Pear Cut Diamond Guide

All about the elegant pear cut diamond.

Cape Diamonds is the leading diamond jeweller in Cape Town that offers the best-priced and highest quality GIA diamonds in South Africa. We are famous for creating world-first and world-class jewellery design, crafted with incredible craftmanship to ensure every piece lasts until the end of time. The Cape Diamonds’ showroom is situated in Green Point, a stone’s throw away from the V&A Waterfront.

Pear-shaped diamonds are elegantly and aesthetically beautiful, especially when set as the center stone in a diamond engagement ring.



Diamond Cut Grading

Cut: A pear-shaped diamond’s brilliant-cut maximises the refraction of the carbon and enhances the diamond’s sparkle. Unlike a round brilliant-cut diamond, there are no fixed ‘ideal proportions’ for pear diamonds.

Gradings: Cape Diamonds only sells GIA certified Diamonds. The GIA or Gemological Institute of America is the most widespread and trusted of all diamond assessment authorities. They only issue grading cut quality reports for round diamonds. (You will notice that fancy cut diamonds are only graded on their symmetry and polish.) Therefore any cut grades that you see on another retailer’s website are based on the retailer’s own estimation, rather than any impartial grading.


Diamond Size Comparison

If we compare a 1 carat round brilliant diamond vs. a 1-carat pear diamond, we can see that while the pear diamond is slightly less wide than the round brilliant diamond, it is much longer, which gives the impression that it is larger. Pear-shaped diamonds are not as common as round cut diamonds. Due to lower demand, you can often find that pear cut diamonds are better priced in comparison with round-cut diamonds.


Pear-Cut Diamond Ratio

The pear diamond ratio should be close to 1.5. Length/width ratio between the length and the width. The classic L/W ratio for pear-shaped diamonds is 1:1.5 – This means that stone is one and a half times as long as it is wide. Some people prefer longer pear stones, we recommend keeping it under 1:1.75 or the stone is likely to look overly long and skinny. Equally, going below 1:1.4 means that the stone may look short and wide.


The Bow-Tie Effect

When purchasing a pear-shaped diamond, be sure to know about the inevitable “bow-tie” effect. The “bow-tie effect” is the darkened area that appears as two dark triangular shapes in the center of the diamond. This effect occurs because no light reflects up through the top of the ‘table’ of the diamond. Instead, light is refracted off the bottom of the stone and out of the sides.

There are also two primary characteristics you want to pay attention to when looking at proportions. These are:

  • depth percentage and
  • table size, which are both expressed as percentages in a grading report.


Pear Diamond Table & Depth Percentage 

Pear diamond table percentage. The table percentage is the width of the top ‘table’ of a diamond (the flat side on top) expressed as a percentage of the total width of the stone. Again this is an important ratio because the proportions here will affect how light is reflected within the stone and the amount that it sparkles.

The depth percentage is the depth of the diamond as a percentage of the width of the stone. This is extremely important for pear-shaped diamonds as it affects the amount of light that is reflected back off the inside of the stone and back to your eyes, but also how visible the ‘bow-tie’ effect is. Unfortunately, the bow-tie effect can’t be eradicated completely, but by selecting a pear diamond with a depth % in the excellent range (56% – 66%) it will reduce the bow-tie while keeping as much sparkle as possible.

Even when using these ratios, a visual inspection of each pear diamond is essential. Some diamond cutters leave the tip at the top of the stone very broad to increase the carat weight of the diamond at the expense of the beauty of the stone.

This is often done to ensure that the pear diamond reaches a ‘magic weight’ e.g. 1 carat. However, it also makes the stone look more egg-shaped than teardrop-shaped. Definitely not as appealing.

Some pear diamonds have overly-square shoulders. Another way some diamond cutters try and increase the carat weight of a pear-shaped diamond is to have square shoulders at the bottom of the stone. Again, this results in a less beautifully-shaped pear diamond.



Pear-Cut Diamond Anatomy & Facets

There is a definite outline of a pear diamond that you should be looking for.

The curved lobe of the stone should be:

  • a semicircle,
  • with no straight lines or squared 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.

Any deviation will mean that light is reflected in off directions and out of the side of the stone. Also good to note that the pointed end should not be too broad.


Diamond Colour

In general, white is seen as the most desirable colour 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. Sharp points on diamonds concentrate the color, making it easier to pick up these warmer 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.


Ideally, you want your diamond to look as white as possible. But at the very top end of the color scale, it’s very difficult to see the difference between the colors. If you aren’t careful you can spend money on something that makes no difference to how the stone looks. Because the colour of the stone can be concentrated at the pointed end of pear diamonds, Cape Diamonds recommends going quite high on the colour scale. 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. 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. However, it’s only possible to tell this by actually examining the stone. This where Cape Diamonds is a great option. We are able to send you high-resolution videos of diamonds so that you can shop online with peace of mind. Our recommended minimum clarity grade to ensure that a stone is between eye clean and VS2. Feel free to ask your sales consultant for images and videos of the diamond you were quoted.