Both diamonds and hearts are resilient symbols of love that have endured for centuries. Combining the two symbols offers a rich declaration of devotion to the giver, the recipient and all who admire it. Deepen your appreciation of heart-shaped diamonds and learn how to make a selection that is right for you.
History of Heart-Shaped Diamonds
The romantic cut of a heart-shaped diamond has an enduring history. Records of this uniquely cut diamond date back to the late fifteenth century. At the time, the cut signified royalty.
In 1562, Mary Queen of Scotts presented Queen Elizabeth with a ring featuring a heart-shaped diamond. This gift celebrated the goodwill and friendship between the two royals. This ring is one of the most famous pieces of jewelry in history.
Cardinal de Richelieu owned a 20-carat heart-shaped diamond that was gifted to him by an affluent diamond merchant. This priceless gift was eventually willed to the king, continuing the ties to royalty.
For most of the history of the heart-shaped diamonds, the most common shape was rounded and pear-like. Only since the 1950s has the traditional heart shape gained prominence.
From these earlier centuries until the present time, enthusiasts have admired the skilled workmanship, brilliance and clarity of heart-shaped diamonds. Though highly esteemed, they remain rare and reflect a level of mystique that is attractive to people in the diamond market.
Benefits of Heart-Shaped Diamonds
This romantic design is the rarest of the ten classic shapes and is classified as a modified brilliant cut. Because of this shape’s uniqueness, many people searching for the perfect diamond consider heart-shaped diamonds to be out of their reach. Surprisingly, several factors make a heart-shaped cut an excellent choice for an engagement ring or other significant piece of jewelry:
- The cut of these diamonds reflects a lot of light. Therefore tints of the diamond are not as apparent as they are in other cuts. The “near-colorless” stones are hard to distinguish from the “completely colorless” samples. This fact broadens the scope of pieces from which to choose.
- The average heart-shaped diamond has 56-58 facets. The number of cuts allows minor flaws to go undetected. Unlike other diamond shapes, these specialized diamonds do not have to be flawless to be enjoyed.
- The average cost of a heart-shaped diamond is up to 20 percent less than the comparable weight of a round or pear-shaped diamond. This cost-effectiveness gives the purchaser a greater range of choices than those only considering traditional cuts.
Once prospective buyers learn of the benefits of considering a heart-shaped diamond, they open themselves up to exciting possibilities. As long as the selection is made wisely, anyone can enjoy the unique beauty of this alluring choice.
Selecting the Right Heart-Shaped Diamond
Consider the following factors in choosing the perfect heart-shaped diamond:
- Well-Cut. The quality of the cut is the most essential factor in maximizing the brilliance and fire of the stone. Because of the cut’s importance, a close visual inspection is a must. Check for a proper flat-top facet (table) to provide a focal point for gathering and reflecting light. Look for a distinct cleft and an obvious point. Insist on rounded lobes that are completely symmetrical. Seek gently curved, full sides that are not flattened.
- Eye-Clean. The high number of facets of heart-shaped diamonds covers up minute flaws. Use this fact to your advantage by insisting on a stone that is “eye-clean.” This feature means that flaws cannot be detected by the naked eye.
- Look for a cut that is brilliant even in the middle. Avoid a “bowtie” effect that reflects a darkened image resembling two triangles corner to corner. This flaw communicates a lack of attention to details within the design.
- Properly Proportioned. The proportion of a heart-shaped diamond is measured by the ratio of the diamond’s length to its width. Aim for an ideal ratio of 1.00, with an acceptable range of .98-1.03. This ideal proportion assures a classic, distinctive heart shape that is neither too rounded nor too narrow.
- Make sure that the stone has an adequate depth (the measurement from top to bottom). Depth is a good aspect to consider for sparkle and flashes of fire.