How to Decide Between Pear Shaped and Marquise Diamonds

marquise engagement ring sitting on rose

Relatively similar in shape, pear and marquise diamonds can be perfect choices for a bride’s engagement ring. They both offer a bit of drama that the more traditional diamond shapes could be described as lacking. However, buyers should be aware of a few key differences between the cuts if they're debating pear vs marquise. We'll go over them here because they may help you decide.

Pear cut diamonds

A pear cut diamond was rightfully named because of it pear shape, but it can also be referred to as the teardrop diamond because of the fact that its shape also resembles a teardrop. This shape features an enlarged rounded bottom with a smaller pointed top.

The pear cut diamond dates back to the mid-1400’s, when it was created by a polisher named Lodewyk van Berquem. While the pear diamonds are successful today and popular as pear cut diamond engagement rings, they were originally disliked. The shape was not the problem because people were actually intensely attracted to the shape, but rather, many people had an issue with the amount of rough diamond lost and wasted in the process of creating a pear-shaped diamond.

Pear cut diamonds were made famous by Elizabeth Taylor. She not only knew all about diamonds, but she had a particular attraction to the teardrop shape. Allegedly, Taylor was once found by her husband, Richard Burton, in a pile of her collection of diamonds. Her excuse was that she was playing with her diamonds. Although Burton gifted Taylor with many different diamonds over the years, the most famous was a pear cut diamond. This diamond was named the Taylor-Burton diamond and measured a whopping 69 carats.

Experts agree that buyers looking to purchase a pear cut diamond engagement ring should look for a more rounded base and even shoulders to the stone as these aspects will allow the stone to have a more consistent shine. Buyers should especially be wary of elongated pear cut diamonds. While they may make the fingers appear even more slender, these shapes may appear to simply be faulty cut oval cut diamonds. While oval cut diamonds have many different options for ratios, the pear cut diamonds are typically most valuable with the very clearly rounded base and pointed top. However, whatever diamond is chosen depends on the wearer. If she is seeking a certain elongated pear shape, there are no rules against that; in fact, the stone may even be cheaper to purchase. As with any diamond, it is completely up to preference.

Marquise diamonds

Unlike a typical ring cut round or square, marquise cut engagement rings feature an elongated body ending in pointed tips giving the wearer an illusion that they are larger than any other diamonds of equal size in carats. The most obvious point in the pear vs marquise debate is this: do you want the drama of one pointed end or two? Additionally, the marquise cut may be referred to as the “navette” cut, a French word meaning “little boat”, because its shape mimics that of a small ship. Originally, this shape was only a cut for diamonds, but the shape became popular for other gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

Although a marquise diamond does not shine the brightest of all the cuts of diamonds, it does have an allure created from its special shape. This sparkle brings a new level of sophistication to the diamond world. A marquise cut diamond engagement ring is particularly flattering as it makes the wearer’s fingers appear longer and slenderer. However, the pointed edges do make chipping more likely.

The marquise cut diamond has a royal origin as it dates back to King Louis XV in the 18th century. His commission of a diamond led to a shape that mimicked the shape of his mistress’s lips. The name “marquise” refers to regality as well. It was considered to be a rank between a count and a duke. These courtiers were commonly seen showing off their marquise diamonds in order to flaunt their rank in society. This regal and historical connection brings a fascination and appeal to the modern bride, as seen by the plethora of celebrities proudly displaying a marquise engagement ring on their left hand. Because of the antiquity of the ring’s history, many buyers prefer to add a tint of color instead of purchasing the typical colorless diamond.

Pear vs marquise: Tips for diamond purchasing

When purchasing a marquise diamond engagement ring, Cut remains most important out of the Four C’s (Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat). Buyers should be careful of the bowtie cut, a slightly broader body than that of the marquise cut, which creates large dark spot in the middle of the stone resembling a bowtie. Buyers should also avoid the football cut, a body that is too narrow to be considered marquise, because the radiance is significantly lowered. The perfect marquise cut has enough surface space for light to properly reflect without causing the bowtie effect.

While both diamonds remain good options for an engagement ring, marquise and pear cut diamonds are incredibly different and are suited for completely different buyers. There is no “right” ring, but there are cuts geared towards different tastes!