Pear Cut Diamond Buying Guide

Buying a Pear Cut Diamond can be challenging, with lots of “information” out there but this guide will make things a lot clearer!

Whether you are buying for an engagement ring or piece of jewelry, you want to buy the best Pear Cut Diamond you can and that is what I will cover in detail.

First off, who am I to give this information? I’m Paul Haywood FGA DGA and I’m a fully qualified gemologist with over a decade’s worth of experience in the industry, 7 years of which were running my own online retailer.

Quick Summary

Don’t want to read the whole post? Don’t worry, I’ve summarized it for you below:

  • Color – If you want a colorless Diamond, then an F or G offers this without the premium of a D or E color stone
  • Clarity – A VS1 or VS2 Diamond won’t have any visible inclusions to the naked eye and you can get some very clean-looking SI1 stones, avoid I clarity Diamonds
  • Cut – Pear cuts aren’t cut graded but avoid stones with an obvious ‘bow tie’ effect, go for stones with an Excellent or Very Good Symmetry and Polish grade and avoid stones with Very or Extremely Thick girdle
  • Fluorescence – not as big of an issue as made out to be, only a small number of Diamonds with very strong fluorescence will have an undesirable milky appearance
  • Reports – often called certificates, best to go for a Diamond with a report from a reputable gem lab such as the GIA or IGI

Pear Cut Diamond Color

The first of the 4 C’s I’m going to look at for Pear Cut Diamonds is Color and while Pear Cuts are pretty forgiving when it comes to color due to how the pavilion facets are cut, there is still something worth noting.

And that is the color at the point of the stone as it can look slightly darker than the rest of the stone, this is why some people choose a color grade that is one or two grades higher than they would in a Round Brilliant Cut.

If you want a colorless Pear Cut, then go for a D – G color stone, many H colors will also be colorless face-up but a tint of color may be noticeable at the point of the stone.

For Ovals weighing more than 2 carats, some H colors may show a small hint of color and you may be best going for a minimum of a G color.

A D color pear cut Diamond
A D Color Pear Cut Diamond
An F Color Pear Cut Diamond
A F Color Pear Cut Diamond
A H Color Pear Cut Diamond
A H Color Pear Cut Diamond

Most people will start noticing a hint of color in the main body of the stone at an I color and this becomes more noteable as you move up the color scale.

In terms of prices, D and E color Diamonds attract a premium as they are rarer but for those shopping to a budget, an F or G will get you a nice, colorless Diamond and it would take a trained Diamond grader to be able to tell the difference, especially when the stone it set.

If you are wondering what the difference is between D – G color Diamonds if they are all colorless? Simply, it is how ‘bright’ the stone is and this is hard to show on a screen.

Obviously, if you have the budget or just want a stone you can brag about, then go for a D Color Diamond.

Pear Cut Diamond Clarity

The second of the 4 C’s is Clarity and another important aspect of buying a Diamond.

Similarly to color, Pear Cut Diamonds are pretty forgiving when it comes to the visibility of inclusions and much more so than some other styles of cut.

If you want a Diamond with no visible inclusions, then a VS1 or VS2 is my recommendation as the inclusions won’t be visible to the naked eye and without magnification, even a trained Diamond Grader would struggle to spot the difference between a Flawless, VVS and VS.

A SI1 Clarity Pear cut Diamond
A SI1 Clarity Pear Cut Diamond
A VS1 Clarity Pear Cut Diamond
A VS1 Clarity Pear Cut Diamond
A VVS1 Clarity Pear Cut Diamond
A VVS1 Clarity Pear Cut Diamond

There are also some really good SI1 stones out there that are definitely worth considering, especially for those on a tight budget but it does depend on where the inclusions are within the stone, always look for SI1 stones where the inclusions are under the crown facets.

Most SI2 clarity stones will have inclusions that are easily spotted with the naked eye and even though the odd one can be a good find, I generally steer clear of them and I always recommend avoiding I clarity Diamonds as the inclusions not only affect the beauty of the stone but can also compromise its durability.

And as with color, if you have the budget or want a stone to really brag about, then go for a Flawless Diamond.

Top Tip: If you are browsing Diamonds online, remember that they are magnified and under optimal lighting and even though an inclusion may look big/obvious on the picture, that may not be the case when looking at the Diamond in person.

Pear Cut Diamond Cut Quality

Unlike Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds, Pear Cut Diamonds aren’t graded for their cut quality by gem labs such as the GIA or IGI and this does make the buying process a little more challenging.

But there is something that Pear Cut Diamonds can have and it is something you need to know about.

And this is known at the ‘bow tie’ effect, which is caused by the way light interacts with stone and in come cases can cause a very dark area across the Diamond, which is something that happens on some elongated cut styles (it also affects Oval and Marquise cuts).

A Pear Cut Diamond with an obvious bow tie effect
A Pear Cut Diamond with an obvious bow tie effect
A Pear Cut Diamond with a subtle bow tie effect
A Pearl Cut Diamond with a subtle bow tie effect

Obviously, this is something that you don’t really want in your Diamond (unless you like the look of the bow tie) and the best way to avoid buying a Diamond with an obvious bow tie is to simply look at the Diamond.

And even Pear Cut Diamonds that fall within the ‘ideal’ proportions for things like length-to-width ratio, total depth percentage, table size etc can still have very obvious bow ties, where as ones that fall outside of the ‘ideal’ parameters can have little to no visible bow tie.

I do have to point out that all Pear Cut Diamonds will have a bow tie, it just depends on how obvious it is when viewing the stone.

But there are some things when it comes to cut that you need to know about with Pear Cut Diamonds and I’ll cover these below:

1. The Length-to-Width Ratio

The length-to-width ratio is something that some people seem to think is really important in terms of how the Diamond looks, when it reality it comes down to personal preference as to what you like the look of in a Pear Cut.

A Pear Cut Diamond with a 1.45 length-to-width ratio
A Pear Cut Diamond with a length-to-width ratio of 1.42
A Pear Cut Diamond with a length-to-width ratio of 1.75
A Pear Cut Diamond with a length-to-width ratio of 1.75

The ‘ideal’ length-to-width ratio is said to be between 1.25 and 1.50, with stones closer to 1.50 having the shape that most people will think of when picturing a Pear Cut stone.

But the length-to-width ratio does have an impact on the outline of the stone as:

  • Less than 1.25 – these will have a more rounded shape
  • 1.25 – 1.50 – these will have a traditional oval shape
  • Greater than 1.50 – these will have a more elongated shape

And as I said above, it does come down to personal preference as to what you like but Pear Cuts with a higher length-to-width ratio can look really good if you have long, slim fingers.

But one thing that length-to-width doesn’t include is that some Pear Cut Diamonds can have wide shoulders (like the 1.45 length-to-width ratio pictured above) and this can make the stone appear rounder than a stone with the same length-to-width but with normal width shoulders.

2. Total Depth Percentage

This is quite an important one as the total depth percentage often relates to how light interacts with the stones and if it has:

  • A small depth percentage, it increases the chances of more light leaking out of the stone and this can be a cause of the ‘bow tie’ effect
  • A large depth percentage, it can cause the light to reflect more internally and not back towards you, which can cause the stone to look dark and lifeless

In general, a good total depth percentage falls within a range of 56%-66% but it still isn’t a guarantee of how the stone looks and whether or not it has a bow tie.

3. Table Size

Diamond cut proportions - table size

As with the total depth percentage, the table size impacts on how light interacts with the Diamond.

An ideal table size is between 52% and 64% of the total length of the Diamond as this should give a good balance between the amount of fire and brilliance the stone shows, meaning that it should sparkle the way a Diamond should.

4. Symmetry

This is something that is graded by gem labs and is important in Pear Cut Diamonds.

If you aren’t sure what I mean by symmetry, imagine putting a line down the center of the stone and checking to see that both sides look the same.

And I always recommend going for an Excellent or Very Good Symmetry grade as this ensures that the stone has a nice, even outline and good symmetry does also have an impact on the bow tie effect as it can be more pronounced in stones with poor symmetry.

As a second to this, I would also recommend buying a Diamond with an Excellent or Very Good polish grade.

5. Girdle Thickness

Girdle thickness is also something you want to pay attention to and ideally you want to buy a Diamond with a Thin, Medium or Slightly Thick girdle as it provides enough durability without paying for additional weight.

Extremely or Very Thin girdles can have durability issues as the very thin edge can get chipped quite easily, which isn’t ideal, especially for a stone that is going in an engagement ring.

Thick to Extremely Thick girdles add additional weight to the Diamond but without that size of the stone getting any bigger.

Pear Cut Carat

The weight of the Diamond you buy is going to depend on your budget and generally, the more the stone weighs, the more expensive it will be but one thing to be aware of is that the weight of a Diamond doesn’t directly correlate to size.

And even though there are charts out there, such as my Pear Cut Size to Weight chart, these should only be used as guides as the proportions vary from stone to stone, meaning two stones can have the same length and width but slightly different weights.

0.5 Carat = 6.6 x 4.6mm

0.75 Carats = 7.3 x 5.4mm

1 Carat = 7.7 x 6.0mm

2 Carat = 9.6 x 7.6mm

3 Carat = 10.8 x 8.8mm

The images above aren’t to scale as this is very difficult to do with different sizes screens and resolutions!

Due to its somewhat unique shape, a well-cut 1-carat Pear Cut will have a larger outline than a 1-carat well-cut Round Brilliant, which can make it a good option for someone who wants their Diamond to have a bit more presence.

And as I mentioned earlier, the elongated shape means that Pear Cuts can be great option for people with longer, slimmer fingers.

Fluorescence

Possibly the most misunderstood (and sometimes mis-sold) aspect of Diamonds is fluorescence as for many years it has been seen as a bad thing and something to avoid.

But in reality, only a small number of Diamonds with very strong fluorescence impact on the look of the stone as it can give them a slightly milky appearance but this doesn’t happen with every Diamond that has very strong fluorescence (I’ve seen some stunning stones with very strong fluorescence).

And you will pay more for a Diamond with no fluorescence, assuming that all other factors are the same.

So don’t be put off by a Diamond that has little, medium or strong fluorescence as it won’t impact how the stone looks and can actually make your stone pop a little in strong sunlight!

Reports (Certificates)

GIA Lab Report

Most Diamonds for sale now come with reports but not all reports are the same.

Just to clear things up, Diamonds reports are often sold as certificates or certified Diamonds but they aren’t actually certificates, they are reports as there are differences between these two types of document.

The most popular gem lab for Diamond reports are the GIA (Gemological Insitute of America) as they are one of the leading authorities on Diamonds.

But there are other gem labs, such as IGI and HRD, that are also reputable gem labs and Diamonds with reports from these labs shouldn’t be ignored.

However, there are times when the documentation with a Diamond should cause you to run away and that is if the document says something like “Diamond Certificate” or “Certificate of Authenticity” as no reputable gem lab includes this wording on their documents.

Pear Cut Price

Prices for Pear Cuts are usually lower per carat than the equivalent Round Brilliant Cut and even though they rarely go out of style (it is a pretty timeless look!), they aren’t as popular as the Round Brilliant, which is why they are usually less per carat.

If you want to see the latest Pear Cut prices, then check out our Diamond Price guide, which I update every month.

Conclusion

I’ve covered everything you need to know in order to buy the right Pear Cut Diamond for you and this is the same whether you are buying and Natural or Lab-grown Diamond.

To summarize again, for the majority of buyers I would recommend buying a:

  • F or G color (H is also worth considering)
  • VS1 – SI1 Clarity
  • A stone with a subtle or very faint bow tie
  • Excellent or Very Good Symmetry and Polish
  • A report from a reputable gem lab

If you have a very large budget or want the ultimate show-off Diamond, then go for a D Flawless or as close as you can get.

I'm Paul Haywood FGA DGA, the owner and founder of Diamonds and Dials, I'm a fully qualified Gemmologist and Diamond Grader from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

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