Diamonds are cut into a wide variety of shapes today, though the most common ones are rounded or even square-like. When it comes to engagement rings, however, modern day brides to be are increasingly looking for rings that are unique and draw attention. While the actual type of stone is no doubt a major factor, the shape it is cut into is becoming more personalized as well. Although rounded, even shapes have been the norm for much of the past century, the desire to be different has resulted in the return of cuts from older time periods. Pear shaped engagement rings are one example.
For those interested in its history, the pear shaped diamond is known to have been extremely popular during the Renaissance period, and it was used in many jewelry pieces—it was not just limited to engagement rings. Jeweler and designer Lodewyk (Louis) van Berquem of Brugge of Belgium is known to have created the first pear cut diamond in 1458, and he is also believed to be the person responsible for crafting the famous 137 carat Florentine Diamond for the Valois Family. Van Berquem invented the pear cut by utilizing a polishing wheel called a scaif, which made it easier for him to cut facets in a diamond (something rarely seen at the time, and even so only among the very elite classes). A pear cut is considered ideal when it has 58 facets cut into it, which creates a magnificent, radiant effect. In addition to using the facet cutting technique, Van Berquem combined the Oval and Marquise cuts to create the pear shaped diamond. One can easily see by looking at pear shaped engagement rings today that the stone is rounded at one end and pointed at the other, and for this reason a pear shaped diamond is also known as a “teardrop cut” in the jewelry world.
When buying pear shaped diamond engagement rings, there are a few recommendations you should know to follow before you hit up your local Zales or Jared (or other jeweler of your choice). After all, don’t you want to make sure that your pear shaped engagement ring has the best possible rock in it for your preferences and budget?
When browsing through pear shaped diamonds (either individual or already on rings), pay close attention to their length to width ratio and overall shape appeal. Pear shaped engagement rings are known to have diamonds that suffer from a so-called "bow-tie" effect, which is when a dark area appears across the center of an elongated cut in the stone. Nevertheless, this is visible in all pear shaped diamonds, although a good one will be relatively faint and not at all dark. Good examples of pear shaped engagement rings that have only faint bow-tie effects are those in high class designer collections like Harry Winston and Neil Lane.
Like with all engagement ring stones, the cut of a pear shaped diamond determines its brilliance. Even if the diamond has perfect color and clarity and goes well with the metal band it is mounted on, a poorly cut diamond will nevertheless have a dull appearance— a poorly cut diamond is essentially a waste of a diamond. For gemologists (people who study precious stones), the cut is one of the most important diamond characteristics, and the quality of a cut is based on factors that determine the light performance, dimensions, and finish of a stone. â¨
When it is all broken down, the basic rule is that the cut should reflect the maximum amount of light into the eye of the person looking at the diamond. If, for example, the diamond is cut too shallow, the light around it will be lost out of the bottom of the rock (also known as the pavilion) rather than the sides and top, and the diamond will lose brilliance, appearing dull. On the other hand, a diamond that is cut too deep will result in light that escapes through the sides rather than the top, and the diamond will appear way too dark. So, because pear shaped engagement rings have diamonds that are designed to maximize their brilliance, you should be aware that a good cut would never appear dull or dark.
In addition to appearing elegant, dramatic and radiant while solo, a pear shaped diamond on a wedding band also makes a beautiful engagement ring when other stones inlayed in the band. One increasingly popular technique is to have a pear shaped diamond set into the middle of the band, with tiny, round or even square diamonds (usually princess cut) surrounding it like a frame. Kay Jewelers, for example, offers several pre-designed pear shaped engagement rings just like this. By contrast, Blue Nile has rings with the pear shaped stones as compliments to the main diamond. It all depends on your preferences, as both are beautiful.
If you find yourself a little unsure of what you are looking for in pear shaped engagement rings, be sure to browse through online catalogs before heading to jewelry stores (it is best to know what you want when you go, as this way you will be less likely to be talked into buying something you are not 100 percent satisfied with). For example, Shane Co. has their collection of pear shaped engagement rings for viewing on the company website. If you don’t see anything you like among their rings, you can also use Shane Co.’s virtual ring designer that allows you to create and view your own pear shaped engagement ring online (you can even order your design right there, if you wish). This virtual designer is also good if you just want to play around with ring and stone colors and explore your preferences.
Nevertheless, always remember that it is best to go to a jeweler and see colors in person before you order a ring, be it online or with a local jeweler. After all, engagement rings are very important and should be treated as such.