Hearts and Arrows Diamonds: A History and Tutorial


What are Hearts and arrows diamonds?

hearts and arrows

Overview & history on the hearts & arrows diamonds

In the 1980s Japanese diamond cutters began to produce loose diamonds cut so exquisitely and precisely that facet reflections would overlap, creating patterns when seen through reflecting viewing devices. The cutting technique used to create this pattern was refined and perfected to an exacting science before ultimately being adopted by other diamond cutting facilities.

Hearts & Arrows diamonds reached the US shores in the late 1990s and were immediately embraced by the diamond industry as well as the diamond buying public for their unique optical beauty and dazzling brilliancy.

The fact that the hearts and arrows diamond cutting parameters were indicative of the finest in precision cut loose diamonds furthered their broad appeal and demand. Today, these diamonds are often known as superideals.

How Are The Hearts And Arrows Viewed?

A loose diamonds hearts & arrows patterning can be viewed through a hearts & arrows viewer! A hearts & arrows viewer is a rather simplistic device which acts as a reflecting tool for a diamonds (internal) optical symmetry.

When you look at a loose diamond under a hearts & arrows viewe you will see arrows spreading outward in the crown of the diamond. Now, simply turn the H&A diamond over and you will notice a circle of perfectly aligned and symmetrical hearts appear in the diamond pavilion.

The beauty of the H&A viewer, is the way it accurately discriminates against diamonds that don’t quite achieve true hearts and arrows perfection. In order for a loose diamond to be considered a true superideal hearts & arrows diamond, All facets must be perfectly aligned and in sync with one another. If any part of the loose diamonds facets is even slightly misaligned or asymmetric, the patterns will become uneven and distorted.

Are All H&A Diamonds Created Equal?

Because there is no accepted laboratory standard for optical symmetry/hearts & arrows patterning, many companies manufacturing loose diamonds of excellent cut precision will call their diamonds H&A diamonds H&A diamonds, even though their stones do not achieve perfect hearts and arrows patterning each and every time.

As a by-product of this, you have many companies calling their diamonds “hearts & arrows diamonds” when they are really not true and perfect hearts & arrows stones.

While these diamonds may certainly be of excellent cut quality and light performance, if their are uneven arrows or misaligned and distorted hearts, it cannot be considered a true hearts and arrows diamond.

As a result of this, many “H&A diamonds” may have very good symmetry in the diamonds cut, but not all are cut to ideal cut parameters which would result in maximum light performance. This is largely due to the ever increasing popularity of the hearts and arrows diamonds which has some factories literally “cutting corners” (pardon the pun ;)) to produce these diamonds.

Does the symmetry grade on a lab report affect/effect hearts & arrows cutting precision?
The answer is NO.

Because a loose diamonds lab report designation for symmetry grade is derived differently than the standard for actual optical symmetry, one is completely independant from the other.