Pear Shape Diamonds - The Tear Drop That Doesn't Make You Cry

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When considering diamond shapes, Pear-shaped goods are quite a popular shape in the Far East, but one of the least popular diamond shapes in the US consumer market. That is unfortunate because they are one of the best-looking diamond shapes, and they provide a surprisingly good value.

The unique appearance of the Pear Shape makes it suitable for a variety of jewelry. However, most people prefer Pear Shape diamonds to be set in a ring or in a pair of diamond earrings.

Pears are part of the half rounds group of diamond shapes that also include Hearts, Ovals and Marquise. The Pear shape looks like a drop of water or a teardrop and is a combination of the round and marquise brilliant cuts. On one end, it has a round or oval shape, while the other half resembles a marquise with the sides tapering to a point.

It usually has 58 facets, just like a round brilliant diamond. Because it is based on the 58 facet round brilliant, it is listed on certificates as Pear brilliant or Pear-shaped modified brilliant if it is a variation of the Pear brilliant.

Some Pear-shaped diamonds have a light effect known as "bow tie," a dark area in the diamond. It is the result of light not bouncing back up to the face of the diamond because of a misalignment of facets. The bow tie, which can vary from hardly visible to severe, can be eliminated by adding a French culet, a facet replacing the culet.

In some Pear-shape diamonds, color spreads unevenly. This is an issue mostly in Pear-shape diamonds weighing 1-carat or more. The color tends to concentrate in the point, making it look darker, especially in colors below F.

In terms of value, Pear-shape diamonds are about 17%-42% less than rounds, depending on color and clarity. The table below compares the value of 1 carat and 0.95 carat Pear-shape diamonds to one carat round diamonds (1 carat round = 100%) in all colors and clarities. The 0.95-carat comparison is here to highlight the relatively small difference in size that results in a large difference in value.

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In the last couple of weeks, we have been taking a closer look at the shape of diamonds. During the course of our work, we went a little deeper into the considerations of polishing a rough diamond and showed a few 3D renderings of rough diamonds and two ways of polishing it. One of them results in a large polished round and the other in two smaller rounds but with a higher total value.

This week we are going to examine a similar situation, where because of the shape of the rough diamond (commonly referred to as ‘model’) the options of polishing are between diamonds of different shape.

In the first example, a polisher has a 3.85-carat rough diamond. One way of polishing it will result in a 1.44 carat, D color, IF clarity, round diamond. The yield in this case, the weight of the final polished diamond compared to the weight of the original rough diamond, is just 37.35%, nearly two thirds of the original diamond are lost in this process.

3D Render Of 3.85 Ct Rough

Option 1: A 1.44 Ct Round

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Courtesy Sarine

Another option the polisher has is to take advantage of the shape of the rough diamond and polish in to a 1.52-carat D/IF Pear-shape, as shown below. Choosing to polish a Pear-shape diamond will improve yield to 39.99%.

3D Render of 3.85 Ct Rough

Option 2: A 1.52 Ct Pear-Shape

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Courtesy Sarine

While the Pear-shape diamond is a little bigger than the round, and both have the same color/clarity characteristics, the round diamond will have a higher total price because of the higher price per carat that rounds have compared to Pears. As the following table shows, the manufacturer will probably prefer polishing this rough diamond into a round-shape. The following is based on an analysis of current market prices, including tracking and analyzing diamond values over time.

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The outcome shown above is true when the rough allows polishing to shapes close in size and with the same color/clarity out characteristics. However, because rough diamonds come in many different models, some are better fit for polishing Pear-shape than rounds.

In the following example, the manufacturer has a 3.35 carat elongated rough diamond. In the first 3D render, we see that the best round diamond we can get out of it is 1.01 carat D/IF. The yield is very low, just 30.25%, nearly 70% of the rough diamond’s material will be lost.

3D Render Of 3.35 Ct Rough

Option 1: A 1.01 Ct Round

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Courtesy Sarine

However, thanks to the rough diamond’s model, a Pear-shape makes a better use of the material, 44.0% yield. The resulting diamond is also D/IF but has a much larger size, 1.49 carats, as seen below.

3D Render of 3.35 Ct Rough

Option 2: A 1.50 Ct Pear-Shape

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Courtesy Sarine

The large size variance has a large impact on the total value of the diamonds as well, as the following table shows.

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In our article on size, you will recall that the value of diamonds tend to jump at certain weights. Because of that, the per carat value difference between the round and Pear-shape in this example is a little smaller than in the previous example. In addition, the big difference in weight between the two options in this example results in a Pear-shape that has a total value that is 14% higher than the round diamond. In this example, a manufacturer may prefer to polish a Pear-shape diamond because of the higher return on investment – the cost of the rough diamond.

In all four instances, not only are the diamonds D color and IF clarity, but they also have excellent proportions. Excellent proportions result in better light return and therefore the value of the diamond is higher. Below are the ideal proportions of a Pear-shape diamond and the impact on value when deviating from them.

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As stated in previous articles, the intention of this review is to highlight a number of issues relating to diamonds, their value and how to understand the differing characteristics of diamonds that may seem identical but differ enough to impact their value. On top of the article mentioned above, we have also covered quality and color, which are part of the basic 4Cs.

In addition, in the context of shapes, we presented a table that showed the difference in value between the various shapes. This table is part of the Mercury Crystal Clear™ system. It is important to keep it in mind when considering diamonds as part of a wealth preservation belief or even as a gift.

The image below illustrates the size relations between round and Pear-shape diamonds of similar weight. As you can see, when looking from above, a Pear-shaped diamond looks bigger. The smallest diamond, the 1.10 Round D IF, measures 6.6 millimeters across. Please note – not real size.

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Clearly, there are many considerations when coming to determine a diamond’s value. In addition, as shown here, there are additional value aspects that can be taken into account if considering a purchase of a diamond, such as alternatives between diamonds and historic performance.

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