Pear Shaped Engagement Rings
An uncommon and classy choice
Pear shaped engagement rings are quite rare, but they’re a great choice for people who are looking for an alternative cut that will allow them to stand out from the more common engagement ring shapes out there.
While pear shaped diamonds are more often used for earrings or pendants, they’re also a great choice for diamond rings too – they offer excellent sparkle and can appear larger than other shapes at the same carat size. Pear diamonds are actually a combination of two different cuts – the sparkle-fest round brilliant at one end and the elegant marquise at the other, making them a great balance of sophistication and bling!
We’re going to look at:
- What’s good about pear engagement rings?
- What’s bad about pear engagement rings
- Pear engagement ring setting styles
- A pear engagement ring buying guide to tell you what you really need to know
- Recommended specs
What’s good about pear shaped engagement rings?
Diamonds that aren’t the common round brilliant shape are known as ‘fancy’ shapes, and the pear is one of the fanciest of them all – with one end being very similar to a round brilliant and the other end similar to the pointed marquise shape.
A big advantage of choosing a shape other than a round brilliant is that the price is the cost savings that can be made due to the lower levels of demand and because the restrictions on what makes a good shapes are not so stringent.
The table on the right shows the price difference at one of my recommended retailers between a round brilliant diamond, the most common shape and a pear cut diamond of the same size and quality:
- 1 carat
- Color F
- Clarity VS1
That’s a saving of a quarter of the price of the diamond that can be made by choosing the pear shape over the round brilliant – huge!
And, while some fancy shapes offer reduced scintillation and sparkle compared to the round brilliant, a pear engagement ring will sparkle nearly as well as other brilliant shapes, like the round brilliant or Princess cut because half the stone is, in fact, a brilliant cut.
Pear diamonds can also appear larger than other shapes at the same carat weight because they have more ‘spread’.
As the image on the right shows, although a 1 carat pear diamond is slightly less wide than a 1 carat round brilliant diamond, it is much longer, which gives the impression that it is larger than the round dimaond even though they both weight the same.
Lastly, pear cut engagement rings can be great for people who have small hand or shorter fingers. Pear shaped engagement rings are always worn with the point facing towards the end of the finger, which can make a finger look longer and slimmer. They’ll give an elongating effect without overpowering the finger and appearing too large.
What’s bad about pear engagement rings?
Bow tie effect
The bow tie effect is a dark shape that appears in the center of the stone as light is reflected off the bottom of the stone and out of the sides. With no light coming back up through the top of the ‘table’ of the diamond, two triangular dark shapes appear, in the shape of a bow tie.
Unfortunately all pear shapes will have the bow tie effect to some extent, but there are things that you can do to minimise it, as we’ll find out later on.
Warm color showing through
In general, white is seen as the most desirable color for diamonds. It’s the rarest and most expensive. As you get further away from white, most diamonds tend to pick up ‘warmer’ yellow tones.
Diamonds with ‘brilliant cut’ facets are great at disguising the true colour of the stone because the light that is reflected back to your eyes is ‘chopped up’, hiding any warmer tones behind sparkle. Pear diamonds benefit from this effect at one end only – the round end. The other end isn’t nearly so good at reflecting light back, so it’s easier to see the actual colour of the stone.
Pear shaped engagement ring settings
Pear shaped engagement rings come in a wide variety of setting styles and in this section we’ll take a quick look at some of the most popular. If there’s a style that tickles your fancy, just click through to find out more, as well as see loads more options too.
Pear diamond solitaire rings hold the stone secure with four or five prongs around the edge of the stone and then a V-shaped prong at the bottom which holds the stone but also provides a measure of protection for the fragile point.
See this solitaire settings and more at James Allen, who are my number one recommendation for pear shaped diamonds. James Allen has 360° imagery of every diamond that they offer, which means that you can check that the diamond is well cut and has a minimal bow tie effect.
See more info on this pavé pear diamond engagement ring here
See this setting and 28 other pear diamond engagment ring settings at Enchanted Diamonds here
Click here to see more info on this vintage halo pear engagement ring from Ritani
Pear shaped diamond buying guide
As mentioned earlier, pear cut engagement rings are quite uncommon, so it’s likely that your local bricks and mortar store will have a large selection in stock. Regular stores know that round brilliant cuts and princess cuts are the most popular, so are much more likely to hold them in stock.
If you are looking for a pear shaped engagement ring then the internet is your friend. Online retailers give you the choice of thousands of engagement rings and you can use online retailers’ customisation tools to make sure that you get a great looking stone.
In this section we’ll look at three of the four Cs to help you get an awesome diamond. There is quite a lot of detail here, but I’ll sum up all of the recommended specs in a section at the bottom of the page.
Although there are no fixed ‘ideal proportions’ for pear diamonds, like with the round brilliant, there are definitely some things to look out for to ensure that you get a great looking stone that reflects as much light back to your eyes as possible.
We mentioned the bow tie effect earlier, and the importance of minimising it as much as possible. This is very difficult to do unless you can see the exact stone that you are looking to buy, so if you’re looking to buy a pear diamond then I recommend either James Allen or Enchanted Diamonds, which both have excellent quality images and a 360 view mode which allows you to see how light affects the stone and how much, if any, bow tie effect is present.
Symmetry and shoulders
There is a definite outline of a pear that you should be looking for.
The top lobe of the stone should be a semicircle, with no straight lines orsquared off ‘shoulders’. This shape looks better, but is also more likely to reflect light back to your eyes and sparkle.
The point of the stone should be in a direct line from the center of the table and the top of the lobe.
The cutlet (bottom point) should be directly below the diamond’s top table. Again, this is much more likely to reflect light back to your eyes well. Any deviation will mean that light is reflected in off directions and out of the side of the stone, rather than back out of the top as scintillation.
Lastly, the pointed end should not be too broad. Some diamond cutters may leave the sides of the stone quite round, bringing it into a point late on to increase the weight of the stone. This tends to make the stone look more egg-shaped than teardrop shaped and is definitely not as appealing.
Broad tip at the top of the stone, as the cutter tries to retain as much weight as possible
Square shoulders at the bottom of the stone – again, an effort to retain weight
Length / Width ratio
Although to some extent the ideal length / width ration is down to personal preference, the classic L/W ratio is 1:1.5 ie. the stone is one and a half times as long as it is wide.
Some people prefer longer pear stones, but I’d recommend keeping it under 1:1.75 or the stone is likely to look overly long and skinny.
Equally, going below 1:1.5 means that the stone may look a little squat and dumpy.
56% – 66%
54% – 72%
52% – 76%
54% – 64%
52% – 66%
50% – 68%
Because the colour of the stone can be concentrated at the pointed end of the stone, I recommend going quite high on the colour scale for pear engagement rings – a G grade at a minimum.
Going lower than this means that yellow tones may be visible in the stone.
Of course, you can go higher than this if you want, but the very highest colour gradings are mainly because people want to have the highest grade they can – it makes little difference to the actual appearance of the stone.
E color – very white, but very rare and therefore expensive
G color – a great mix of color and good value
I color – warmer tones clearly visible
Like with color, one end of the pear cut diamond is great at disguising minor inclusions, and the other is not so great at it. So, if a pear diamond does have inclusions, then their location in the stone will make a huge difference to how visible they are.
If they’re at the round end then they may be hidden behind the sparkle and scintillation of the stone. If they are at the point of the stone then they may be hidden by the ‘crushed ice’ effect, but this is usually less effective at hiding the inclusion.
My recommended minimum clarity grade to ensure that a stone is eye clean is VS2.
Carat weight is something that people often get overly hung-up on. They want to choose a stone with a certain carat weight, even if it means that they end up making sacrifices on other, more important attributes of the ring.
The relationship between a diamond’s carat weight and its visible size isn’t always a direct one. When we judge a diamond’s size, we look at it from the top – known as the ‘face up’ position in the jewelry trade. However, much of the weight of a diamond is actually carried on the bottom half of the stone, where it can’t be seen.
The images below show the difference in size for pear shaped diamonds at a range of carat weights:
Hopefully you can see that increasing the carat weight doesn’t necessarily translate into a much visibly larger diamond. Changing the size from 0.8 carat to 1 carat is an increase in width of less than 0.4mm – less than 10%. However, the difference in price will be much more significant – an 80% increase.
Check out today’s prices for a 0.8 carat Pear shaped diamond on James Allen
Compare to today’s prices for a 1 carat pear diamond here
The priority that you place on diamond carat weight and how bit you want to go is totally up to you. However, my recommendation is that you definitely don’t make it the most important attribute when choosing your engagement ring. Get the setting you love, find a diamond with a great cut that is going to sparkle brilliantly, make sure that it is eye-clean and has a good color and then see what carat weight you can fit into your budget.
A well-rounded diamond with excellent sparkle will much much more impressive than a big stone with obvious flaws.
Each certificate has a unique report number and detailed information about the stone, covering the four Cs, the height, depth and other info. As well as providing assurance that the stone that you’re buying is the quality that you are paying for, a certificate also proves what you’re buying is not a substitute.
The lab to trust and to look for certification from is the non-profit Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It’s the most internationally recognised and generally seen as the most impartial of all of the gem labs.
The reason that the GIA is so well respected is because most others labs are part of trade bodies that contain jewelry retailers, or are ‘for profit’. While the GIA is very consistent with its gradings, the others have a reputation for being overly generous. What the GIA say is merely a diamond with a ‘good’ cut, maybe be graded ‘excellent’ by another lab, with an excellently large price to match.
Diamond certificates are what makes buying online safe and the best way to get a fantastic diamond at the lowest price. Knowing that each diamond you’re considering has been measured and graded by independent experts allows you to make an informed decision. You can take your time to consider the differences between diamonds and make sure you choose what experts have graded as the best stone, meaning that you get your perfect engagement ring at the best possible price.
You can of course go higher than these specs, if your budget allows, but for many of the characteristics you are paying for improvements that are very difficult, if not impossible, to see by the naked eye, especially when mounted in a ring setting.
If you’re unsure about what any of these terms mean, check out this post which talks you through them all.
1.50 – 1.70
54 – 64%
56 – 66%
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