Checkered hearts make popular gem cuts. Jeff Graham’s Heart Squared design works well with any medium to light-colored material.
By Jeff R. Graham 2 minute read
Heart Squared gem design by Jeff Graham © 2004.

Heart Squared gem design by Jeff Graham © 2004.

You can find cutting instructions for the Heart Squared here.

A True Checkerboard Heart

Many people have asked me for a checkered heart. So, here’s a true checkerboard heart design. To my knowledge, my Heart Squared is the only true checkerboard heart published and available.

Heart Squared - tourmaline

Heart Squared, 10.7 x 11 x 7.6 mm, Nigerian pink tourmaline, cut by Jeff Graham.

You can read my step-by-step article with photos on how I cut the Heart Squared gem shown here.

I like this design in tourmaline (surprised?), but you can cut this in any medium to light gem. It cuts a bright stone and works well with almost any material.

The Heart Squared isn’t a good design for a new cutter. For experienced cutters, it shouldn’t present any challenges, but that all depends on their skill level. Once you’ve cut the design and seen how the crown (in particular) comes together, it should pose no difficulties. 

Cutting Remarks

Make sure and cut the pavilion centered over the dop, like most hearts. All the pavilion tiers can be cut to 43° to create a temporary center. Then, cut them to their proper angles.

The P2 and C1 facets cut fast and aren’t far apart, so a bigger stone and/or a fine lap is a good idea. This should be a large stone. I recommend 10 mm and up. Besides, 10 mm isn’t really that big, and a heart shape really shows better in a larger size.

C2, C8, and C13 are the same angle but broken up into different steps for ease of cutting. The two facets on the top of the heart, C13, just touch in. I polished them in. They’re just there to square up C10.

When cutting in P15(G), you’ll need to check the L/W to get the proper size or rough in P16 to establish the girdle.

Additional Notes: Heart Squared Cut Sequences

Here are some cutting notes from US Faceters Guild (USFG) member GemBob. I didn’t cut this design this way, but you may find them helpful.

  • C10 28.00 12-36-60-84. Cut to meet C8,C9.
  • C11 20.50 96-24-48-72. Cut to meet C10.

Cut the above in the following sequence.

  • C10 12-84
  • C11 96-24-72
  • C10 36-60
  • C11 48 (cut to same width as C11 96. This gives you “meetpoints” all the way!)

Enjoy cutting your Heart Squared.

Heart Squared - array

Random – Cosine – ISO

Detailed faceting instructions by Jeff Graham available at The Rock Peddler