow-tie effect" when light passing through the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the diamond. This shadow can be reduced by altering the depth of the pavilion, and adjusting the angles of the table and facets to better diffuse light in the central area. This effect also occurs in the heart, marquise and oval shapes.

Pear Cut Diamond Bow-tie

Pear cut diamond bow-tie.

Many pear shaped diamonds show a bow-tie effect. This pattern usually appears across the width of the diamond from the centre of the table.

Depending on its intensity and size, a bow-tie detracts from the overall appearance of a pear shaped diamond. A bow-tie 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 bow-tie. 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 bow-tie, but you can find a diamond in which it is suitable.

Pear Cut Diamond Expert Guide

The optimal pear shape is one with a polished girdle and a rounded base, or "even shoulders". However, much like the oval cut, a more attenuated pear shape may elongate the fingers, so it is important to reconcile these two qualities. Additionally, color is often more visible towards the tip of the pear shape, so to ensure an even tone throughout the diamond it is advisable to opt for colors H and above.

Pear Diamond Body

Pear diamond body.

Ideally, a pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry. The point should line up with the apex of the rounded end. The shoulders and wings (the upper and lower curves on the right and left side of the diamond) should form uniform, symmetrical curves, with no straight edges. The rounded top should not appear narrow or squat, but like a semi-circle. In a misguided effort to add weight to a diamond (by incorporating more of the rough diamond in the final cut) cutters may give the diamond added girth near the point or top, giving the diamond a squared off or squatty appearance.

While the length to width ratio of classic pear shaped diamonds is 1.50-1.70, personal preference will again dictate choice. The shape preference may also be affected by the diamond's eventual setting: A narrow pear diamond is ideal for dangle earrings, while a wider shape might be preferred for a solitaire ring.

A pear diamond should always be set with a prong at the point, the most likely location for chipping on a pear cut diamond. Because this point was once nearest the outer edge of the rough diamond, flaws such as naturals, extra facets, and other inclusions may be located here. Since the point is covered by a prong, these flaws will be invisible once the diamond is set. The only remaining concern would be if the flaws are significant enough to affect the stability of the diamond (this is extremely rare, however).

Pear Cut Diamond - Cut Guide

While the GIA 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 diamond.

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.

The chart below serves as a general guideline for evaluating the cut of a pear shaped diamond:

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Pear Cut Diamond Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

Depth refers to the distance between the culet and the table when a diamond is viewed from the side.

The depth % of a diamond is calculated by dividing the depth of the diamond by the width of the diamond. So, if a diamond is 3 mm in depth, and 4.5 mm in width, its depth % is 66.7.

The lower the depth %, the larger a diamond of a given carat weight will appear when viewed from above (since more of the diamond's size is in its width vs. in its depth).

Depth % is incorporated in the cut grade of a diamond. For this reason, when purchasing a diamond, use the cut grade first (since it balances multiple measurements, not just depth %). Once two diamonds of equal cut are being compared, consider depth % as a further refinement.

Learn more about the anatomy of a diamond.

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

The table is the uppermost, flat surface of a diamond, which runs parallel to the plane of the girdle.

The table % of a diamond is calculated by dividing the width of the table facet by the width of the diamond. So, if the table facet is 3 mm across, and the diamond is 4.5 mm wide, its table % is 66.7.

Table % is incorporated in the cut grade of a diamond. For this reason, when purchasing a diamond, use the cut grade first (since it balances multiple measurements, not just table %). Once two diamonds of equal cut are being compared, consider table % as a further refinement.

Learn more about the anatomy of a diamond.

53 - 63 52 or 64 - 65 51 or 66 - 68 50 or 69 - 70 <50 or >70

A diamond's symmetry is the arrangement, size, and shaping of diamond's facets. The facets are the flat planes that run along the surfaces of the diamond. Symmetry is angles and lines that form the placement of the facets. Nowadays, symmetry is completely controlled by the manufacturing process. Machines very carefully cut diamonds to produce the most accurate shapes. However, at times the diamond cutter will leave a symmetry imperfection in the diamond in order to prevent a different inclusion from showing in the finished diamond. Symmetry is a subset of the diamond's cut grade.

Learn more about diamond symmetry.

Good to excellent Good to excellent Good to excellent Fair to Excellent Poor to Excellent

The term "polish" refers to the overall condition of the surfaces of a finished diamond. A rating is assigned based on the amount of polishing lines that are visible. These polishing lines are caused by very small diamond crystals which are embedded in the polishing wheels used by diamond cutters to polish the surface of the diamond after cutting. Diamond polish is important because it can affect the degree to which light is able to pass through a diamond, rendering it more or less brilliant. Diamonds that are laboratory certified with a good, very good, or excellent polish rating are the most desirable. Diamonds that have poor polish will be less brilliant and not as desirable or valuable. Reputable jewellers diamonds are graded after examining the diamond facet by facet.

Learn more about diamond polish.

Good to excellent Good to excellent Good to excellent Fair to Excellent Poor to Excellent

The girdle is the outer edge of the diamond, where the crown (top) meets the pavilion (bottom).

A girdle may be faceted (a series of tiny polished sides going around the diamond), bruted (a single continuous unpolished surface going round the diamond; no longer common), or polished (a bruted girdle that has been polished smooth). Whether a girdle is faceted, bruted, or polished usually has no impact on the appearance or value of the diamond.

The girdle is described according to its width. Often, the width of the girdle varies at different points around the diamond, and is quoted in a range designating the thinnest and thickest point along the girdle (e.g. "Thin - Medium" means the diamond's girdle varies in width from thin at the narrowest point to medium at the widest point).

Learn more about the anatomy of a diamond.

Very Thin - Slightly Thick Very Thin - Slightly Thick Very Thin - Thick Very Thin - Very Thick Ex. Thin - Ex. Thick

The culet (pronounced cue-let) is the small area at the bottom of a diamond's pavilion. The culet can be a point or a very small facet sitting parallel to the table.

The culet size as determined by the GIA, is shown using the following scale:

None, Very Small, Small, Medium, Slightly Large, Large, Very Large.

Any culet size of Medium or smaller will be invisible to the naked eye, and have no negative impact on a diamond's appearance. However, if a culet is Slightly Large or larger, it may allow light entering from the crown to pass straight through the culet facet, reducing the diamond's brilliance. This may also make the culet appear as an inclusion, or create a dead area on the diamond where the light is escaping through the bottom.

Learn more about the anatomy of a diamond.

None Very Small Small Medium > Medium

The length to width (L/W) ratio is calculated by dividing a diamond's length (the longer measure) by its width (the shorter measure that runs perpendicular to length).

For example, an Oval Cut diamond that is 5.00 mm in length and 3.3 mm in width will have a L/W ratio of 1.50 (5.00/3.33). A perfectly round or square diamond will have a length to width ratio of 1.00, but many will be off slightly since they are often not perfectly cut. Any L/W ratio of 1.05 or less will appear perfectly round or square to the naked eye.

L/W ratio is more commonly used in fancy shapes. There is no "ideal" L/W ratio in a fancy shape diamond. What is important is what looks pleasing to you.

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 diamond cut guide.

Pear Cut Diamond Ratio

Pear cut diamond length to width ratio.

Pear Cut Diamond - Color Guide

Evaluating color in pear diamonds is subjective. Keep in mind that many buyers may actually prefer the ever so slightly warmer colors of a G-H diamond over the cool colorlessness of a D-F diamond. In fact, most of the premium in price associated with pear shaped diamonds at the higher end of the color scale is driven by supply and demand; customers want the D-F color grades, and are willing to pay a premium to get them. In a world without diamond color grading, the price premium for higher grades would be much lower, as the actual differences in color are difficult to perceive. In larger pear diamonds (over 1.00 carat), the color may appear slightly darker at the point. For this reason, buyers may choose to move up one color grade as compared to other diamond shapes.

In terms of importance, color 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 color better while larger diamonds will show yellowish and brownish tints easier. The color chart below provides a general guide for evaluating color in pear shaped diamonds:

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Pear Cut Diamond Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
< .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

Fluorescence refers to a diamond's tendency to emit a soft colored glow when subjected to ultraviolet light. Roughly 30% of diamonds fluoresce to some degree.

Colorless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds sell at up to a 15% discount since the fluorescence is perceived as a defect, even though the visible effects of Faint to Medium fluorescence are perceptible only to a gemologist using a special UV light source.

Because the fluorescent glow is usually blue (which is the complementary color to yellow) fluorescence can make diamonds of I-M color appear up to one grade whiter. For this reason, I-M diamonds tend to sell at a slight premium when they possess Medium to Very Strong fluorescence.

Exercise caution in purchasing a diamond with Strong fluorescence in D-F color diamonds or Very Strong fluorescence in G-H color diamonds (which do not possess enough body color to offset the higher degree of fluorescence).

Learn more about diamond fluorescence.

None Faint - Med Strong Very Strong Very Strong

Pear diamond color guide.

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Pear Cut Diamond Color

Pear cut diamond color.

Pear Cut Diamond - Clarity Guide

Like color, evaluating clarity in pear diamonds is subjective. GIA provides excellent help with their clarity grades. Still, it is important to understand that each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it. Others may insist on a more technically flawless appearance.

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 diamond with an eye-clean appearance. The clarity chart below provides a general guide for evaluating clarity in pear shaped diamonds:

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Pear Cut Diamond Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
< .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

Pear diamond clarity guide.

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Pear Cut Diamond Clarity

Pear cut diamond clarity.

Pear Cut Diamond History & Background

The first pear shaped diamond was created in the 1400s by Flemish cutter Lodewyk van Berquem of Bruges, inventor of the diamond-polishing wheel, or scaif.

This invention enabled him to polish all the facets of the diamond to optimize light reflection within it. It was from this watershed moment onwards that diamonds began to be used in jewellery.

Van Berquem also pioneered the now commonplace symmetrical arrangement of facets on a diamond, this in turn led him to fashion the pear shaped "Pendeloque" or "Briolette" cut.

Pear Cut Diamond History

Pear cut diamond history.

Learn more about what you need to know in our ultimate buying guide, if you're thinking of buying a pear cut diamond. We break it all down from pricing, other shapes comparison and engagement ring setting choices.