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Are Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
Worth the Price?


Hearts and Arrows diamonds are known as meticulously-cut round diamonds. They are often referred to as having a super-ideal cut. The Hearts and Arrows name references a visual component of these diamonds. They are considered to be the “super-ideal” cut of a traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut diamond.

When cut to these proportions with perfect optical symmetry, polish, and maximum light performance, these diamonds will feature a specific visual pattern. Eight “hearts” will be visible through the pavilion (the bottom of the diamond) and eight “arrows” when the stone is viewed in the face-up position. This visual phenomenon was nicknamed the Cupid effect, and diamonds that showcased it became known as Hearts and Arrows diamonds.

What Are Hearts and Arrow Diamonds?

Hearts and Arrows diamonds are known as meticulously-cut round diamonds. They are often referred to as having a super-ideal cut. The Hearts and Arrows name references a visual component of these diamonds. They are considered to be the “super-ideal” cut of a traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut diamond.

When cut to these proportions with perfect optical symmetry, polish, and maximum light performance, these diamonds will feature a specific visual pattern. Eight “hearts” will be visible through the pavilion (the bottom of the diamond) and eight “arrows” when the stone is viewed in the face-up position. This visual phenomenon was nicknamed the Cupid effect, and diamonds that showcased it became known as Hearts and Arrows diamonds.

A mounted hearts and arrows diamond when set in a ring. The effect may not be as noticeable.

How Are Hearts and Arrow Diamonds Special?

These are truly special diamonds because they are cut with an extremely high precision and using exceptional craftsmanship. They also use more rough material than other diamonds, thus making them more expensive and time-consuming to produce. However, in reality, all brilliant round cut diamonds with excellent cut and symmetry will exhibit the Hearts and Arrows pattern under the scope.

So while they tend to get a lot more attention, Hearts and Arrows diamonds are more a way to market exceptional diamonds, putting them in a class of their own. To give you the full picture though, these are the main benefits to a diamond with excellent cut and symmetry:

Light Performance

The extremely precise facet alignment occurs in three dimensions and forms a series of tiny mirrors that refract and reflect light back to the eyes. This aids the diamond in exhibiting tremendous brilliance.

Craftsmanship

Due to the nature of the diamond’s facets being aligned in three dimensions to show the distinct Hearts and Arrows pattern, these diamonds are typically only the work of an expert diamond cutter with a copious amount of experience.

Optimal Symmetry

Since these diamonds are aligned in three dimensions, they possess incredible symmetry, which in turn maximizes light reflection. This is different from the traditional symmetry listed on a lab report, although that remains important for these diamonds as well.

Apparent Size

These diamonds may look larger than other brilliant round cut diamonds because they provide more brightness and brilliance across the entire surface of the diamond. All the faceting and symmetry features allow light to interact better.

Consistency

It can fairly safely be assumed that a diamond with these characteristics will perform very well in the brilliance category. While this can’t ever be said 100% of the time, it is a pretty reliable distinction about these diamonds.

hearts and arrows diamond - top view

A view of a Super Ideal diamond from the top. Note that only the arrows are visible, to see the hearts, the diamond would need to be viewed face down using a H&A scope.

hearts and arrows diamond - side view

The same Super Ideal cut diamond when viewed from the side.

Are There Any Downsides to a Hearts and Arrows Diamond?

There is really no downside to the Hearts and Arrows diamond themselves. They are as close to perfection as you can get with a round brilliant cut diamond and will exhibit an incredible amount of brilliance. However, if you’re hoping to notice this effect often, once the diamond is set, it’s really only possible to view the “arrows” effect from the face up angle. The “hearts” effect occurs when viewing from the bottom of the stone, and once set, it’s likely the basket of the setting will obstruct seeing the effect.

The major aspects of these diamonds that require extra care and consideration are how these diamonds are often branded and marketed.

Not every claim of offering Hearts and Arrows diamonds is going to be true and accurate. The term has been co-opted by companies wishing to capitalize on branding that indicates such an exceptional diamond. There are industry leaders who certainly live up to the quality one should expect of a Hearts and Arrows diamond. However, there are others who have pretty dubious claims of enhanced brilliance.

As a result, it is incredibly important to do your due diligence when considering a Hearts and Arrows diamond purchase. Any diamond claiming to be a Hearts and Arrows diamond should be accompanied by images of that diamond’s specific Hearts and Arrows pattern. And know that there is no certification or grading that verifies a diamond as having Hearts and Arrows. So, whenever you’re in doubt, it is always beneficial to see the diamond in person. At the end of the day, this is a diamond for you and your partner’s enjoyment, and no company or laboratory should tell you what’s pretty and what’s not.  

Here is a typical VS2 clarity diamond, where there is hardly any blemish even at 10x magnification

Here is a VS1 diamond, which for nearly everyone would appear Flawless  

How Much Does a Hearts and Arrows Diamond Cost?

To achieve the cut of a Hearts and Arrows diamond, the diamond cutter takes extreme care when polishing each facet to exact angles and proportions. This level of precision is exacting and can be quite time consuming. For this reason, the level of skill required of the diamond cutter reaches master levels.

Additionally, more diamond rough is needed to create a Hearts and Arrows diamonds. So for all of these reasons including the extensive marketing around this phenomenon, these diamonds come with a price premium. But how much of a premium will depend on where you’re buying your diamond.

You can expect a cost of about 10-30% higher than another less ideally cut diamond. As with every diamond purchase, the important part is to examine the diamonds, especially in the form of close-up videos. You’ll want to be sure that if you’re paying a premium price, you’re noticing a difference in brilliance between a Hearts and Arrows diamond and another excellent-cut diamond.

There can be much to love about a Hearts and Arrows diamond, not the least of which is the incredible symbolism in the pattern that is so reminiscent of Cupid and love. A Hearts and Arrows diamond is not short on the romance nor the stunning brilliance it exhibits. Just be sure that you love the diamond you choose and don’t let clever marketing push you into paying an often unnecessary premium.




Have questions? We're happy to help.