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Heart Cut Diamonds

Heart Cut Diamonds

Outline A heart - two rounded lobes meet at a point
Cutting Style Brilliant
Description A sparkling stone in the shape of love itself
No. of Facets 57
Ideal L/W Ratio 0.90 - 1.1

CURVACEOUS AND LOVELY

It’s hard not to fall in love with the smooth sparkling curves of the Heart Shape Cut. Graceful yet playful, romantic yet bold, a heart shape diamond’s simple, elegant design radiates with fiery brilliance and is a stunning alternative to a Round Brilliant.

As the ultimate symbol of love, a heart shaped diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings, and the perfect way to remember a romantic Valentine’s Day proposal. This shape is also often paired as earrings or set into a pendant to mark a special anniversary.

Yet for some, a heart shape diamond is too obvious and, of all the diamond shapes, is the one most likely to evoke a love/hate reaction. If you’re buying as a surprise - especially as an engagement ring - be sure the person you’re buying for really will LOVE it.

We Say
With the heart-shape, symmetry is paramount so it’s vitally important to choose a diamond with an excellent or good cut rating. Opt for a colour grade of G or higher as in lower grades, colour can be concentrated at the tip and cleft.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND GRADING

The Heart Shape Cut is a brilliant cut which typically has 57 facets, of which there may be 6, 7, or 8 main facets on the pavilion. Its triangular and kite-shaped facets give it as much fire, brilliance and scintillation as a Round Brilliant or Princess Cut.

A loose heart shape diamond vectorA loose heart shape diamond vector

A Heart Shape diamond begins life as a Pear Shaped cut - in fact, the two look remarkably alike in terms of design and facets. However, a Heart Shape diamond is given a cleft at the rounded end. This cleft usually serves to cut out an inclusion that would otherwise make a pear-shaped diamond. 

Although this suggests a heart-shape diamond is a pear-shaped reject, the truth is it takes much more skill and expertise to create a beautiful heart shape. The heart’s distinctive ‘wings’ or lobes must be absolutely symmetrical, with the facets on either side appearing as mirror images. The cleft cut must look clean, smooth and natural with no unevenness or sudden hard edges. And because of its perfectly balanced form, the Heart Shape Cut’s ideal length to width ratio is much stricter - between 0.90 and 1.10.

The Bow-Tie Effect

Pear, marquise, oval and heart shape diamonds can suffer from a phenomenon known as the bow-tie effect. This is where an area of shadow resembling a bow tie can be seen in the centre of the stone.

Whilst it’s not unusual for some shadow to be visible in oval, pear, marquise and heart shape diamonds when viewed from a certain angle in a certain light, it’s undesirable for a diamond to have an obvious dark area when viewed from ANY angle in ALL lights. You should look for a stone with minimal shadow to detract from its beauty.

If you have any concerns about the bow-tie effect or you would like to make an appointment to view diamonds at either our Hatton Garden or Milton Keynes offices please contact us.

GRADING

Currently, there aren't any universally accepted standards for grading the cut of Heart Shape diamonds so certifying laboratories don’t do it. Instead, it’s down to individual retailers to evaluate the quality of the cut for this shapes.

We’ve developed our own criteria to provide consistent cut grading for all the Heart Shape diamonds we offer. These take into account factors such as table and depth percentage, polish and symmetry, and length to width ratio.

Refer to the table below to see how we grade Heart Shape diamonds.

  Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
Table % 55%-62% 53%-64% 52%-65% 50%-70% <50% or >70%
Depth % 52%-60% 50%-62% 45%-65% 40%-69% <40% or >69%
Polish / Symmetry Good to Excellent Fair to Excellent Poor to Excellent
Ratio (L/W) 0.90-1.10 0.85-1.20 0.80-1.40 <0.80 or >1.40

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

Although the exact origins of the Heart Shape Cut can’t be pinpointed, ‘heart shape diamonds’ are known to have been around as long ago as the 15th and 16th Centuries. However, in historical terms, ‘heart shaped’ might refer to any diamond that is triangular or pear-shaped with rounded corners. The modern heart shape – with two rounded lobes, a pointed tip and a cleft - didn't fully emerge until the early 1900s.

STYLE GUIDE

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring in 18K Yellow Gold Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum

The Heart Shape Cut is the obvious choice for sensitive, romantic types but it also possesses a classic simplicity that makes a refined statement.

A Heart Shape Cut can be considered a “young” style so if you’re buying one for daily rather than occasional use (e.g. as an engagement ring) consider if you will still like the style as you grow older.

Length to Width Ratio

For the perfect proportions, look for a length to width ratio of 1.0. Those with slender fingers may find a Heart Shape Cut too bulky. In this case, try a length to width ratio between 1.0 and 1.10 for a slimmer outline.

Setting

A Heart Shape Cut is most suited to solitaires where it can really stand out. 

Because of the Heart’s unique shape, it requires a special three claw setting to hold it securely at both the lobes and the tip. The tip is especially vulnerable to chipping so make sure it’s well protected in the setting.

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