The pear shape is a unique and hybrid diamond cut combining the brilliance and design
style of both the Round Brilliant and the Marquise that results in a shape with
a single point and rounded end.
The typical ratio is between 1.50 and 1.70 and the stone is usually comprised of
58 facets, although the number of pavilion facets may range from 4 to 8. Additionally,
pear shapes are sometimes cut with a “French tip,” which replaces the large bezel
facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets. French tips are also used
in the Heart and Marquise shapes. Pear-shaped diamonds may vary in appearance with
some having what is referred to as “high shoulders”, making the stone appear more
The pear shape can suffer from a so-called “bow-tie effect” when light passing through
the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the stone. This shadow can
be reduced by altering the depth of the pavilion, and adjusting the angles of the
table and facets to better diffuse light in the central area. This effect also occurs
in the Heart, Marquise and Oval shapes.
3. Expert Advice
The optimal pear shape is one with a polished girdle and a rounded base, or “even
shoulders”. However, much like the oval cut, a more attenuated pear shape may elongate
the fingers, so it is important to reconcile these two qualities. Additionally,
colour is often more visible towards the tip of the pear shape, so to ensure an
even tone throughout the stone it is advisable to opt for colours H and above.
4. History & Background
The first pear-shaped diamond was created in the 1400s by Flemish cutter Lodewyk
van Berquem of Bruges, inventor of the diamond-polishing wheel, or scaif.
This invention enabled him to polish all the facets of the diamond to optimize light
reflection within it. It was from this watershed moment onwards that diamonds began
to be used in jewellery.
Van Berquem also pioneered the now commonplace symmetrical arrangement of facets
on a stone, this in turn led him to fashion the pear-shaped "Pendeloque" or "Briolette"