Hearts and arrows diamonds are extremely beautiful and exquisitely-cut stones. When observed under a special viewer, the bottom side, or “pavilion” will show eight perfectly symmetrical hearts, and the top or “crown” will show eight symmetrical arrows.
They were first discovered in Japan in the late 1980s, when Takanori Tamura noticed the pattern, then investigated and found that of the tens of thousands of diamonds he examined, very few had the same pattern. In fact, it is present in less than 1% of all rough diamonds, which means very few have the potential to be cut into a hearts and arrows diamond. The stone must be cut to ideal proportions, in a very specific faceting pattern.
The amount of work that goes into creating a hearts and arrows diamond makes them even more rare to consumers. While the average experienced diamond cutter can cut a standard round brilliant stone in about an hour, it could take the same cutter four full days to produce a hearts and arrows diamond.
These stones also create a greater amount of waste; to reach the ideal proportions, approximately 15% more of the stone is wasted when compared to a typical round brilliant. Because of the greater diamond waste and the amount of time they take to cut, only about one-tenth of 1% of all diamonds are true hearts and arrows diamonds.
Advantages of hearts and arrows diamonds
The primary advantage of hearts and arrows diamonds is their intense beauty. A hearts and arrows diamond has perfect symmetry; that’s why the stones are so rare. When a rough stone of this caliber is properly cut and perfectly polished, it displays maximum light performance. In any diamond, the stone acts like a prism reflecting light off of the facets, then back to the eye. Because of the symmetry in a hearts and arrows diamond more light is reflected, creating a more beautiful appearance.
For the average consumer, this means an exceptionally bright, brilliant, sparkling diamond– even in darker areas, like a room lit by candlelight. The maximum light performance also makes these diamonds appear larger and whiter than other stones of the same size.
For some people, hearts and arrows diamonds are also more romantic. They appreciate the association with Cupid, the Roman god of desire, affection and love – and, of course, who still makes an appearance every year on February 14.
Disadvantages of Hearts and Arrows
As beautiful and rare as hearts and arrows diamonds are, they do have some drawbacks.
For a lot of people, the price is the biggest disadvantage. Because they are so rare, and because they are so time-consuming to cut, they can be very expensive; when purchased in a high-end jewelry store, they are often double the price of a regular diamond.
Availability is another drawback with these stones. Their uniqueness doesn’t just make them expensive- it can make them difficult to find. They are also only available in round and square-cut stones.
One final problem with these stones is false marketing. It is quite easy for uneducated consumers to get duped into buying what is not a true hearts and arrows diamond. At a glance, many stones can appear to have this pattern; however, it is the perfect symmetry that makes them so unique. Some people also mistakenly assume that any super ideal cut diamond is a hearts and arrows diamond. To be graded as a super ideal cut, a stone must have the perfect cut, polish, and symmetry. It does not, however, require a specific pattern.
This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.