While some sort of standardization exists, there are still a lot of cutters who are producing under par diamonds and trying to pass them off as Hearts and Arrows stones. Here are some basic guidelines that you can use to check whether your chosen diamond has good optical symmetry.
In reality, a perfectly cut diamond that conforms 100% to all these guidelines rarely exists. Even the top 0.1% of the round brilliant cuts in the market would exhibit some form of minor variations.
These minute variations are acceptable as long as the diamond conforms to the overall integrity of the guidelines listed above.
Too Many Penalties – Reject This Stone
Minor Defects – Passable
Also, taking a great picture or viewing the hearts and arrows patterning isn’t a straightforward process. It does require some practice especially if you had no prior experience.
Any slight tilt of the diamond (even by as little as 0.5 degrees) or misalignment of your eye would cause the patterning to be slightly skewed. So, bear this in mind when you are physically examining diamonds in stores.
Let’s take a look at some hearts and arrows diamonds and analyze the precision of their optical symmetry. Below, I’ve randomly selected two diamonds from James Allen’s True Hearts selection.
I’ve extracted their hearts and arrows images for your convenience below and if you want to look at full details, feel free to click on the links to view their respective video listings.
Diamond #1 – 0.70ct F color VS2 GIA certified round brilliant cut.
Diamond #2 – 0.57ct E color VS1 GIA certified round brilliant cut.
I want you to look at the hearts and arrows patterning for both diamonds. Using the guidelines I had earlier stated, which diamond do you think had the better cut precision?
If you said diamond #2, you are right. The first diamond has some inconsistencies in the spacings between the V and hearts. Strictly speaking, I would not consider diamond #1 to qualify as a hearts and arrows diamond.
2. Shaft thickness and size variations.
3. Irregularly formed center.
4. Pointed heads do not reach the edge.
5. Missing arrow heads.
2. Different sizes of the individual hearts.
3. Pointed shoulders at 2, 3 ,4 o’clock.
4. V-shaped tips have merged together.
5. Irregular spacing of V’s and hearts.
For a more detailed read, click this link to download the guidelines used by HRD to analyze hearts and arrows patternings. While these rules may seem like a lot to pay attention to, it rightfully deserves your attention.
That’s because when you are buying super ideal cut diamonds, there is a price premium placed on such diamonds. Vendors and jewelers often advertise their inventories with fanciful marketing gimmicks and loosely misuse the hearts and arrows terminology.
The onus is on you to learn what defines a super ideal cut diamond and how to suss them out. This will help you determine whether you are paying the right price for the right quality.