So far, we have already talked about general characteristics of Hearts and Arrows diamonds and what you need to look out for. Hopefully, you would have gained sufficient knowledge to be able to identify one and make your own judgement.
Since we are dealing with premium cuts and super ideal diamonds, there is a significant price jump involved. For a moment, let’s pick up the attitude of rocket scientists and develop a last checklist you can use to screen through such diamonds.
While this may sound like common sense, there are many consumers who fall prey to deceptive marketing tactics and end up overpaying for their purchase. Bear this in mind: lab reports are not made equal. Grade bumping is a common issue where a low quality diamond (usually with dubious certification) is marketed to be the equivalent of a similarly graded GIA diamond.
For example, an EGL diamond graded with E Color SI1 is not the same as a GIA stone with a grade of E Color SI1.
Some of the newer AGSL lab reports come with computer generated images
Even though grading reports from reliable laboratories (with the exception of AGS) will not mention or grade optical patterns, they offer assurance of the diamond’s quality. Remember, the purpose of a reliable certificate is to help consumers verify the diamond’s authenticity and to provide an accurately description of the qualities it possess.
Interestingly, many lesser known labs do provide information of the diamond’s optical symmetry in their grading report (similar to those seen above). Most of the time, this is a just a weak attempt to stand out from the competition by offering “additional services”.
It doesn’t change the fact that these labs apply soft grading standards during their examination. The bottomline here is, I don’t recommend buying diamonds graded anywhere else except by GIA and AGS.
Regardless of what the jeweler says about their diamonds, you always want to verify details yourself. You should keep in mind the things to look out for when analyzing a diamond’s optical symmetry. If you are unsure, you can always refer back to the guidelines listed on Beyond4Cs.com.
Tip: Always pay more attention to the hearts patterning. Properly formed hearts require super precise facet placements and proportioning. Any slight deviations in facet alignments will show up in the pavilion view instead of the table (arrows) view.
As an example, the image below might be passed off as a great diamond to the untrained eyes. However, it shows a patterning which violates too many of the guidelines. Personally, this stone would not pass my standards for a “true” hearts and arrows diamond. I would reject any notion of acquiring such diamonds and recommend looking at other options.
I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record with the constant harping on the need for these data. The same rules used for choosing a round brilliant cut apply here as well.
Without ideal light performance, any optical symmetry that the stone possesses is naught. What’s the point of having a diamond that displays nice patternings under a H&A viewer if it appears dull and lifeless when worn? To make an objective selection, these are crucial light performance data required for a critical assessment of the diamond.
Remember, no 2 diamonds are exactly the same. If you had read my review on Hearts On Fire, you would have know that optical symmetry doesn’t necessary translate to better light performance.