It has a typical ratio of between 1.50 and 1.70 and the stone normally consists of 58 facets, although the number of pavilion facets may vary from 4 to 8. In addition, pear shapes can sometimes be cut with a “French tip,” which replaces the large bezel facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets. Pear-shaped diamonds can vary widely in appearance with some having what is referred to as “high shoulders”, which makes the stone appear more angular.
The pear shape cut can suffer from the 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. You can also see this effect in the Heart cut, Marquise cut and Oval cut shapes.
The pear-shaped diamond was first created in the 1400s by Flemish cutter Lodewyk van Berquem of Bruges. He was also the inventor of the scaif (diamond-polishing wheel). The scaif enabled him to polish all the facets of the diamond to optimize light reflection within it. This was the moment that diamonds began to be used in jewelery. Van Berquem also pioneered the now commonplace symmetrical arrangement of facets on a stone, which in turn led him to fashion the pear-shaped “Pendeloque” or “Briolette” cut.