How to Choose a Heart Cut Diamond – 9 Essential Tips

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The heart has always been a symbol of love, passion and romance. Couple that with the diamond and you have a stone that is romantic, symbolic and easily eye-catching. The heart shaped diamond is not among the most popular cuts, and is quite rare, making it a unique choice for jewelry. Of late, it has become famous among celebrities as it is quite a statement shape.

The heart cut is a modern trendy cut which has been around for quite a long time. One of the earliest and most famous heart diamonds was given by Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Elizabeth as a gift. However, the cut as we know it today only originated around the early 1900s.

The heart cut consists of between 56 to 59 facets, strategically placed to enhance the brilliance and light performance of the stone. While it might appear like just another diamond cut, tit takes great skill and expertise to cut a gorgeous heart shaped diamond. If you’re looking for a heart cut diamond, we recommend researching carefully to find the right stone fo ryou.

Here are our top 9 tips to help you buy a great heart shaped diamond.  

1. Symmetry is Key

yellow gold heart cut diamond ring
See heart cut diamonds here.

The beauty of the heart shape lies in its perfect symmetry, with each side being a mirror image of the other. If the heart is not cut to proportion, however slight, it may be the first thing you notice when you see the stone. This is why it is key that you pick a symmetrical stone where each half is exactly alike in size and shape.

The heart should have a clear and distinct cleft between the two sides and each wing should be gracefully rounded. Unfortunately, this kind of information can’t be found on the grading report. This is why it is important not to buy the diamond blind but to see the actual video and/or image of the diamond before you purchase.  

2. Choose the Length to Width Ratio

The classic heart shape has an L-to-W ratio of 1.00. Anything over 1.05 begins to look narrow and elongated while under .95 has a wider appeal. For drop earrings and for pendants, narrow cuts are often very attractive while a wider cut looks to advantage when set in a solitaire ring.

When it comes to choosing the length to width ratio of your heart shaped diamond, there is no right or wrong selection. It comes down to personal preference.

3. Pick the Right Size

For heart shaped diamonds, it’s best not to go with a very small stone. While you can compromise on size with other diamond shapes, you will not be able to see the heart shape clearly and the diamond will not appear to advantage. Try to stick with a carat size over .50 and the larger the better!  

4. Look Out for the Bow-Tie

Some heart shaped diamonds can have what is known as the bow-tie effect. This occurs due to poor cutting and misaligned facets, which cause the light that passes through the diamond to create shadows within the stone. This results in darkened areas on the surface of the diamond, often lying across the diamond in the shape of a man’s bow-tie.

bow tie heart shape diamond
A heart-shaped diamond with a slight bow-tie

Most heart-shaped diamonds are susceptible to having bow ties, but these can be either severe or unnoticeable. If, when you look at the diamond, the darkened areas are the first thing you notice, then it’s best to choose a stone with better light performance.

Unfortunately, the grading report will not provide this information for you, which means that you have to see the stone with your own eyes prior to purchasing. The GIA doesn’t grade the cut quality of fancy shapes (fancy meaning all diamond cuts except for the round brilliant).

5. Choose the Color Grade

rose gold heart cut diamond ring
See this ring here.

Heart shaped diamonds tend to retain color and show any tints in the stone. This is why this cut is ideal for gemstones and colored diamonds, where it’s all about flaunting the color of the stone! If you aren’t restricted by budget, choose a colorless grade (D-E-F) for the best look. However, if you prefer warm tones in your diamond, you can opt to drop the color grade down further.

In terms of price, each color grade up comes with a premium, and often the difference between grades can be indistinguishable.

The color grade you choose partly depends on the setting of the jewelry. If the diamond is set in yellow or rose gold, you can drop the color grade down to J. However, if the diamond is set in platinum or white gold, any tint in the stone will be noticeable. It is best to choose H grade or better.  

6. Pick the Clarity Grade

It is easy to see flaws in the heart shaped diamond due to the faceting structure and clear table. As long as the diamond is eye-clean, however, it really doesn’t matter what grade you pick. Go as low as you can on the clarity scale without there being noticeable flaws as this will give you the best value for your money.

For larger stones, it’s best to choose between Flawless to Very Very Slightly Included 2 (VVS2) as they will tend to show inclusions more readily.

7. Choose the Best Ring Setting for Heart Cut Diamond

The heart shape is quite a trendy and statement diamond cut, that calls out for attention (especially when in large sizes). It looks great in solitaire settings as this accentuates the shape of the stone and makes it stand out on your finger. However, it can be a vulnerable cut due to its pointed tip. It is essential that the setting you choose provides adequate protection for the diamond.

If choosing a prong setting, you can opt for a 3 prong setting if the diamond is on the smaller side. For larger diamonds, 5 prongs are best, as this will provide better security. The bottom prong should ideally be a V-tipped prong which will provide protection for the point of the diamond. Take care with prong settings, however, as they tend to catch on objects like hair and clothes, which can compromise the durability of the stone.

heart shape prong setting engagement ring
See this ring here

For extra sparkle and eye-catching brilliance, consider a halo setting. The surrounding diamonds really adds an extra layer of brilliance to the diamond.

heart shaped halo setting enagement ring
Find this ring here

If you’re a lover of all things vintage, heart shapes are stunning when set in vintage designs. They have a touch of romance and old world charm, making a perfect combination.

vintage inspired engagement ring with heart shape diamond
Find this ring here

And finally, if you want something really different, why not opt for a colored heart shape diamond as the example below depicts? Colored diamonds and gemstones look fascinating when cut into heart shapes as the color is exhibited to advantage.

8. Pick Your Budget

Although the heart cut diamond is hard to find because of the expertise required to cut it properly, it’s a relatively affordable diamond cut. Compared to the likes of round cut diamonds and princess cut diamonds. In fact, a high quality heart cut diamond can be around $500 less expensive than a round diamond of equal quality specifications. Compare this heart cut diamond with this round cut diamond. Their specs are similar, but the heart cut is almost $1000 less in price.

9. Where to Shop Online

Whichever retailer you decide to go with, always make sure that they are licensed, reputable and have great reviews. They should be specialized in what they do and should also provide you with certification for the diamond. Check that the certifying laboratory is reputable, such as GIA, AGS and EGL.  

Most importantly, ensure that the images, video and other data provided are accurate and of the actual diamond (not a stock photo). View the stone carefully prior to purchasing and check with the sales team if you have any questions.  

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Known for dominating the online diamond industry since the late 1990s, Blue Nile offers one of the largest online diamond inventories. Search diamonds here at competitive prices, solid after-sales policies, and good customer service.

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Whiteflash has earned an international reputation for the elite quality of their precision cut diamonds, and for their impeccable collection of designer engagement rings. Check their stunning range of diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.

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Brian Gavin is a renowned expert in diamond cut – and it shows in their superior diamond quality. For the very best in diamonds, search their inventory of designer diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.

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If you want to try out how a heart cut diamond ring looks on your finger before you commit to buying one, check out With Clarity’s Home Preview Service which is completely free. Find out more here.

heart diamond ring on red background

FAQs About Heart Cut Diamond

Heart cut diamonds are less expensive than round cuts. They can cost up to 20% less than a similar round cut diamond.

While they’re not a classic choice, they’re not tacky. A well-made heart cut diamond ring can be stunning in appearance and have a sophisticated look.

Heart cut diamonds don’t necessarily look bigger than other cuts. But it’s important to get a larger diamond for your heart cut in order for the shape to be visible.

There’s no right or wrong here – in fact, if your engagement ring is a heart diamond, the shape of the wedding ring could determine which way you choose to wear it. However, some believe that wearing a heart shaped diamond with the point facing upwards means that you’re single and available.

While this is a matter of preference, it’s best to go with a ratio of .90 to 1.10 for the best look.

A heart cut diamond represents love and femininity.

In Conclusion

Heart cut diamonds might appear trendy and modern, but they’ve been around for a while. As a symbolic piece of jewelry, they represent love and eternity. If you’re considering a heart cut diamond, there’s no reason not to. While a heart cut diamond isn’t a popular choice, and is, therefore quite rare and unique, it’s just as beautiful as any other diamond cut when expertly crafted and set into a high-quality setting.

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