Guidelines for Optical Symmetry in Hearts And Arrows

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.

break down of hearts and arrows guidelines

  1. On a decent Hearts and Arrows diamond, there should be 8 regularly shaped hearts and 8 regularly shaped arrows. That is, the absence of all or any hearts or arrows is not permitted.
  2. Both hearts and arrows should have identical intensity. That is, one hearts presence should be just as pronounced as the other’s.
  3. Ideally speaking, coloration of the hearts is not permitted. While this feature is relatively minor, you should see a single color tone instead of 2 different shades of colors.
  4. Both hearts and v-tips should be symmetrical. That is, one side of the heart or the v-tip should look like a mirror image of the other side.
  5. The shafts around the hearts should be aligned with the points of the arrows; otherwise the two sets of shapes will not play nicely together.
  6. There should be a gap between every heart shape and the V-shape at their bottom. Of course, the gaps between each of the 8 hearts should be equal.
  7. There should be little to no variation in shoulder width in the hearts, and the shoulders should not be pointed either.
  8. The V-shape pattern formed by the V-shapes at the bottoms of the hearts should be symmetrical.
  9. The table reflection between the ends of the arrow shafts should be a regular shape and have a medium diameter.
  10. Each arrow head and the shaft should be correctly aligned.
  11. The size of the arrow shafts and pointed tips should be uniform.

What Is An Acceptable Standard For The 8 Hearts And 8 Arrows?

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 overall integrity of the guidelines is in place.

unacceptable tilt

Too Many Penalties – Reject This Stone

minor defects that are acceptable

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 or your eye (even by a minute 0.5 degrees) would cause the patterning to be slightly skewed. Do bear this in mind when you are physically examining diamonds in stores.

To view more examples of well-cut hearts and arrows diamonds, visit and Both vendors are industry leaders of super ideal cut diamonds.

Example of a Poor Arrows Patterning

broken and poorly formed arrows
1. Arrow heads are not aligned to shaft.

2. Shaft thickness and size variations.

3. Irregularly formed center.

4. Pointed heads does not reach the edge.

5. Missing arrow heads.

Example of a Poor Hearts Pattern

poor hearts patterning on pavilion view
1. Unequal tears in the hearts.

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. While these rules may seem like a lot to pay attention to, it rightfully deserves your attention. When you are buying super ideal cut diamonds, there is a premium placed on them and it is in your best interest to scrutinize details.

Vendors and jewelers can advertise their inventories with fanciful marketing and often give misleading sales pitches. The onus is on you to determine whether you are paying the right price for the right quality.

Next Page >>

Related Articles

Share This Page on Social Media!


  1. Avatar
    July 6, 2015 at 4:59 am

    Can you help me buy AGS stones with triple ideal 0? How can you ensure the color grading of AGS to be as good as GIA; which is banked upon by many people? What kind of discounts should I expect?

  2. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    September 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

    You would expect to pay a slight premium for AGS000 diamonds instead of expecting a discount for these diamonds. These stones are typically cut for top of the line optics. You can find them at these 2 vendors:

  3. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Note: this is not meant to be the rule of the thumb.

    In general, if a diamond as lower girdle facets of 75% or less, the hearts are fatter and the distance between the Vs is lesser.

    On the other hand, if a diamond has longer lower girdle facets of 80% or more, the hearts will be shaped thinner and the distance between the Vs will be further.

  4. Avatar
    January 6, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Hi there,

    Would like your expertise on these two stones please?

    GIA – 2216401861
    GIA – 2214347764

    In terms of quality is this a decent stone, being it is not the perfect diamond.

    Many thanks.


  5. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    January 7, 2016 at 3:14 am

    You probably want to check against this for starters:

    Also, there’s no way for me to tell you how well cut a diamond is based on numbers alone. You’ll need images and tangible scope data.

  6. Avatar
    January 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the thorough information Paul, GIA info is only the first step but will definitely take your advice and see in person and in detail idealscope images.

  7. Avatar
    Joseph Williams-
    February 28, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Hi, I’m looking at some diamonds they are suppose to be ideal cut round .33C VSI G, I ask to see them under a aset scope there are 7 of them 1 had green Completely around the edge , but all stones show the arrows, but none of them show hearts patterns, could this still be a ideal cut diamonds I’m not looking for it to be a super ideal cut

  8. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    February 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    The stone isn’t cut as well as it could be.

    See this:

  9. Avatar
    July 29, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you so much for all your work.

    Could you please help me to decide between the two following diamonds?

    I don’t care about the size difference, I would have like to know if I can expect one of the two to be more sparkling than the other one. I would not have expect them to be different, however, the second one seems to have less fire than the first one. Could this be due to different lights during capture? Can I expect a difference? Which one would you recommend?

    Many thanks for your great help!!!

  10. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    July 29, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Both diamonds would be on par. Personally, I would gravitate towards the first diamond.

  11. Avatar
    July 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks Paul for your quick reply.

    Following your advice I bought the first one. Could you please let me know why you had a preference for this one, just to understand.

  12. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    July 31, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Cut quality and precision. Basically what I laid out in this page.

  13. Avatar
    December 25, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I have an ideal square diamond with an AGS report however, I want to upgrade my diamond (same type of stone and quality) and when I go in to various jewelers, they tell me that there is no such thing as an ideal square – it is either a princess or cushion cut. Is there such a thing as a square diamond? If so, why is it that these jewelers don’t know what I’m talking about (the AGS report says CC Square Brilliant for Shape and Style). I would go back to my original jeweler but it was a family run business and the father passed away a few years ago and they closed the company. Thanks for you help!

  14. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    December 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I think CC Square Brilliant is the short term for Cushion Cut Square Brilliant which is somewhat of a hybrid radiant cut diamond.

  15. Avatar
    Lois Moskow-
    March 15, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Paul I have a Lazare Kaplan GIA certed triple ex H VS2 diamond but it is mounted . Can you see hearts and arrows on a Lazare GIA triple ex. Lazare states you can on a viewer on all their stones but can you on a mounted stone. Thanks Lois

  16. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    March 16, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Nope you can’t. Simple logic dictates that.

Leave A Comment