Pear Shaped Engagement Rings – When One Pear Beats Three of a Kind?
Pear shaped engagement rings are not only classic, but their cut was invented by the father of today’s diamond market over five hundred years ago. With an ever growing number of different diamond cuts for engagement rings available today, it can seem a daunting task to select just the right one for that special lady you have in mind. Why not make it easy and go with the most distinct shaped diamond that has been around for centuries?
Poppa Was A Rolling Stones
Lodewyk Von Berquem of Brugge, Belgium could easily be called the father of today’s diamond market. He contributed so much to making the diamond a popular choice of stone that it only seems fitting.
Lodewyk was a diamond polisher by trade and invented a polishing wheel called the scaif, which enabled him to cut diamonds. It was from this polishing wheel he came up with the concept of absolute symmetry in placing facets, which shaped the diamond cuts of modern times.
Along with his inventions and concepts, Lodewyk Von Berquem developed the pear shaped cut we know today, also referred to as the tear drop or pendeloque. A combination of the oval cut and the Marquise cut, it’s pointed on one end and round on the other give it the shape of a pear.
Some people give Lodewyk credit as well for having cut the famous 137 carat Florentine diamond for the Valois family, one of the most powerful families of his time.
Oh, Elizabeth, Here Comes The Big One
Pear shaped diamonds have something else in their heritage. Big. The world’s largest known diamond is the pear shaped Star of Africa at 530.21 carats.
When it comes to big diamonds in pear shaped engagement rings, Elizabeth Taylor’s nuptial announcement from Richard Taylor came with a pear shaped diamond of 69.42 carats.
How Bigs It Gotta Be?
While the biggest diamonds may be pear cut that doesn’t mean pear shaped engagement rings require you to buy a huge diamond.
One of the reasons there are so many large diamonds cut with the pear shape is because the pointed end can allow some diamonds that have a flaw on one end, to have it cut away. This allows the pear cut to yield as much as 50% more in the way of carats from the same stone, than other popular cuts. That can also be translated to buying a larger stone for less money.
There are, however, some things you need to be aware of when looking at pear shaped engagement rings. First off to make sure the diamond looks balanced, they should be 1.45 to 1.75 times longer than they are wide. Otherwise, the diamond loses its distinctive proportions.
Because of its pointed end, you need to be especially careful when considering engagement ring settings. It should have at least one v-shaped prong at the point to keep it from being broken and most diamonds of this cut will have 5-6 prongs holding it in place.
The pear shaped diamond is one that doesn’t have any table, cutlet or edge. Its crown is shaped with 58 triangular shaped facets, giving it an exquisite sparkle in bright light. Because of this and its unique shape many pear shaped engagement rings are set in solitaires, though it also looks beautiful in a setting with small round diamonds surrounding it.
Match Maker, Match Maker…
Pear shaped engagement rings do have one unique characteristic that should be kept in mind when purchasing. Because of the distinctive shape of the pear cut diamond they tend to overhang the wedding band. For this reason it is usually recommended that both engagement and wedding band be purchased at the same time.
Another nice feature of pear cut engagement rings, is they are usually set with the point of the stone aiming at the fingernail. When placed in this manner it gives a very nice slimming effect to the ladies hand and we all know how they like to look slimmer.
A Partridge In A Pear Tree
When choosing pear shaped engagement rings, the quality of the diamond is very important. Even grading isn’t as important as crystal structure in this case, because it is the clarity of the diamond that really actuates this cut.
Watch out for diamonds that have the “bow tie” effect, which is caused from improper cutting and causes shadows that take away from the beauty of the stone.
Don’t Compare Apples And Oranges, Just Look For A Pear
When you begin your search for pear shaped engagement rings, don’t forget to include the vintage jewelry market place. Since these cuts have been around for over five-hundred years, there are some outstanding rings to be found in antique jewelry stores, vintage jewelry stores and estate sales. You can also find them occasionally in pawn shops.
While antique and vintage shops can produce some of the best buys, you do want to approach purchases from these sources with a certain amount of caution. Many times, especially when it comes to pawn shops or estate sales, the person you are buying from is less than knowledgeable.
If you know someone who is a professional jeweler take them with you. If not, before you purchase, make arrangements to take the ring to a jeweler for evaluation. Shops that offer no guarantees, or won’t allow you the option of taking the ring for an evaluation, should be avoided.
In the new market place, pear shaped engagement rings are not that difficult to find, but are more scarce than high volume cuts like princess. New stores should always be asked about their certification programs and quality standards. These should also be available in writing.
A best place to start your search is the internet. Looking online is the most cost effective way to find the outlets that carry what you are looking for, saving you money and leaving you more to spend on the purchase.
No matter where you find the perfect pear, no other cut on the market today has a history with as much impact on the diamond market as this one. Pear shaped engagement rings not only bring a brilliance and individuality to your choice, they have a timeless elegance that has lasted through the centuries. Why not a pear for the pair?