Learn the pros and cons of pear-shaped diamonds and how to find a beautiful, sparkling diamond for your engagement ring.
Pros and Cons of a Pear-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
If you’re considering a pear-shaped diamond for your engagement ring, it’s always a good idea to look at the pros and cons. Ultimately, you should buy the diamond shape that you like best.
Pros: Size, Cost, and Style
Other than an eye-catching shape, pear-shaped diamonds have some great advantages over traditional round-cut diamonds. Because of their elongated shape, pear cuts look larger than a round diamond. But it’s not just appearance, they’re actually 8% larger on their top surface!
This means that even a small diamond will make a big impact. Of course, a large pear will look absolutely huge.
Better yet, pear-shaped diamonds can cost 10-30% less than a round diamond with the same carat weight.
In addition, pear shapes have a versatile style, great for vintage, modern, and classic looks. Celebrity engagement rings like Ariana Grande’s have also made pear-shaped diamonds trendy.
These diamonds can be worn tip up or tip down, though most choose to wear the point toward the fingernail. They’re also great for unique east-west settings.
Cons: Fragile Tip, Rarely Well-Cut
Still, pear-shaped diamonds have some disadvantages, too. The tip of the diamond can be fragile and prone to chipping. When properly set, prongs should prevent any damage.
In addition, finding a well-cut pear-shaped diamond can be difficult. Since gemological laboratories don’t assign cut quality grades for fancy shaped diamonds like pears, you’ll have to carefully examine the sparkle and shape to find a well-cut stone.
Judging Pear-Shaped Diamond Cut Quality
Judging cut quality in a pear-shaped diamond is far different from judging a round diamond. For pear cuts, both performance and shape are essential. You’ll have to know what to look for.
Symmetry is Essential
Look for symmetry in the shape. If you draw an imaginary line from the diamond’s point down the middle, the sides should be symmetrical.
If it looks off but you can’t tell why, just pass on it. It’s probably asymmetrical or off-shape, even if you can’t put your finger on it.
Note that this symmetry differs from that of symmetry grades, which tell you how well the facets align. A symmetry grade of “Good” or better will suffice.
Judging Symmetry from Online Video
Online videos are great for judging diamond quality. However, the unique shape of the pear poses some challenges.
In online videos, pear-shaped diamonds are shown on their side, at an angle to the viewer. This can make them appear asymmetrical when they’re actually well-cut.
You’ll need to drag the camera to determine whether the pear has good symmetry and shape. Try to get both shoulders (sides of the semicircle) the same distance from you. Then, do the same with the wings (sides near the tip). If it still looks off, pick a different diamond.
Finding the Perfect Length-to-Width Ratio
The length-to-width ratio (L/W) in a pear-shaped diamond is largely a matter of personal preference. However, most people prefer a ratio of 1.45 to 1.75. Compare these diamonds and see what you like best.
Always look at the actual dimensions of the diamond and consider how large it will be on the finger. Longer diamonds appear larger and have more of a slimming effect on the finger. However, some prefer a broader diamond.
For smaller diamonds, you may want to stick to ratios of 1.60 to 1.75. The prongs on certain settings can make pear shapes appear more triangular.
It’s also important to look at the actual shape of the diamond. If the shape isn’t right, choose a different one.
A pear-shaped diamond should have one semicircular end, evenly rounded shoulders, gently curved wings, and come to a point at the other end.
Avoid pear-shaped diamonds with a flat end where there should be a semicircle. The shoulders and wings shouldn’t be bulging or flat. Bulging areas don’t just look unattractive, they also hide weight. That means you’ll be paying for weight that you can’t appreciate. Take a look at these examples.
However, some bowties are less noticeable than others. Avoid large, dark bowties, and make sure this area of the diamond gives some sparkle. If this region doesn’t sparkle, the diamond isn’t worth your money.
Pear-Shaped Diamond Clarity
Like other brilliant-cut diamonds, a well-cut pear-shaped diamond will hide clarity imperfections. An SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond will likely be eye-clean, meaning that you won’t spot inclusions with the naked eye. If your budget is tight, you may be able to to find an I1 diamond that’s eye-clean.
For diamonds with these low clarity grades, avoid large imperfections near the center of the diamond. Keep in mind that black inclusions are more noticeable than white ones. If you’re not sure if the diamond is eye-clean, try zooming out. If you can’t see the imperfections when the diamond is smaller, you won’t see it when it’s on the finger.
However, if you’re opting for a 2+ carat diamond, inching up the clarity scale is a good idea. Since clarity grades are calculated relative to the diamond’s size, you should try for a VS1 or VS2 clarity stone.
Unlike our advice for round diamonds, we don’t recommend that you limit yourself to the lowest eye-clean clarity grade. Since there are fewer pears to choose from, including higher grades in your search will help you find a diamond with great shape appeal and excellent performance.
Ideal Color for a Pear-Shaped Diamond
Pear-shaped diamonds don’t hide color as well as rounds. Color tends to show most in the tip of the diamond, so be sure to look at this area if you’re considering diamonds with a low color grade.
For white gold and platinum solitaire engagement rings, an H color diamond will give you the most for your money.
If you’ve chosen rose gold or yellow gold, a J color diamond will still look white.
For halo and side-stone settings, it’s best to match the diamond color to the stones around it. Generally, a G or H color diamond will look beautiful.
If you’re opting for a large (2+) carat diamond, keep your minimum color one grade higher than these recommendations. Larger diamonds tend to show more color than smaller ones.
Still, it’s best not to limit yourself to the lowest color grade. You may need more options to find a diamond with a great shape and excellent performance.
Where Should I Buy a Pear-Shaped Diamond?
If you’re buying a pear-shaped diamond online, always buy from a reputable dealer and review their return and exchange policies. For this cut, you must review the symmetry, shape, and clarity imperfections and see how the diamond performs. Blue Nile and James Allen both offer high-quality, closeup 360° videos of their diamonds.
In addition, James Allen has diamond experts ready to review your choices with you. They’ll help you determine if the stone is eye-clean and whether it has surface-reaching imperfections that can weaken the stone. They also offer an extensive selection of ring designs to choose from. Search James Allen’s diamonds based on our recommendations.
Blue Nile does offer one advantage when shopping for a pear-shaped diamond. They allow you to limit your search by the L/W ratio. If you’re picky about the shape or looking for a replacement stone, this feature will help you narrow your choices.
For a truly unique pear-shaped diamond engagement ring, consider using a custom jeweler such as CustomMade. Their experts will help you find the perfect diamond for your budget and design a ring full of meaning.