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Fancy shape diamonds, such as pear shaped diamonds, can be more challenging to purchase than the typical round brilliant cut. Part of this is because the GIA doesn’t provide cut grades for diamonds in these shapes, meaning more work is required to identify a nicely cut diamond.
Recently, we received an email from a reader interested in upgrading their engagement ring with a beautiful new pear shaped diamond. They had a budget of $15,000 and wanted a diamond in the 2.00 carat range, if possible.
Here’s a shortened version of reader’s first few emails:
“Hi! I was wondering if you could give me your opinion about whether this diamond, 2 carat, E color, and SI1 is “eye clean”? Thanks for any help you can give!
Upgrading diamond ring as a 10 year anniversary and budget is $15,000 all in!”
This diamond is a good start, but it has some problems. The biggest is the medium fluorescence level, which can cause a hazy appearance on a diamond with such a high color grade. This isn’t ideal, as it cheapens what should be an excellent feature (the diamond’s near-flawless color).
The second is the color grade itself. Although a pear shaped diamond will show more color than a round brilliant cut diamond, there’s no need to pay for an E color grade. Instead, it’s generally better to choose a color grade in the G or H range, then spend more on cut and carat weight.
We’ve discussed this more below and shared some practical tips that this reader (or you, if you are interested in a similar diamond) can use to find a stunning pear shaped diamond at the best possible price.
Pear shaped diamonds, which are occasionally called teardrop diamonds, have several unique advantages. One of these is that as a result of their dimensions, they can look larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight.
Another is that the thin, elongated shape of a pear shaped diamond can give the wearer’s finger a longer, slimmer appearance.
From a more practical standpoint, a pear shaped diamond is essentially a marquise diamond at its pointed end, and a round brilliant cut diamond at the other.
When selecting a pear shaped diamond, there are several things to keep in mind.
Let’s start with the first. A pear shaped diamond should ideally have a length-to-width ratio in the 1.55 to 1.75 range. Diamonds longer than this tend to look stretched out and lacking roundness (example below on the right – 1.79 ratio), while most diamonds shorter than this can appear short and stubby (example below on the left – 1.45 ratio).
Choosing a diamond within this range helps to maximize both unique aspects of a pear shaped diamond’s shape — its rounded end and its elongated sides and point.
Beyond the length to width ratio of a diamond, there are several common cut-related issues that you’ll want to avoid when choosing a pear-shaped diamond.
One of these is an overly flat back, which can give any pear shaped diamond a triangular shape that doesn’t look very appealing. Make sure that the rounded end of a pear shaped diamond is round, not angular and square in shape.
The second is a pear shaped diamond that’s overly wide. A wide pear shaped diamond can look too curvy and circular, which detracts from the beauty of its pointed tip.
Finally, the pear shaped diamond can display a “bow tie” — a dark pattern that shows from north to south when the diamond is viewed from certain angles. Take a look at the diamond below for an example of a pear shaped diamond with an obvious bow tie:
This bow tie can detract from the diamond’s beauty, making it a negative feature that you’ll want to be careful to avoid when comparing pear shaped diamonds. You can check for a bow tie with the 360° images provided by James Allen and Blue Nile.
Now, let’s move on to clarity and color. The pear shape is fantastic at concealing inclusions. This is primarily because the diamond has a similar facet pattern to a round brilliant cut, especially at its rounded end, meaning its light performance makes inclusions less visible.
Because of this, you can generally select a pear shaped diamond in the SI1 to SI2 clarity range and find a stone that’s eye-clean (meaning free of any inclusions that are visible to your eye in normal, real-life conditions).
This reader’s original choice of an SI1 clarity diamond is good, as there’s no need to overpay for “flawless” clarity with a diamond in this shape.
When it comes to color, in general, pear-shaped diamonds are more likely to show internal color than other diamond shapes. In fact, the only shapes that show color more clearly are the radiant cut and cushion cut.
Because of this, we generally recommend choosing a pear shaped diamond with a color grade of H or better. If you’re pairing the diamond with a yellow or rose gold setting, dropping down to a color grade of I/J/K is fine, as the metal of the setting will “tint” the diamond.
Originally, we suggested this 2.07 carat, H color, SI1 clarity pear shaped diamond from James Allen to the reader. This diamond is gorgeous, but it was slightly above their target price range of $15,000.
Other options include this 1.70 carat, H color, SI1 clarity diamond and this 1.60 carat, H color, VS1 clarity pear shaped diamond, both of which are available for less than the $15,000 budget set by this reader.
Pear shaped diamonds can look absolutely beautiful, with a unique shape that maximizes their perceived size and excellent light performance.
Choosing a pear shaped diamond is about understanding the factors that determine cut quality, then selecting a diamond that’s eye-clean and free of any visible internal color once paired with its setting.
In this reader’s case, a diamond in the H color range and SI1 to SI2 clarity range can provide a great combination of aesthetic appeal and value for money.
Going beyond this range (for example, by prioritizing perfect color or clarity) isn’t a smart use of your budget, as it simply reduces the amount you can spend on a larger diamond while offering little or no advantage in terms of the appearance of the diamond.
Need help selecting a pear shaped diamond? We help hundreds of readers select diamonds in almost every shape on a monthly basis, and we’re happy to help you find the ideal diamond for your tastes and budget if you contact us.
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