Dating from the early days of the 20th Century a diamond of this importance and cut to this standard will have only been entrusted to one of the finest cutters of the era, quite possibly Joseph Asscher, who cut the World’s most famous pear shape diamond – The Cullinan I, in the British Crown Jewels. The skill involved in producing a diamond of this calibre demonstrates beautifully the all-but-lost artform of diamond-cutting by hand. This is the finest cut pear shape diamond we have owned in our company’s 170 year history.
The pear shaped diamond has long been loved for its elegant and flattering tear drop shape. It is unusual for a diamond cut in that it is one of very few shapes that is not symmetrical but instead combines both the generous curved form of a round brilliant with the elongated tapering point of a marquise shape. The origins of this diamond cut can be traced back to 15th century Belgium and a man named Lodewyk van Bercken who was renowned throughout Europe for inventing a piece of diamond cutting machinery called a scaif. This rotating wheel impregnated with oil and diamond powder facilitated a quality of diamond cutting and polishing previously unknown. As van Bercken’s reputation as a diamond cutter spread, he was able to experiment more freely and this resulted in the development of the pear shape amongst others. Early pear shapes, like their rounded sisters, were gentler in form than today’s modern cuts. Proportions can vary hugely with this shape from wide soft pears to long narrow ones but the antique cuts we favour are of the softer variety. Typically on the fuller side with a softly curved end and a gently rounded tip they often have a flat open culet and faceting style that resembles old mine cut diamonds. The smaller table facet and higher crown allow these old cuts to display a wonderful fire and liveliness which, coupled with their beautiful shape, makes them particularly alluring. The most famous pear shape diamond is the historic Cullinan I, which is also the world’s largest colourless cut diamond weighing in at 530.2cts. It is set in the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre which is part of the Crown Jewels and is used during coronation services.