When people talk about heart shaped diamonds, I’m sure it would immediately evoke feelings of love and exhilaration in hopeless romantics. However, when it comes to choosing a diamond, most consumers get confused and overwhelmed by the choices they have to make. Truth be told, choosing a great looking heart cut does require some skill and prior research.
With fancy heart cuts, you need to know that there are various flavors to the cutting style and not all are equally attractive. Whether a diamond looks appealing or has good optical performance depends a lot on the cutter’s skills and decisions made on the polishing wheel.
In this article, I am going to focus solely on the importance of symmetry in a heart shaped diamond.
GIA graded this stone with Good symmetry and Fair polish
Believe it or not, the fancy colored brownish yellow diamond shown above is classified as a heart brilliant cut by GIA. This monstrosity looks nothing like a heart shape. Instead, it resembles a squashed pear and an ugly one at that.
In layman’s terms, symmetry refers to how well aligned the facets of a diamond are. Symmetry will determine to a certain extent, the diamond’s beauty and visual appeal. Obviously, an odd looking shape should be avoided in most cases unless you have weird fetishes.
This brings us to the next point – what are the symmetry details you should look out for in heart shaped diamonds? One of the main considerations for a well-balanced appearance is the equivalency of the lobes on both sides of the stone.
You can check for this equivalency by imagining a central line of symmetry running through the middle of the stone. In the example below, the right lobe is significantly larger than the left lobe.
Misshapen or lop-sided lobes are a big No-No.
Bulged wings steer the stone towards a roundish look. Avoid them.
The clef and separation of the lobes isn’t clearly defined. This diamond is a bad choice.
Straight flat wings like this lack the attractive look of the heart.
In the examples above, the diamond with “good” symmetry rating has obvious differences at the lobes which makes it an undesirable choice. In comparison, the diamond with the “fair” rating has pretty well-balanced lobes and its outline isn’t disastrous.
However, if you look carefully again, you will notice that the culet is severely off-centered underneath the table facet. This was the main reason why the diamond was penalized to a “fair” symmetry rating.
Remember, symmetry refers to how well the facets of the diamonds are aligned to each other. In some cases, this does not necessarily mean that the overall shape of the stone will be skewed. In fact, some people may prefer diamond with “fair” symmetry over the one with “good” symmetry rating. For the record, I don’t like any of them.
When professional gemologists in labs like GIA or AGS grade symmetry, they examine the stone under 10X magnification. The stone is examined for various aspects of symmetry flaws like off-center table, culet displacement, wavy girdles and etc…
Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story. From the earlier comparisons made above, a higher symmetry rating doesn’t necessarily translate a better looking stone.
Let me put it this way. Choosing a higher symmetry rating only “improves” the chances of finding a well cut diamond but doesn’t guarantee it. Seeing the diamond in person or via videos takes precedence when you are making a selection.
I generally don’t recommend going below a “Good” symmetry rating as other issues like light performance would be adversely affected.
Besides symmetry, the girdle thickness of a fancy cut diamond is one aspect that many people often fail to take into consideration. In the case of heart shaped diamonds, it actually does matter! I will show you why one the next page…