When it comes to buying diamonds, CUT is always King. This is because cut quality is the determining factor of a diamond’s beauty and sparkle.

Think about it.

Would you rather buy a diamond that appears lively and brilliant or a diamond that appears lifeless and dull looking? I’m sure the answer is pretty obvious.

In the industry, the “Brian Gavin Signature” series has a reputation to be the best performing diamonds one can ever find in terms of optics. However, if you are like many others who wonder whether Brian Gavin’s signature diamonds are truly well cut and worth the premium, you are at the right place.

In this indepth review of Brian Gavin’s signature round diamonds, we will perform an indepth analysis of random stone selections and see how they fare under scrutiny.

What Makes a Brian Gavin Signature Round Hearts and Arrows Diamond?

Hearts Arrows round brilliant diamond bgd

The optical performance and light return of a diamond is fundamentally determined by its proportions. However, the problem with the majority of diamonds in the market is that they are cut to retain carat weight and to maximize profits for the dealers.

Unlike other cutters, Brian Gavin takes on a different philosophy by cutting diamonds for maximum visual performance. His degree of craftsmanship is carefully controlled and his diamonds cut to exacting standards to achieve the best balance of sparkle and fire.

The 2nd most critical aspect of Brian Gavin’s round H&A diamonds is the crisp optical symmetry displayed in every single stone. This goes way beyond the “excellent” or “ideal” symmetry ratings performed by gemological labs like the AGS or GIA.

In order for a diamond to make the grade to become a BGD signature, it has to exhibit a well-defined set of hearts and arrows patterning which is created by precisely aligned facets and rigid indexing.

When diamonds are well cut, you should expect to see something like this:

idealscope vs ha images for super ideal cut round brilliants

If you are interested to learn more about H&A, read this reference section.

At this point, I want to highlight that many retailers claim to offer “hearts and arrows” diamonds when they actually aren’t. Have you ever walked into a jewelry store where the sales staff claims to be selling “high quality” H&A diamonds and you are given a scope to examine the diamond only to see something like this?

poor hearts and arrows patterning indexing and comparisons

It should come as no surprise because the majority of diamonds in the market aren’t well cut. And once you review tangible data in detail, you will see through the marketing fluff that sellers use in their sales pitch.

Just to be clear, none of the examples above would pass my standards to be purchase-worthy nor would they make the cut (pun intended) for Brian Gavin’s diamonds. With that said, let’s take a look at some random diamonds selected from the signature inventory

Review of 3 Randomly Selected Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamonds

On each listing page, BrianGavinDiamonds.com provides a convenient layout of videos, images and other relevant scope data. In a recent website update, they even included an eyeclean video to simulate real life viewing. For online shoppers, this is a particularly handy tool to verify eye-cleanliness.

In order to conduct our review on Brian Gavin’s signature rounds, we randomly selected 3 diamonds across various sizes, color and clarity ratings with different budget ranges. The following data are extracted from the respective listing pages for your convenience.

#1 – 0.924 D VS2 HEARTS AND ARROWS ROUND – $8,494 by wire

#2 – 2.035 I VS1 HEARTS AND ARROWS ROUND – $24,510 by wire

#3 – 0.593 J VS2 HEARTS AND ARROWS ROUND – $1,528 by wire

To verify the data and to interact with the videos for yourself, I strongly encourage you to visit the listing pages via the links above or images below.

Face Up View of the Diamonds in Neutral Lighting

The face up views of the diamonds give a good idea of how the diamond looks like under magnification in normal fluorescent lighting (office). Video views of the individual diamonds depicting its brilliance and sparkle in different lighting conditions are also available.

ASET – AGS Diamond Light Performance Analysis

The ASET is a reflector tool that can help you analyze how a diamond interacts with light and will give you a pretty accurate idea of the diamond’s optical performance. Here’s a quick explanation of what the different colors represent:

Red: intense light return – red is generally what you want to see.
Blue: contrast – important for contrast and scintillation. Blue areas should be as symmetrical as possible.
Green: less intense light return – keep green areas minimal.
Black: light leakage – keep black areas minimal.

Here at Beyond4cs.com, we had compiled our own ASET reference charts you can use to quickly make your own comparisons against. In fact, one of the ASET examples we listed in the “best” range actually came from a Brian Gavin signature diamond. Given the strict standards that we set for buying diamonds ourselves and writing content, that speaks volumes.

Idealscope – Light Return And Optical Symmetry (Arrows) Analysis

The Idealscope image reveals how a diamond returns light to the user’s eyes and can be used to analyse the optical precision of the diamond (arrows patterning). Here’s a quick explanation of what the different colors represent:

Red: indicates light return.
Black: contrast – important for pattern & scintillation. Black areas should be symmetrical.
White: light leakage – keep white areas minimal.

Determining the light performance of a diamond via the idealscope is as simple as comparing it against the chart here. From the above ideal scope images, all 3 diamonds exhibit extremely strong light return properties.

I also want to bring your attention to examining the black arrows as they reveal the craftsmanship of the cutter. Ideally, we want to look out for evenly sized arrows that are spaced symmetrically. Likewise, the small dark triangles between the arrow heads should also be evenly sized and spaced out in order to create good scintillation properties.

Again, all 3 diamonds from Brian Gavin that we reviewed pass the Idealscope analysis with flying colors and are first class.

Brian Gavin runs an extremely tight operation where strict quality control is enforced. As you can see, they don’t make any empty claims but substantiate their signature diamonds with in-depth technical data. If you are looking for the best of the best, BrianGavinDiamonds.com is a place you definitely need to check out.

Hearts Image – Optical Precision And Indexing Analysis

Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned expert when it comes to buying diamonds, you will need to rely on scope images when analyzing super ideal cut diamonds. This is because the hearts patterning only shows up when viewed from the diamond’s pavilion using the H&A scope.

And when it comes to optical cut precision, the hearts patterning is the most telling data to judge the craftsmanship and skill of the cutter. If any one of the 57 facets on the diamond is slightly misshaped or positioned with the slightest mistake, the errors will show up with a compounded effect here.

When assessing the hearts patterning image, the most important thing to note is the presence of a crisp and clean pattern with consistent symmetry. This means all 8 hearts should be the same size as each other, the V-shaped patterns should be distinct and not be merging. Lastly, the gap between each heart and V should be identical throughout.

Looking at the patterns formed for all 3 diamonds, you will probably come to the same conclusion that I have. They are all extremely well formed and symmetrical which indicates the high level of precision the diamonds were cut to.

Conclusion of Our Brian Gavin Signature Hearts And Arrows Review

brian gavin signature round review good

Having established himself as one of the pioneers in high performance stones, Brian Gavin’s signature round diamonds speak for themselves and measures up to the reputation synchronous of this living legend.

As you can see from the diamonds that were picked randomly from Brian Gavin’s signature hearts and arrows inventory, the cut quality is consistently top notch. And that’s what I love about them because they are the real deal!

With the tangible data and tools to help you with your analysis, it makes it really easy to find a diamond that’s truly well cut for light performance and optical precision.

Whether you are a first time diamond buyer or someone who had experience in buying diamond jewelry, Brian Gavin Diamonds is the go-to place for the highest quality. I highly recommend you check them out!

Every single Brian Gavin Diamond is cut to exacting standards for the best optical performance and achieve the highly coveted AGS 000 for light performance. If you are looking for a stress-free shopping experience for a truly high quality diamond ring, look no further beyond Brian Gavin.


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Brian Gavin Signature Hearts And Arrows Round Diamonds Achieves the Best Rating of 5/5 – Reviewed by

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  1. Celeste-
    December 26, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Brian Gavin diamonds don’t have GIA cert.
    Theirs is certified by AGS.But you recommend their diamonds,y?
    But I have to agree that their diamonds is so beautiful and is more ex.

  2. Paul Gian-
    December 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    AGS is just as reliable as GIA. These 2 labs are well known for their accuracy and consistency in the grading standards. As a matter of fact, AGS is more strict than GIA in terms of categorizing cut.

  3. PZ Chen-
    July 2, 2016 at 9:34 am

    How would you view the comparisons of Hearts on Fire vs Brian Gavin Diamonds? I was in Hong Kong recently and came across the Hearts on Fire brand in Chow Tai Fook. Apparently, Hearts on Fire also has their diamonds graded by AGS laboratory with 000 ratings and ideal performance. I was told by the sales staff that this was their top end product where the stones are perfectly cut.

  4. Paul Gian-
    July 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Hearts on Fire diamonds are beautiful but they are also very expensive because of the branding! While Hearts on Fire does offer well cut goods, their quality control isn’t that consistent and you do get some noticeable variation once you examine details like the scope images.

    I actually did a write up of Hearts on Fire and made some comparisons here: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/hearts-on-fire/

    With Brian Gavin, you are effectively getting a better quality diamond at a significantly lower price. Depending on the specifications you are looking at, you can easily save anywhere from 30-50% and that absolute figure would like be in the thousands of dollars.

    In essence, you are getting better quality + lower prices.

  5. J-
    March 4, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for taking the time to write such an indepth review! Can you provide some feedback and commentary on the following diamonds that we had shortlisted? Our budget for a ring is between $9,000 – $10,000 inclusive of setting and my fiancee is interested in the fishtail pave with Truth head design. We are in no rush yet as we only need the ring by year’s end.



  6. Paul Gian-
    March 5, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Both these diamonds are very good options and both are eyeclean. They will face up white. If I were to pick one for myself, I would pick the slightly larger stone (F SI1) because of its carat size. But really, you can’t go wrong with either option. 

  7. Paul Gian-
    April 2, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Update – I had previously blogged about Brian Gavin’s signature diamonds in our weekly recommendation posts. If you are interested to read up a little more, you might want to check out the following blog posts below…

    The Perfect 1.5 Carats Diamond For a Loved One
    With the New Year just around the corner, I’m sure you had started your own wish list and even thought of surprising your loved one with something special…

    Catch of the Day – Stunning 1.058 Carat Princess Cut
    The princess cut is the most well known straight-edged cut that’s very popular in solitaire settings. However, the majority of those found in the market are cut to abysmal proportions. We review a rare princess cut that has top of the line optics in this post.

    Awesome Engagement Ring For $2000 Budget
    We all know that weddings can be very expensive. The crunch on money is felt more so by young couples who had just completed college and joined the workforce. Did you know that you can still get something beautiful with a $2k budget?

    On a separate note, Brian Gavin has recently introduced his super ideal cut round brilliants to include smaller size carat ranges from 0.2-0.3 sizes. As far as I know, he is the only vendor that offers AGS graded 000 for small stones and the great thing is that it comes with the full fledged reports. So, if you have a smaller budget or are looking to build a custom item like a tennis bracelet or necklace, it’s now possible to ensure the quality of the entire jewelry piece for each individual diamond.

  8. Mike-
    April 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for the review and detailed explanations! I have a couple of questions:

    1) In the face up view of the 3 examples you use, I noticed that the D color diamond actually faces up like the J color diamond and has a slight warmth in the body color. Compared to the I diamond, the D colorless stone actually appears yellower. I’m very puzzled and cannot make any sense of this.

    2) What do you think of the comparison between Signature vs Black by Brian Gavin? It seems diamonds from both lines are very well cut and to similar standards. Am I missing anything here? There is a slight price difference between the 2 and I want to know whether the extra money is worth paying for a Black diamond.

  9. Paul Gian-
    April 12, 2017 at 7:10 am

    You are welcome and I appreciate your feedback. Let me address your questions accordingly:

    1) The diamonds are taken in a slightly different lighting condition and it is very likely that the D diamond picked up reflections from the environment. If both diamonds were placed side by side in the same conditions, the D would be noticeably whiter than the J.

    2) Both signature lines are fantastic options and it really depends on what you prefer. Brian Gavin Black diamonds usually have better optical precision and slightly better light performance if we were to split hairs. I actually did a review on Black by Brian Gavin recently here: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/brian-gavin-diamonds/black/

  10. Andy-
    April 24, 2017 at 6:44 am

    I’ve read your beyond4cs reviews on reading ASET & Ideal Scopes etc. and noticed the hearts and arrows diamonds in the signature line are not always that great. Some of them seem to have a lot of clustering around the arrows which is generally down to a poor cut.
    For example:

    What are your thoughts on the above?

  11. Paul Gian-
    April 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    The clustering is due to the longer star facets and the contrast it creates from reflections. From the ASET above, if you classify this diamond as a poorly cut diamond, I think 99.99% of the world’s diamonds will be poorly cut in your definition.

    The diamond is well cut but if it isn’t the kind of look you prefer, you can always choose one without the “blue clustering”.

  12. Andy-
    April 25, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks yeah I was thinking it’s for the same reasons. I just thought that particular diamond had a lot of clustering if you look on the AGSL generated map. As you mentioned clustering will occur in most diamonds and provides a contrast. Will having a more symmetrical clustering effect provide a better “look” or light performance?

  13. Paul Gian-
    April 25, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I would say yes. A symmetrical clustering effect affects patterning. Most human minds are programmed to prefer symmetrical patterns rather than chaotic ones.

    To illustrate, this diamond obviously have issue with optical symmetry:

  14. Diane-
    February 9, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Hello Paul

    I just wanted to say that I found your website back in 2017 and, after reading several of your articles about Brian Gavin, decided to buy a ring from them last year. It is really beautiful and the central diamond (.707 F VS1 Signature Round) is just gorgeous. Thank you so much for the information you provide. I am from the UK and would probably not have found Brian Gavin’s without your help.

    Kind regards

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