If you’ve been on the hunt for the perfect diamond, then it’s very likely that you’ve heard the words “hearts and arrows” buzzing around in the periphery. But what exactly are they, apart from Cupid’s favorite accessories?
The most important thing to know is that they are just one of the many ways to measure the perfection and symmetry of a diamond’s cut. There is a complicated and sophisticated science to grading the cut of a diamond, but in this one article you’ll learn everything you need to know about hearts and arrows.
So how did it all start?
The emergence of the hearts and arrows (H&A) craze all started in Japan in the mid 1980s when someone was viewing a round cut diamond under a Firescope. It was discovered that these diamonds reveal a radiating set of 8 hearts when viewed from the bottom (pavilion area), and 8 radiating arrows when viewed from the top (crown area). If cut correctly, the optical symmetry precision that is observed in these diamonds is spectacular. Indeed, this perfection is so rare that it is found in less than 1% of the world’s diamonds. However, this number has been slowly increasing since the diamonds first started appearing in the United States in the mid 90s. One reason for their scarcity is because these shapes can only be found in round cut diamonds. Although, the main reason has to do with the considerable weight that is lost when trying to attain the ideal angles and ratios necessary for the hearts and arrows to be in perfect symmetry.
Are these shapes visible to the untrained eye?
Yes, in fact these days there are several businesses that have branded their own types of “scopes” and “viewers,” which make it easy for anyone to observe these patterns. These devices are expertly designed to illuminate all the right facets so that anyone can clearly see whether or not the shapes present in the diamond are truly symmetrical and well proportioned. Another important thing to note is that hearts and arrows are not always a failsafe indicator of an excellent cut. In fact, even if a diamond shows hearts and arrows it doesn’t mean that it will earn a Triple Excellent grade by GIA labs. Although, they do tend to be high performing diamonds in general. If a diamond has hearts and arrows and a triple excellent grade from GIA, you can be sure that it is a diamond with optimal light performance and proportions.
How do you measure the true quality of a diamond’s cut?
The true quality of the cut has to do with the light performance, which is a result of the diamond’s overall proportions. Light performance has to do with the reflection and refraction of light as it hits the facets of the diamond. After all, the whole point of cutting it in the first place is so that it will inspire a new Rihanna song. Okay, not really, but it’s gotta shine bright like a diamond.