Colorless Diamonds > Heart Cut Diamonds

Heart Cut Diamonds
Heart Cut Diamonds
Heart Cut Diamond Ring
Heart Cut Diamond Ring.

Heart Cut Diamond

The heart shaped diamond is an evocative signifier of true love. They shimmer with two symmetrical halves, creating a bold and romantic look. Heart shaped diamonds are especially popular in Claddagh designs, and offer a distinctive look in any engagement ring setting.

The modified brilliant cut heart shaped diamond is a unique and unmistakable symbol of love. Heart shaped diamonds are very popular in solitaire pendants as well as rings. When choosing a heart, symmetry is a very important characteristic, since it is critical that the two halves of the heart are identical. The cleft (between the two lobes) should be sharp and distinct, and the wings (the sides as they curve down to the point) should have a very slightly rounded shape. Ever the romantic choice, this rare and symbolic cut is the ideal way to wear your heart on your finger, not your sleeve, and there is surely no better way to be in love and in style all at once.

Heart Cut Diamonds

The Basics

Ever the romantic choice. This is a rare and symbolic cut

Heart Cut Diamond Basics

Heart Cut Quick Guide

Unique Features

Exclusive heart shape design


56 to 58 facets

L/W Ratio

Typically 0.90 - 1.10


16th Century

Expert Tip

Good symmetry is essential


Heart Cut Diamond Features

The heart shape is usually comprised of between 56 and 58 facets, although the number of main pavilion facets may vary between 6, 7 and 8. Additionally, heart shapes are sometimes cut with "French tips," which replace the large bezel facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets. French tips are also used in the marquise and pear shapes. Heart shapes may differ slightly in appearance depending on their make or structure.

The traditional heart shape should have a ratio between 0.90 and 1.10 and be absolutely symmetrical with the lobes (top arches) of even height and breadth, although these specifications may be altered according to personal preferences.

In determining the length to width ratio for heart shapes, the width is measured at the widest point of the shape from the edge of one lobe to the other. In addition, the heart shape can suffer from a so called "bow-tie effect" when light passing through the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the stone.

Expert Advice

The most important elements to consider with the heart shape are the quality of the curved cut and finish as these determine the sparkle of the gem. The shadow caused by the bow-tie effect can be reduced by altering the depth of the pavilion, and adjusting the angles of the table and facets to better diffuse light in the central area. This effect also occurs in the pear, marquise and mval shapes.

Heart shaped diamonds of less than .50 carats may not be a good choice, as the heart shape is more difficult to perceive in smaller diamonds, especially after they are set in prongs. For smaller hearts, a bezel or three prong setting (one prong on each lobe, one prong at the point) will better preserve the heart shape outline of the diamond after it is set.

Heart shaped diamonds come in a variety of silhouettes, from narrow to fat. The choice of a particular silhouette should be dictated by personal preference, though the length to width ratio of a classic heart shaped diamond is approximately 1.00. For hearts that are to be set in pendants, buyers may prefer a slightly narrow cut (1.05 - 1.15), while for hearts set in a solitaire ring, a slightly blackwide cut (.85 - 1.00) may be most appealing.

The chart below serves as a general guideline for evaluating the cut of a heart shaped diamond:

Heart Diamond - Cut Guide

Heart Cut Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
Depth % 52 to 60 50 to 62 45 to 65 40 to 69 >46 or <71
Table % 55 to 62 50 to 62 52 to 65 50 to 70 >50 or <70
Symmetry Good to excellent Good to excellent Good to excellent Fair to Excellent Poor to Excellent
Polish Good to excellent Good to excellent Good to excellent Fair to Excellent Poor to Excellent
Girdle Very Thin - Sl Thick Very Thin - Sl Thick Very Thin to Thick Very Thin to Very Thick Ex. Thin to Ex. Thick
Culet None Very Small Small Medium > Medium
L/W Ratio 0.95 to 1.02 0.89 to 1.05 0.83 to 1.10 0.80 to 1.15 >0.80 or < 1.15

Evaluating color in heart shaped diamonds is subjective. Keep in mind that many buyers may actually prefer the ever so slightly warmer colors of a G-H diamond over the cool colorlessness of a D-F diamond. In fact, most of the premium in price associated with heart shaped diamonds at the higher end of the color scale is driven by supply and demand; customers want the D-F color grades, and are willing to pay a premium to get them. In a world without diamond color grading, the price premium for higher grades would be much lower, as the actual differences in color are difficult to perceive. The color chart below provides a general guide for evaluating color in heart shaped diamonds:

Heart Diamond - Color Guide

Heart Cut Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
< .50 ct. D - G H - I J - K L - M > M
.51-1.0 ct. D - F G H - I J - K > K
1.0-2.0 ct. D - F D - F G - H I - J > J
> 2.0 ct. D - F D - F G H - I > I
Fluorescence None Faint - Med Strong Very Strong Very Strong

Like color, evaluating clarity in heart shaped diamonds is subjective. GIA provides excellent help with their clarity grades. Still, it is important to understand that each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it. Others may insist on a more technically flawless appearance. The clarity chart below provides a general guide for evaluating clarity in heart shaped diamonds:

Heart Diamond - Clarity Guide

Heart Cut Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
< .50 ct. FL - VS2 SI1 - SI2 I1 I2 > I2
.51-1.0 ct. FL - VS1 VS2 - SI1 SI2 I1 - I2 > I2
1.0-2.0 ct. FL - VVS2 VS1 - VS2 SI1 - SI2 I1 > I1
> 2.0 ct. FL - VVS2 VS1 - VS2 SI1 SI2 > SI2

History & Background

The exact origins of the heart brilliant are unknown although being a modified brilliant cut it may have appeared as early as the 16th century. However, gems which would today be classified as 'triangular with rounded corners' or 'drops' were at one time described as being heart shaped. Indeed, this is evident from the many descriptions in French inventories dating from the middle of the seventeenth century. The first recorded heart shape diamond appears in a portrait entitled "The Gonzaga Princess," painted circa 1605 by Frans Pourbus the younger. The large piece of jewellery on the princess's left sleeve contains a variety of different cuts, some of which are thought to be versions of the heart like 'drops' popular in France at the time. The heart shape is also mentioned in a book written in 1655 by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the French merchant traveller who found his fortune in the precious stone trade and famously brought the Hope Diamond to France. In the text, he recalls seeing the "Heart Diamond," a 36-carat heart shaped brilliant in an ornament in the treasure of Aurangzeb, in India.

Heart Cut Diamond History