The Heart Cut

Everything you need to know about the heart shape diamond

Karly B. (GIA Gemologist) avatar
Written by Karly B. (GIA Gemologist)
Updated over a week ago

Heart shape diamonds are tricky you guys. Yes, they are unique and certainly eye-catching… but they are not without their problems. For one, they are extremely difficult to create, meaning you need a diamond cutter who really knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you are just left with a hot mess.

Heart Shaped Problems

One of the main issues with heart shaped diamonds, is that you really need them to be big enough to be able to see the actual heart shape. With smaller heart cuts, the shape tends to get lost in the setting, and so you really do need to go a bit larger to get the full impact of the unique shape.

Heart Shape and Color

This, in turn, leads to another problem. Color retention. Heart shaped diamonds (like many of the other fancy cuts we have now covered) hold their color very well, which means that in order to get a white looking heart shaped diamond you need to be right up at the top of the color range, hovering around the ‘D-F’ mark. Not ideal for your wallet. Anything lower and you will start seeing a good body of color.

heart shape colors  (1).png

That being said, if you do have a tolerance for those warmer tones you can of course go a bit lower towards ‘H-I’, especially if you plan on a yellow/rose gold setting.

Heart Shape and Clarity

Now for more bad news. One of the more positive aspects of the fancy cuts that we have seen thus far, is the ability of these ‘modified brilliants’ to disguise certain small inclusions and imperfections. No such luck with the heart cut I’m afraid. In fact, with the heart, some inclusions may even be more pronounced! Is this breaking your heart? I know, I’m sorry. Clarity-wise then, I wouldn’t be going lower than ‘VS2’ if you want to cover your bum (or ‘SI1’ at a push, and only if it is absolutely eye-clean).

heary eye clean v not (1).png

A final point on hearts here, and I know I have been hammering this home on all the other fancy shapes… but it’s just too important not to emphasize once more here; buying blind with a heart shape is an absolute no-no.

It’s harsh to say, but there are many, many badly cut heart shaped diamonds out there floating around, waiting for some fool to buy them. Don’t let that fool be you. Without seeing the stone first, you simply cannot trust that the diamond will perform the way it is supposed to. You must be extra vigilant with heart shaped diamonds, especially as there is no definitive ‘cut’ standard for these shapes. While the stone may look fine on paper, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you find your heart shaped diamond actually looks like this;

good v bad heart shape  copy.png

How to do a Heart Right

That said, sticking with 'very good ' to ‘excellent’ symmetry and polish grade, and a GIA grading report will at least start you on the right track.

Ideal heart .webp

If you need some help searching for a heart shaped diamond, don't hesitate to reach out to one of our graduate gemologists via the chat bubble over on the right side of this page! They can suggest some options for you or look over the ones you already have picked out to ensure you get a great diamond at a fabulous price.

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