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There are excellent cut diamonds and then there are hearts and arrows diamonds, taking cut quality to the next level. Most diamond vendors have their own signature hearts and arrows collection. James Allen’s hearts and arrows diamonds are known as True HeartsTM.
In this review, we’re going to be examining True Hearts by James Allen, a collection of diamonds that come from fewer than 1% of the world’s diamonds.
We’ll look at it from the standpoint of whether they’re worth paying a premium for and if it makes more financial sense to simply purchase a lower diamond cut grade.
The Importance of Cut in Colorless Diamonds
When it comes to colorless diamonds, cut is paramount. You can compromise on other features of the stone but it’s best not to lower cut quality to save money.
There are several grades that diamond cuts come in, ranging from Poor to Excellent, with each grade higher costing more than the one before, all else being equal.
Diamond cut grade involves several factors, as this image from GIA clearly shows. When a diamond has been cut to exacting precision, with perfect proportion and symmetry, this shows in a diamond that looks striking and has incredible brilliance, fire and scintillation.
While an ideal cut diamond is stunning, you can take it further with a cut grading that goes beyond ideal – into the realm of superideal diamonds.
What Are James Allen’s True Heart Diamonds?
James Allen’s True Heart diamonds are super ideal stones that have superior cut quality and enhanced exceptional light performance. On the diamond cut scale, True Hearts diamonds go beyond the Ideal (AGS cut grading) or Excellent (GIA cut grading) ratings, making the diamond super ideal or beyond ideal in cut quality. Each True Hearts diamond comes with a grading from either the GIA or AGS.
When viewed under a gem scope, a True Hearts diamond will show the famous pattern of hearts and arrows. Apart from being a super romantic pattern (think cupid, arrows and hearts!), the hearts and arrows pattern allows us to see the light performance of the stone and where there’s light leakage.
The arrow pattern is noticeable when viewed from the top while the hearts can be seen from the under side of the diamond. When mounted in jewelry settings, the heart pattern will be hidden while the arrow pattern can be seen from the top. To see these clearly, you would use a hearts and arrows loupe like this one.
Even though True Hearts comes in three shapes, only the round brilliant will display hearts and arrows. Cushion and princess True Hearts are indicative of superior and impressive cut quality only.
What Are the Cut Specifications of a Super Ideal Round Diamond?
To be classified as a True Hearts diamond, there is very strict cut criteria that the stone has to meet.
Here are the cut specifications of a True Hearts round diamond:
- Depth: 61% to 62.5%
- Table: 54% to 57%
- Culet: None
- Girdle Thickness: Thin to Medium
- Pavilion Angle: 40.6 to 41 degrees
- Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees
A diamond within these cut proportions will have excellent interaction with light. Now, although James Allen hasn’t stated what specific cut criteria their True Hearts diamonds have, almost all their diamonds fall within the cut proportions of super ideal diamonds.
What this means for you as the customer is that you shouldn’t just take the diamond at face value. Just because it’s a True Hearts diamond doesn’t mean that it’s cut will necessarily be that of a super ideal diamond.
By examining each diamond’s cut proportions, you can check whether the stone has a super ideal cut. Also, because of James Allen’s excellent Diamond Viewing Technology, you can carefully examine the stone from all angles and in Super Zoom mode to check how it interacts with light.
True Hearts Diamond Shapes
In terms of diamond shapes, James Allen offers True Hearts in the three most popular diamond shapes – round, princess and cushion cuts.
True Hearts – Round Cut Diamonds
These are the most popular choice for most customers, especially when it comes to Hearts and Arrows stones. If you look at the James Allen’s True Hearts diamonds collection, for example, you’ll see that the vast majority of them are round cuts.
When viewing the diamond, you’ll have the option to superimpose the hearts and arrows images on the diamond and be able to easily examine its interaction with light.
The hearts and arrows of a round True Heart diamond are easily visible and dazzle with their unparalleled brilliance, sparkle, and fire.
Princess Cut and Cushion Cut True Hearts Diamonds
The princess and cushion cuts are great alternatives to the round brilliant cut. Of late, the cushion cut has soared in popularity which is why it was recently added into the True Hearts collection.
Now, a princess and a cushion cut True Hearts stone will not show the hearts and arrows pattern because they simply can’t. The shape and faceting structure of the stone doesn’t allow for that. So while these are called True Hearts, don’t expect them to display any hearts and arrows.
They are simply perfectly proportioned and symmetrical with stunning sparkle, among the best of the princess and cushion cuts you can find.
What Data is Provided for the True Hearts Diamonds?
One of the major benefits of shopping from James Allen is the generous information they provide to ease your purchase.
Take a look at the image above. The page features the signature James Allen 360-degree HD video that allows you to examine the stone from all sides. It also includes their new super-zoom option, lab report, explanatory diagrams of cut, and most importantly the hearts and arrows images.
All these details are what makes the online shop of James Allen the main choice for thousands of customers who want to buy their diamond jewelry online.
True Hearts by James Allen vs. Astor Ideal by Blue Nile
To truly assess the quality of James Allen’s True Hearts collection, let’s compare them to another heavy-hitter in the diamond industry – Blue Nile and their Astor Ideal Hearts and Arrows stones.
One point in which the James Allen’s True Hearts are lacking behind Blue Nile is the sheer quantity of options the latter retailer has to offer. James Allen does have a large assortment of diamonds but its size pales in comparison the Blue Niles nearly incalculable number of options for all budget ranges.
On the other hand, James Allen’s True Hearts are easier to choose from in some regards as James Allen offers a much higher quality pictures and videos of their stones.
Are James Allen’s True Hearts Worth the Extra Expense?
Needless to say, the better the cut quality the higher the price. Some customers question whether it’s worth paying the premium for the True Hearts diamonds.
It’s true that an ideal cut grade will give you a stunning diamond. For most people, there’s no need to go beyond this grade into the super ideal world of diamonds where stones take a hike in price.
True Hearts diamonds come with a premium. Take a look at this 1.07 carats True Hearts diamond and this 1.02 carats Excellent cut diamond – the price difference between them is over $4,000! If you mount them in a ring setting and view them with the naked eye, there will be almost no practical visible difference between the two.
It all depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget is.
For some, the extra expense doesn’t matter if it means that they get the best of the best, the highest grade with none beyond. For others, who want a beautiful diamond that has excellent sparkle, an Ideal diamond will suit perfectly.
We would recommend sticking to the Ideal cut grading to find the best in value and beauty of a diamond. You may even find that some of the diamonds in this grade often overlap in terms of some cut specifications with those in the True Hearts range.
While a True Hearts diamond isn’t necessary, there’s no denying their excellence and if you have the budget for it, there’s no reason not to get one.
James Allen’s True Hearts are among the best diamonds on the market. They offer fantastic brilliance, sparkle and fire and look truly spectacular. They do come with a matching price too, so be mindful of your budget’s capabilities.
However, if you want to leave no stone unturned, then check out the True Hearts collection and enjoy the stunning light performance of these diamonds.