Hearts and Arrows Diamond: Is it Worth it?


Summary
If you’re in the market for a diamond, you’ve probably heard of super ideal-cut Hearts and Arrows diamonds. But, what does this phrase really mean, and are these diamonds worth the extra money?

Here’s what you need to know about Hearts and Arrows diamonds.

Reading time: 4 min 28 sec
hearts and arrows diamond engagement ring
This 0.62ct lab-created diamond has a visible pattern of arrows. © CustomMade. Used with permission.

What is a Hearts and Arrows Diamond?

Hearts and Arrows diamonds are precision-cut round diamonds. Because of their exact angles and symmetry, they show a hearts-and-arrows pattern when viewed through a special tool. Arrows are visible from the top of the diamond, and hearts are visible when the diamond is face-down.

hearts & arrows diamond - near-perfect hearts
This hearts pattern shows a near-perfect symmetry. Check out this diamond! © James Allen. Used with permission.

The arrows in a well-cut diamond can be seen even without using a special tool. However, you have to see the diamond spot-on to see this pattern, and it’s difficult to capture in images after the diamond is set in jewelry.

Hearts and Arrows Does Not Mean Ideal Cut Quality

It’s important to keep in mind that ideal diamond cuts won’t always exhibit hearts and arrows. Some diamonds with excellent cut grades have imperfect symmetry and lack this pattern, but that doesn’t mean they lack beauty.

Compare this True Hearts™ diamond to a fantastic “Excellent” cut. Both diamonds perform well in spite of differences in their symmetry.

Furthermore, some gimmicky cuts will show hearts and arrows even without proper proportions. Make sure your diamond has a standard, 57-facet round cut, not a company-exclusive cut pattern. Always view a video of the diamond before buying it online to be sure that it sparkles well.

Super Ideal-Cut Diamond Price

Because it costs more to cut a stone to exacting Hearts and Arrows standards, these diamonds come with a price premium. How much of a premium depends on where you’re buying.

James Allen’s True Hearts™ and Blue Nile’s Astor Ideal diamonds cost about 10-30% more than an excellent-cut diamond. Whiteflash and Brian Gavin give their premium diamonds a slightly higher price point, about 20-35% higher than the average round excellent-cut diamond.

Some brands may charge even more for their diamonds. For example, a simple solitaire ring at Hearts on Fire, set with a 1.0-ct, G-H VS-SI1 diamond would cost $11,600. A similar ring with a James Allen True Hearts™ cut diamond would cost $6,190 with an H color SI1, or $9,850 for a G color VS1. Ultimately, this means a premium of 50% or more compared to an excellent-cut diamond without the hearts-and-arrows pattern.

If you’re searching for a super ideal-cut diamond, compare costs between companies. There’s no reason to pay thousands of dollars more for the same product!

Performance of Super Ideal-Cut Diamonds

If you’re paying a premium, you’re probably wondering if the ideal cut makes a noticeable difference. In some cases, it can.

However, you should compare for yourself. For each vendor, take a look at closeup videos of the Hearts and Arrows diamonds and compare them to regular ideal-cut diamonds at large retailers like Blue Nile and James Allen. If you can’t see the difference, it’s probably not worth the premium.

A 0.894-ct F-VS2 Canera ideal hearts diamond. Video by Victor Canera. Licensed under CC By 3.0.

Should I Buy a Hearts and Arrows Diamond?

Ultimately, if you’re not set on a Hearts and Arrows diamond, you should focus your search on diamonds with excellent performance. This will let you put your budget toward a bigger diamond or an elaborate proposal!

However, if you want a Hearts and Arrows diamond, you should buy it. These diamonds have an attractive symmetry and almost always have excellent performance. The Cupid symbolism only adds to their appeal.

Judging Quality in a Hearts and Arrows Diamond

Even among precision-cut diamonds, there are higher and lower quality cuts. If you’re looking for the top Hearts and Arrows diamonds, you’ll need to look very closely. Just because you can see the pattern doesn’t mean it has perfect symmetry.

hearts & arrows diamond - 3.08ct
This 3.08-ct diamond has a good, but not perfect, hearts and arrows pattern. If you can’t see the asymmetry, don’t worry. This is still one of the top 1% of diamond cuts! © James Allen. Used with permission.

It’s difficult to judge these images without expertise, patience, and a good eye for detail. We recommend leaving it to the experts.

Where Should I Buy a Hearts and Arrows Diamond?

If you’re concerned about getting a top-quality Hearts and Arrows diamond, check out Brian Gavin and Whiteflash. These retailers are known for their precision cutting and stunning performance.

If you’d rather pay a little less and still have the Hearts and Arrows designation, shop at James Allen. Their True Hearts™ collection features diamonds with excellent performance and lower prices. Especially at one carat and above, James Allen diamonds will have a significant discount compared to those from Brian Gavin and Whiteflash.

If you’d rather not stress about the details, consider using CustomMade. Their jewelry experts will work with you to find a stunning Hearts and Arrows diamond and create a unique ring, perfect for your engagement.

About the author
Addison Rice
A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison's interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth's geological processes began in her elementary school's environmental club. When she isn't writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.
All articles by this author