The heart shape is a classic symbol of love. Add in a diamond and you get something that is not only eye-catching but exudes an aura of passion and romance. Indeed, the heart cut diamond is among the rarer cuts but is in recent times seeing a growth in popularity especially with celebrities.
A diamond cut in the shape of a heart is quite the statement.
It may seem like a relatively modern diamond cut, but it has been around for some time. The origins of the heart cut are hard to find and it is unknown when the first heart cut emerged.
There are sources that say it may have been in existence as far back as the 16th century. It’s important to note that what modern gemologists would consider to be triangular and have rounded corners may have at some point in history be described as heart shaped.
A famous portrait named the “Gonzaga Princess” depicts an image of a heart cut diamond and was painted in the year 1605 by a French artist is known as Frans Pourbous the Younger.
The heart cut has between 56 facets and 59 facets. It may also feature 6, 7 or 8 pavilion facets. Due to the shape of the cut, it exudes a lot of fire and brilliance. Only the most Skilled and professional diamond cutters can make the heart cut from a diamond rough.
Sometimes you will find a heart cut diamond with a French tip. This is less prone to chipping. It will take the place of the large bezel facet and instead have star facets at the upper girdle.
Many of the stones that you may find in the market will be poorly cut. Finding one that has the perfect cut is rare but not however impossible to find.
Parts of a heart-shaped diamond
If you are going to do the right type of evaluation, you need to understand the different parts of a heart cut diamond.
The cleft is the top edge that is between the wings. The bottom sharp tip is known simply as the point.
The sides are divided into 3 main parts. The lobe is the topmost part of the curve. It follows after the cleft. The lobe continues to curve and forms the belly. The curve continues and forms the wing and lastly to the point.
Simply put the outline of the cut should form the heart shape. Some cuts have flat wings or very pointed lobes. This results in an arrowhead shape. One of the best ways to get a quality heart cut diamond is to evaluate the symmetry.
When evaluating your heart cut diamond, start by drawing a line through the center from cleft to point. Check whether both sides of the diamond are perfectly symmetrical. Since your eyes will naturally be drawn to any flaws you should be able to find the best quality cut.
Look for perfect symmetry
When going for a heart cut, symmetry is key. Its beauty comes from perfectly aligned facets. Each of the sides of the heart cut should mirror the other side of perfectly.
Any poorly cut and misaligned facets will draw your eye to them and will result in a less appealing diamond. It is crucial that you pick a stone where each half is perfectly symmetrical to the next and is similar in shape and size.
The cleft that is between both sides of the heart cut diamond should be clear and distinctive. Each wing of the diamond should also be perfectly rounded. With a heart cut diamond, you cannot afford to buy blind and it is paramount that you see the diamond first before making a decision.
The length-to-width ratio of the heart cut
The classic heart cut will have a length to width ratio of 1.00. If it goes to 1.05 then it will start to appear long and elongated. On the other hand, if it goes to .95 then it will look wider. If you plan to have your heart cut diamond placed in your drop earrings, then the narrow profile is best.
However, if you plan on going for the solitaire ring, then the wide cut is ideal. Simply put, the length-to-width ratio of the right diamond for you will come down to personal preferences.
The bowtie effect of the heart cut
Poorly-cut diamonds will have misaligned facets which will bring out the bowtie. The light gets in through the diamond and out the other side instead of being reflected back to you. This results in shadows in the diamond that resemble a man’s bowtie.
Heart cut diamonds are prone to showing bowties. It can be anywhere from severe to unnoticeable. If you pick a heart cut diamond and the first thing that catches your eye is the bowtie, then it is best to pick another diamond that offers much better light performance.
Note that the lab grading will not provide information on the appearance of the bowtie and this emphasizes the importance of observing and evaluating the diamond yourself. Only then can you make the best purchase decision.
Other reports might make the heart cut diamond appear ideal but you may get disappointed after you see the actual stone. Never buy a heart cut diamond blind.
Note that this shadow can be reduced by changing the depth of the pavilion. The pavilion is the bottom half of the diamond. The angle of the facets and the table can also be adjusted. This will reflect light in the central area of the heart cut diamond.
The table refers to the topmost part of the diamond.
Granted finding a heart cut diamond that has perfect facet alignment can be difficult but certainly not impossible. The latest laser cutting technology ensures that the diamond is almost completely free of the bowtie effect.
There is maximum light reflected you and this means that the stone is able to sparkle and be as brilliant as possible. The carat weight is worth considering of course but you are much better off with a stone that says, .8 carats and shines brightly than one that is 1.0 carats and doesn’t shine as much.
The table below will guide you when evaluating the cut of the heart cut.
|Table%||53-63||52 or 64-65||51 or 66-68||50 or 69-70||<50 or >70|
|Depth%||58-62||56-57.9 or 62.1-66||53-55.9 or 66.1 -71||50 – 52.9 or 71.1-74||<50 or >74|
|Girdle%||Very thin-slightly thick||Very thin-slightly thick||Very thin- thick||Very thin -very thick||Extra thin- extra thick|
|Culet %||None||Very small||Small||Medium||>Medium|
|Length-width ratio||.95-1.02||.89-.94 or 1.03-1.05||.83-.87 or 1.06-1.10||.80-.83 or 1.11-1.15||>.80 or <1.15|
The heart cut diamond depth percentage
It’s important to also consider the depth percentage of the heart cut. While some cuts such as the oval cut are not too much affected by the depth percentage, when it comes to the heart cut, it does have a significant effect on the appearance of the bowtie.
The depth percentage can also influence the amount of light that gets reflected back to you and thus the brilliance of the heart cut diamond.
The depth percentage chart below is a good reference. Where possible try to aim for the excellent depth percentage.
Choosing a color grade
The heart cut diamond will retain color and if there is any tint in the stone, you are going to see it. This explains why they are mostly used as gemstones or even colored diamonds. Since they bring out the color so well.
If you don’t mind paying a higher premium, then you can go for a colorless heart shape diamond between color grades, D-E-F. These provide the best and most brilliant look. On the other hand, if you are one for warm tones then you can always drop down the color grade until you find a tint that you like.
Note that each color grade will have its own premium. The differences in price can be large even while the differences in color appearance may be small and at times indistinguishable.
Of course, you need to consider the setting when choosing the best color for your diamond. If you plan to use rose gold or yellow for your setting then you can drop the color grade to J., On the other hand, using white gold or platinum color setting will make any tint in the diamond even more noticeable so you will need to pick one higher up the color grade.
The table below is will serve as a guide for evaluating the color of a heart cut diamond.
|<.50 ct.||D – G||H – I||J – K||L – M||>M|
|.51-1.0 ct.||D – F||G||H – I||J – K||>K|
|1.0- 2.0 ct.||D – F||D – F||G – H||I -J||>J|
|>2.0 ct.||D – F||D – F||G||H – I||>I|
|Fluoro||None||Faint – Medium||Strong||Very Strong||Very Strong|
Clarity grading of the heart cut
Due to the shape of the heart cut if there are any flaws in the faceting your eyes will be easily drawn to them. Go for a diamond that is eye clean. You will not have to worry what clarity grade you pick in this case. if you are on a budget then go down the clarity grade as far as you can without noticing any flaws and pick your heart cut diamond.
Larger stones will show inclusions much more easily. In this case, it is best to go for a heart cut that is between flawless to very very slightly included 2.
The table below will guide you on evaluating the clarity of a heart cut diamond.
|.51 to 1.00 ct.||FL-VS1||VS2-SI1||SI2||I1-I2||>I2|
|1.00 to 2.00ct||FL- VVS2||VS1-VS2||SI1-SI2||I1||>I1|
|>2.00 ct.||FL- VVS2||VS1-VS2||SI1||SI2||>SI2|
Size of a heart cut
You may go with a small stone when it comes to other diamond cuts such as the princess and the Ascher. However, with the heart cut, it is advisable to pick a sizeable diamond.
It gets harder to notice the shape of the heart diamond if it is too small. The larger the diamond the more it brings out its shape.
That said, the right size diamond will come down to your personal preference and your budget. That is when talking about other cuts. With the heart cut diamond, however, things are a bit different.
One of the main reasons why the heart cut is not very popular compared to other cuts such as the brilliant cut and the princess cut is mainly due to the carat weight.
Many experts will advise that you go for a heart cut diamond with at least 1.0 ct. These diamonds are deep which makes them appear much smaller than they are. Some cuts such as the marquise cut appear lager that they actually are. When the stone is a bit too small then it is not very easy to notice the diamond.
In fact, a smaller heart cut diamond when viewed from afar can appear like a different version of a round brilliant.
The type of setting you choose, however, can make a small heart cut diamond become much more visible.
Picking the best ring setting for the heart cut
If there is one thing about the heart cut diamond it is that it calls out for attention and draws eyes to its core. This is certainly true when the stone is larger and is, therefore, more easily visible. The solitaire setting complements the heart cut as it extends to accentuate the shape of the diamond. This causes it to stand out even more when worn on the finger.
That said, the setting should provide a good degree of protection to the heart cut diamond. This is especially when you consider that it has a pointed tip which is prone to chipping.
For smaller sized diamonds, a 3-prong setting will work fine. On the other hand, if you are going for larger diamonds, a 5-prong setting is ideal. A large diamond, after all, requires more protection.
Look for a bottom prong that has a V tip to grab onto the heart cut point.
Always note that prong settings, however, tend to catch on clothes, objects, and hair much easier. This can affect the durability of the heart cut.
A halo setting adds even more sparkle and brilliance to an already brilliant heart cut diamond. This is owing to the surrounding smaller diamonds with each adding its own fire.
The heart cut works perfectly with vintage settings creating a perfect blend of the old world and new world designs while still eluding romance and passion.
Sometimes a bit of color is all a lady need and the great thing is that you can get a colored heart-shaped diamond. The color, combined with the brilliance of the heart cut diamonds results in a fascinating appeal.
The bezel setting is among the most popular for the heart cut diamond. It consists of a metal edging that encircles the rim of the diamond. It is one of the most secure and offers great protection for the heart cut diamond.
There is a downside to the bezel setting however has it can block out a bit of light. Including a halo effect to recover lost brilliance is a great idea.
With the 3-prong setting, the diamond is free to take in and reflect as much light as possible allowing it to exude its fire. Always ensure that the stone is set in the most secure way in the 3-prong setting.
Heart cut diamond price
You need to be willing to pay a high price for the heart cut diamond. Due to the shape, the unique faceting and the skill and expertise needed to cut the diamond, prices tend to be a bit high. In fact, this is the most expensive of all the diamond cuts.
Since it is a rare cut and considering how hard it is to get a perfectly cut heart cut diamond, this makes it an excellent investment. Besides, many industry experts seem to agree that the heart cut diamond, despite being the 9th most popular diamond cut, is going to see a growth in popularity in the years to come.
What’s more, if you are the type of person who prefers to remain unique, then the heart cut diamond may be the one for you. After all, you don’t expect to see someone else wearing the diamond every day.
Where to buy the heart cut diamond
When choosing a seller especially when you are buying online, ensure that they can provide you with a certification of the labs they use such as the GIA, EGL, and AGS and that they are reputable and have excellent reviews.
Also, you want to make sure that the images, as well as the videos, are of the actual diamond and that they provide a 360-degree view of the stone.
Take your time to make the proper evaluation.