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Ask a Diamond Pro: Twisted Halo Setting for a Pear Shape Diamond

By Mike Fried,

Pear shaped diamonds have a unique, eye-catching appearance that can look fantastic in the right setting. Recently, we were contacted by a reader looking for help getting good value on a diamond and a matching halo setting.

This reader originally planned to buy an emerald shaped diamond, but changed their mind and ended up choosing a beautiful 0.91 carat pear shaped diamond with a split-shank halo ring.

Here’s the reader’s original message:

“I’ve found the woman that I want to go through life’s journey with! Obviously, I’m contacting you because I want to make sure I’m going to make the best purchase. 

I’m looking at James Allen and I’m interested in an emerald shape in a halo setting. My budget is around $4000 total for the diamond and setting. I just want to make sure I’m getting the biggest bang for my buck and I’m seeking advice. 

Also, how does it work purchasing a diamond online? Do you just purchase the diamond and take it to a jeweler for the setting or do these companies do the entire ring? Do they partner with local jewelers so you can experience the ring in person? 

I just want to get the ball rolling and not sure where to start. 

Thank you.”

This is a great opportunity to talk about three topics that aren’t very well covered — choosing the right pear shaped diamond, picking a matching halo setting and the basics of buying a diamond with its setting online.

Choosing a Pear Shaped Diamond

Let’s get started with the diamond. Pear shaped diamonds, or tear-drop diamonds, are brilliant cut diamonds with an elongated shape. A pear shaped diamond has one rounded end (similar to an oval cut) and one pointed end (similar to a marquise cut). 

Thanks to the elongated dimensions of the pear shaped diamond, it creates the appearance of a longer, slimmer finger. 

Pear Shape Diamond Ring
An example of a pear shape diamond in a custom made setting by Abe Mor

Pear shaped diamonds vary in length and width, although most diamonds in this shape have a length to width ratio of between 1.5 and 2.0. Generally, you’ll want to look for a diamond with a ratio of 1.55 to 1.75 for optimal proportions and appearance.

When it comes to buying a pear shaped diamond, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to get the most bang for your buck.

The first is that pear shaped diamonds tend to display their color quite clearly. If you’re looking for a pear shaped diamond, you’ll want to limit your search to color grades of H or higher if you plan to choose a white gold or platinum setting. 

For a yellow gold or rose gold ring, it’s okay to drop down to the J or K range, as these metals will give any diamond the appearance of a slight yellow or red-pink tint.

A comparison between a J color and D color pear shape diamonds
A comparison between a J color and D color pear shape diamonds (from James Allen)

For an example of pear shaped diamond color, look at the diamonds above. On the left is a J color, 1.02 carat pear shaped diamond from James Allen. On the right is a D color pear shaped diamond from JA of the same size. 

This difference in color would be visible with any shape of diamond, but it’s particularly severe with the pear shape. 

The second is that although pear shaped diamonds aren’t particularly good at disguising color, they’re fantastic at concealing inclusions. This is especially true for the pointed end, which has an intricate facet pattern that makes inclusions virtually impossible to see.

Because of this, it’s perfectly fine to choose a pear shaped diamond with a clarity grade in the SI2 or SI1 range, provided you check that it’s eye-clean

eye-clean diamond

This combination of color and clarity will usually provide the best value for money when you’re choosing a diamond in this shape. 

The third thing to be aware of is that cut quality can vary hugely from one pear shaped diamond to another, making it important to understand what to look for. 

As a fancy diamond shape, a lot of the most important cut information isn’t provided by a pear shaped diamond’s certificate. To find something with optimal cut quality and brilliance, it’s best to use a combination of cut parameters and your own eyes.

In general, we recommend limiting your search to diamonds that have a depth of under 68%, a polish/symmetry grade of “good,” “very good” or excellent,” and a length to width ratio between 1.55 and 1.75. 

These aren’t particularly strict parameters, meaning it’s okay for a diamond to fall slightly out of these ranges.

A diamond with a bow-tie
A pear shape diamond with a strong bow-tie (photo: James Allen)

It’s also important to avoid common cut-related issues in pear shaped diamonds, such as overly flat or curvy diamonds, or diamonds with a bow-tie such as the one above. This is the dark pattern that runs across the width of the diamond.

Bow-ties aren’t an attractive feature of a pear shaped diamond, and it’s best to avoid any diamond that displays a prominent bowtie. As the GIA explains, “the bow-tie on a well-cut pear shaped diamond should be minimal, but there will still be good contrast between light and dark areas in the stone.”

We’ve explained how you can identify these issues in our more detailed guide to pear shaped diamonds.

Selecting a Halo Setting

Pear shaped diamonds look particularly beautiful in tapered solitaire settings and halo settings, which feature a loop of smaller diamonds that surround the center stone. 

Halo settings offer two special advantages for pear shaped diamonds. The first of these is that the diamond halo creates the appearance of a larger center diamond, giving the ring more of a presence on the wearer’s finger.

The second is that the shape of the ring, with its loop of smaller diamonds, offers protection for the most vulnerable part of the stone — the pointed tip.

Halo engagement rings come in several styles, from modern to vintage-inspired. They’re often paired with pavé diamonds, which give a pear shaped diamond even more of an eye-catching appearance. 
Choosing a halo setting is fairly straightforward, although you’ll need to keep in mind that halo settings can’t be resized easily. This makes it important to know your partner’s exact ring size before ordering anything online.

Buying a Loose Diamond and Setting Online

As we often mention, we’re big supporters of buying your diamond jewelry online. Purchasing a diamond online not only gives you access to a far larger inventory of loose diamonds, but it also lets you, as a consumer, take advantage of the lower prices that online vendors offer. 

Based on our reviews of diamond shops, we’ve found that prices from online vendors tend to be 30 to 40 percent lower than the prices in brick-and-mortar jewelry stores.

Whenever possible, we recommend purchasing your loose diamond and setting from the same vendor. This allows you to receive a complete ring, without having to take it to a jewelry store to have the diamond mounted in a setting. 

An alternative, which this reader chose, is to purchase a loose diamond on its own, then have it set in a ring by a jeweler. This is a more time-consuming and costly option, but it might be worth considering if you like a particular setting that’s only available locally.

Our Recommendation

Pear shaped diamonds look unique and beautiful, making them an option worth considering if you’d like your partner to have an engagement ring that’s truly special. 

This reader’s choice of a pear shaped diamond with a white gold halo setting is excellent. Not only does the halo ring emphasize and enhance the perceived size of the diamond, but it also offers protection for the delicate pointed end of the center stone.

If you’re considering a pear shaped diamond, apply the color and clarity parameters above to narrow your search to diamonds that will appear colorless and free of inclusions to the naked eye. 

Then, use the 360° images provided by James Allen and Blue Nile to view the diamonds. Get rid of any diamonds that don’t look quite right, whether due to an overly elongated shape or a visual issue such as an obvious bow-tie. 

Finding a beautifully cut pear shaped diamond is often challenging, but the reward of a unique and special stone is worth it. 

If you need help, feel free to contact us. Our diamond experts help hundreds of readers to find and purchase loose diamonds, engagement rings and other jewelry every month, and we’d be happy to help you choose the best diamond and setting for your tastes and budget.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

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What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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