Where to Buy The Finest Cut Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

The advent of the Hearts and Arrows effect in the market has become an excellent tool for consumers to see perfection in optical symmetry. Optical symmetry however is somewhat challenging to quantify. The variations between each diamond cutter not to mention the difference between each stone means that certain criteria have yet to be standardized for consumers to avoid discrepancies. Labs grade Color, Clarity and Cut. Hearts and Arrows effect are not something that receives a mention on any lab report. It certainly would be great if this were an aspect that lab reports (diamond certificates) were to make mention of. Diamond Manufacturers do deserve to be rewarded for the excellence shown in the production of optical symmetrical stones. Consumers would also benefit by being able to purchase  assuredly and with comfort.

For this reason one wants to be careful when buying a diamond that is said to be a Hearts and Arrows diamond.

Fortunately it only takes a few minutes to get acquainted with the basics so one knows what to look for.

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds are diamonds that exhibit specific characteristics. They are diamonds that have been cut to ideal proportions and show a pattern of hearts and arrows when seen through a Hearts & Arrows Scope. The arrows are seen when viewing the diamond through its crown, and the hearts pattern is seen when viewing the diamond when its pointy end, the culet, is facing the viewer. While there are slight variations in the exact design of a diamond which shows hearts and arrows, there are characteristics which define hearts and arrows diamonds.

First, they are cut in such a way as to have ideal proportions. Second, they must receive a grade of excellent in terms of optical symmetry and light performance. Third, they must display a specific faceting pattern of hearts and arrows when viewed through a Hearts and Arrows Scope. When all these factors are present the result is a near perfect pattern of eight symmetrical arrows in the face up position and eight symmetrical hearts when viewed in the table down position.

The perfectly shaped hearts are formed when the main pavilion facets are cut at the correct angles and polished with such perfection in symmetry that their reflection results in a perfect heart pattern. Once the perfect heart pattern has been attained, the perfect arrow pattern in the crown results.

To arrive at this state requires meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the diamond’s production. Diamonds in their rough state are octahedral as shown below.

rough diamonds
Diamonds in the Rough. Photo: Brian Gavin


This is a photo of rough diamonds as they are after having been extracted from the ground but before being sent to get cut and polished.

The photo was taken by Brian Gavin, one of the worlds most renowned diamond cutters, during his visit with diamond wholesaler Alrosa as he carefully sorted through the precious stones he would select to later work on.

When selecting diamonds to be cut into one of Brian Gavin’s signature cuts, whether the Brian Gavin Hearts and Arrows or the Brian Gavin Cushion Hearts and Arrows there are a slew of specifications that Brian Gavin checks to make sure that the cutting process results in a perfect Hearts and Arrows diamond. Brian Gavin is a skilled diamond cutter who is known to take meticulous care when selecting diamonds he is going to work on.

Cutting diamonds so that the crown and pavilion angle reflect just the right offset requires an experienced cutter. When done according to the optimum calculated angles this process ensures the highest volume of light return and an ideal balance of brilliance (technical term for white sparkle) and dispersion (more easily described as colored sparkle). Another thing that the correct proportions result in is that the sparkle will be broad spectrum. This basically means that it is larger in size, bolder, brighter, and more vivid. As a fifth generation diamond cutter, Brian Gavin knows exactly how to cut diamonds to deliver maximum light performance, and optimize visual performance.

The average diamond cutter has traditionally remained focused on cutting diamonds to retain the maximum amount of carat weight. This often results in compromises.

Brian Gavin is not like all those other cutters. He is one of the few cutters intent on ensuring every diamond is precisely cut to the highest degree of craftsmanship.

Brian Gavin has the requisite skills to accomplish this. After all he is a fifth generation diamond cutter. As creator of his internationally renowned Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond he has become a recognized authority and consultant on diamond cutting and jewelry design. When acquiring a diamond from Brian Gavin you are assured of superior quality and service backed by the knowledge and expertise of five generations of expert diamond cutters. Heritage, history, trust, world-renowned expertise – and the most beautiful diamonds you could hope to lay your eyes on – all that combines, dear reader, as the mark of a Brian Gavin Signature diamond.



Optical Symmetry is the term used by the industry to describe the precision of facet alignment and shape per section of diamond design, it is not the same “symmetry” grade which appears on diamond grading reports like those issued by the AGS or GIA gemological laboratories. Rather it is a factor of diamond grading which is beyond the knowledge of most jewelry sales people, who mostly rely on the information provided on diamond grading reports to determine the cut quality of the diamonds they sell.

While all of the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds like the one shown in the video above, have been graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) as having an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, which is the highest cut grade available from the AGSL, it does not take the optical symmetry of the diamonds into account, it is a light performance grading platform.

Light Performance refers to the levels of light return being exhibited by the diamond in terms of the volume of light return and the brightness of the diamond. Optical symmetry has more to do with the production of virtual facets, as well as the number of flashes of light, and the size and  intensity of the sparkle.

The best way to judge diamonds for their ability to produce high levels of sparkle factor, is to look at the optical symmetry of the diamond as seen through various reflector scopes, such as the ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows viewer. All those various scope images are shown on the diamond details pages for the Brian Gavin Signature Cushion Cut Diamonds.

Round Hearts and Arrows Diamond: 0.820 Carat G Color VS2 Clarity

Heart and arrows diamond at BrianGavindiamonds.com

Type Brian Gavin Signature
Product ID: AGS-104057253028
Shape: Round
Report: AGS
Carat: 0.820
Color: G
Clarity: VS2
Measurements: 5.99 x 6.04 x 3.71
Lab Cut Grade: Ideal
Light Performance: Ideal
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Table %: 56.4
Depth %: 61.8
Crown %: 15.4
Crown Angle: 35.2
Star %: 53.0
Pav Angle: 40.9
Pavillion %: 43.4
Lower Girdle %: 75.0
Culet: Pointed
Fluorescence: Negligible
Girdle Min-Max %: 1.0 – 3.6
Girdle: Thin To Medium Faceted

Can’t go past this diamond at BrianGavinDiamonds. It is truly a superior cut as not only has its cut been executed perfectly, it comes with an AGS certificate which confirms that its light performance/brilliance is rated right at the top.


It definitely gets my No Regrets stamp of approval.

See it here

No Regrets stamp of approval for this round diamond

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Round Brilliant Hearts and Arrows Diamond: Best Buy Under $3000


Catch of The Day: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1500338.asp

0.73 Carat I Color-SI1 Clarity Hearts & Arrows Ideal Cut Round Diamond
0.73 Carat I Color-SI1 Clarity Hearts & Arrows Ideal Cut Round Diamond
Shape: Round
Carat Weight: 0.73
Cut: Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color: I
Clarity: SI1
Certificate: AGS
Depth: 61.8%
Table: 57.6%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Negligible
Measurements: 5.75*5.78*3.56
Crown Angle: 35.5
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion %:

This diamond is one that I deem to be the best buy under $3,000 and still have an incredibly beautiful diamond. There is a little trick I used to locate this diamond and this trick is only possible if you can view an actual photo of the diamond and not a stock photo. The trick is to compromise in one selected area which doesn’t detract too much from the beauty of the diamond. James Allen is very handy for this as this is really the only place that strives to put up photos of every single diamond in their inventory. I think they are up to 25,000 diamonds currently.

If you start looking at diamonds within the $2,000 to $3,500 range you’ll find that either they are very small or have an inferior cut grade, a lower color grade, or lower clarity grade. It’s up to you to choose which area a compromise is acceptable. You will find that jewelers and diamond experts agree that the greatest disappointments occur when a compromise is allowed in regards to the cut grade. Ideal or Excellent cut diamonds are the most likely to please you. James Allen’s TrueHearts TM are their signature Hearts and Arrows design and are all meant to be Ideal/Excellent cut. I hate to say this, because I am a huge fan of almost everything James Allen does, but I have noticed that there are some TrueHearts that look a little less than perfect. I am glad that it is possible to examine both the image of the diamond as well as the diamond’s grading report and this prevents disappointment. The diamond I selected to highlight today is a TrueHearts TM diamond. And it has perfect symmetry and shows superior light performance on its grading report, thanks to the AGS labs Platinum Light Performance Quality Document, which you can see below.

To locate a diamond which would at least be of average size for an engagement ring  (between 0.5 carat and 1 carat) I decided to make the compromise in the clarity grade. This means that I allowed SI1 diamonds to show in the search results. I had a closer look at any diamond that stood out to me from the thumbnail images that showed up. Examining the diamond using James Allen’s Virtual Loupe TM helped me decide whether there were any inclusions which would be visible without magnification. The term is “eye-clean”, and that’s often the aim when looking for a diamond that is going to be pleasing to the eye. The AGS lab document confirmed that the light shines through the diamond without obstructions and this is why I can recommend this diamond as extremely good value, with hardly any compromise, and certainly no compromise that hampers the stone’s beauty.

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Can I Find A Diamond Engagement Ring For Less Than $3000?

Today’s challenge was:

Can I find a diamond engagement ring for less than $3000?

I wanted to find a good quality diamond without going for inferior and poorly cut diamonds. It had to be a nice “sparkler“.

For this I applied a wider filter which involved looking through diamonds with a slightly higher coloring, like a K.

It is advisable to have K diamonds placed in a yellow gold setting. More about this below.


Shape: Round
Carat Weight: 0.76
Cut: Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color: K
Clarity: VS2
Certificate: AGS
(with Computer Generated Light Performance Map!)

Depth: 61.9%
Table: 58.2%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Negligible
Measurements: 5.82 mm x 5.85 mm x 3.61 mm
Crown Angle: 35.6
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 40.7
Pavilion %:

This particular Heart and Arrows Ideal cut diamond would be ideal for anyone who would prefer a yellow gold ring setting. This is because the color of this diamond has been grade by AGS laboratory as being a 3.5 which in the more familiar GIA color grade is “K”.  Yes, it is a little farther down on the color scale. Which is why it is often suggested that diamonds of this color be set in yellow gold. The yellow color of the gold creates a contrast and makes the slight coloring of this diamond less noticeable. With such perfect symmetry and polish the diamond will have a very high “sparkle” (technically called fire and brilliance), also reducing the notice-ability of the slight coloring. The VS2 grade makes this diamond almost completely perfect in regards to inclusions. As you can see from the image no inclusions are visible. And the grading report (certificate) indicates where the inclusions are to be found, so you know where to look for them. You still can’t see them even if you are looking for them.

This diamond is a good size for an engagement ring. Anything over half a carat will do, though most people try to get as close to 1 carat as possible.


Looking at the Computer Generated Light Performance Map not only tells us that this diamond has the highest grade of light performance, but also confirms the incredible symmetry.

At $2,550.00 I can guarantee that this diamond is going to be very well liked once you have it in your hands.

You may click here if you would like to buy it: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/K-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1495907.asp

Here’s what it would look like in a yellow gold ring setting.

The engagement ring in the video is made of 18 karat gold. This is quite pure gold, with 18 parts out of 24 being pure gold, and the rest other metals/alloys. Since pure gold is quite soft it might be prudent to get 14 karat gold which is not as soft as 18 k gold and will do a better job of holding the diamond in place.

Here is a link to a 14 karat gold setting: https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/14k-yellow-gold-2mm-knife-edge-solitaire-engagement-ring-(six-prong)-17927y14.html

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0.80 Carat Ideal Cut F Diamond For Ring

Go to this TrueHearts diamond at JamesAllen 0.80 Carat F-VVS2 Hearts & Arrows Ideal Cut Round Diamond

Anyone seeing the photos of James Allen’s diamonds for the first time may not be sure what they are looking at. Different people react differently. The first time my son looked at a JamesAllen diamond image he said, “Wow!, That’s an awesome diamond!” My wife, on the other hand said “Is that really a diamond? Where are the sparkles?”

Well sparkle only comes from the diamond being moved around. Also those contrast lines are only due to the neutral lighting conditions under which the photos are taken. This kind of lighting makes it easier to see the diamond’s symmetry and perfection.

In normal lighting conditions the diamond will sparkle. And the better the cut, along with a high level of “colorlessness” (like this F diamond) the better the sparkle.

JamesAllen has this information on color: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamond-education/diamond-color.html

Here is a video of one of JamesAllen’s diamonds so you can see what the diamond looks like when in motion. Evidently quite a sight to behold.

The reason JamesAllen has their diamonds photographed in neutral lighting is so you can see the diamond’s clarity characteristics. This would help you determine if there are any visible non-clear crystals or trace minerals that would impair the shine factor. As the view of the diamonds in these photos, when under the virtual loupe gives you a magnification approximately 18 times larger than life. This varies depending on what device you are using, PC, tablet, ipad, smart phone. But that estimate is based on an average size monitor.

So, why, you may ask, was this chosen as our catch of the day?

Here’s why: Since we are already saving $1000’s by buying online we don’t have to compromise on quality. This  allows us to choose one of the best cut diamonds.  For this we go to anything whose grading report gives an Ideal cut grade. Every single stone in JamesAllen’s TrueHearts range is an Ideal cut. We can still double check and see if we agree with this at a glance, by looking at the photos, but AGS labs are very strict with their grading and if they say it is an Ideal cut, it’s going to be an Ideal cut diamond. Still, I noticed a couple of TrueHeart diamonds which did not have the arrows perfectly aligned, with a very tiny misalignment on one of the “spokes”.

This diamond, which I have chosen for today, displays absolutely perfect symmetry and will make any wearer proud to own.

Shape:  Round
Carat Weight:  0.80
Cut:  Hearts & Arrows Ideal (this is extremely good!)
Color:  (this is extremely good!)
Clarity:  VVS2 (this is extremely good!)
Certificate:  AGS (this is extremely good!)
 Price: $5,710 (this is extremely good!)
Depth:  62.8%
Table:  54.6%
Polish:  Ideal (this is extremely good!)
Symmetry:  Ideal (this is extremely good!)
Culet:  None
Fluorescence:  Negligible (this is extremely good!)
Measurements:  5.91*5.93*3.72
Crown Angle: 34.2
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 41.0
Pavilion %:

Go directly to this diamond here:



JamesAllen have Free International Shipping, and a 60 day return policy.

The One

Ok, enough beating around the bush. I know that the average person who goes into a jewelry shop wants a round brilliant 1 carat diamond. Then when the sales person sees the look on their face when they find out it’s $20,000 they are pointed toward the cluster rings.

Well, if you are shopping online you certainly won’t need to spend $20,000 for a 1 carat round brilliant.

Today we are going in search of a 1 carat diamond. And since it is a one carat diamond we are not going to go for any that are poorly cut, or have any visible inclusions.

So we have gone straight to the section at James Allen that lists the Hearts and Arrows diamonds called True Hearts. They are all better than Excellent cuts. With James Allen you get to see exactly what you are going to get since they have magnified images of the diamonds they offer for sale. The images are neutral so you don’t get blinded by the sparkle and can actually see how well the diamond is cut and whether or not there are any visible blemishes or unbecoming marks on the stone.

This one is simply WOW!

Shape:  Round
Carat Weight:  1.01
Cut:  Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color:  H
Clarity:  VVS2
Certificate:  AGS
 Price: $9,620
Depth:  61.2%
Table:  55.6%
Polish:  Ideal
Symmetry:  Ideal
Culet:  None
Fluorescence:  Negligible
Measurements:  6.48*6.50*3.97
Crown Angle: 34.2
Crown %: 15.20
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion %: 43.20

The whole idea behind Hearts and Arrows is that the edges of the cut lines align perfectly. So you are already looking at a superior cut when choosing a Hearts and Arrows. Cut is the first thing to concern ourselves with when choosing any diamond so we won’t take it for granted that this is perfect just because it’s a Hearts and Arrows. It’s still nice to look at the magnified image and admire the perfection or check for any signs that it might be below par. I did skip a couple of Hearts and Arrows diamonds that had one of the lines ever so slightly out of alignment. This one I deem to be absolutely tops. The Clarity grade of VVS2 combined with a near colorless H makes this diamond a high grade sparkler!

This gets our No Regrets Stamp of approval without the slightest hesitation.

stamp of approval

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

Hearts and Arrows diamonds are not only loved because they have a lovely name. They are awesome because they even better than Ideal cuts: they are Superideal cuts. They are in a class of their own in regards to perfection and symmetry. When a diamond is cut in order to achieve this effect all the facets align perfectly. This is one of the things that makes it a Hearts and Arrows diamond.

The name “Hearts and Arrows” is not patented or trademarked so it is possible for anyone to claim they sell Hearts and Arrows. The serious players in this market have registered a trademark with a variation on the name Hearts and Arrows to show that they mean business when it comes to presenting and marketing this spectacular effect. These are generally the real deal when it comes to buying true Hearts and Arrows diamonds.

James Allen has registered the trademark True HeartsTM.

Though we don’t need to rely only on their having registered a trademark in order to be assured we are getting a quality diamond. We can simply view their product.

If we bring up their page on Hearts and Arrows we can see that they truly are superideal cuts.


This one in particular stood out to me as representing incredible precision and beauty, and I determine this to be our Catch Of The Day:

Hearts and Arrows Diamond


Combine that True Hearts diamond with one of these great settings and you have got yourself a winning combination.

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Peaches Geldof shows off another new engagement ring

This picture was posted on twitter by Peaches Geldof. And it’s another diamond ring. It’s different to the one she was proposed to with in December 2011.

We can only guess what happened to the other one.

But I somehow feel that she is very happy with this one.

The halo pave style is one that very well liked by women around the world.

(and yet guys keep on buying the solitaire instead!)



Peaches Geldof's new engagement ring bought by Tom on her birthday

Get a ring like it..

1.04 carats, Round Diamond, with Ideal Cut, I Color, VVS2 Clarity, and certified by EGL

Here is a super diamond. Its ideal cut and VVS2 clarity makes it our

Catch of the day!

1.04 carats, Round Diamond, with Ideal Cut, I Color, VVS2 Clarity, and certified by EGL

Diamond ID: 7395
Shape: Round
Color: I
Clarity: VVS2
Cut: Ideal Cut
Weight: 1.04 ct
Symmetry: Excellent
Measurements: 6.44-6.47*4.00 mm
Depth: 62%
Table Diameter: 57%
Crown Height: 15%
Pavilion Depth: 43%
Issuer: EGL
Description: “EXCELLENT IDEAL CUT” – The quality of the cut of this diamond achieves Excellence in symmetry and proportions, thus obtatining the optimal dispersion of light and brilliance.

EGL certificate

Diamonds-USA does not have photos to match the exact diamond listed so we base our judgement on the description on the certificate.

The description on the certificate includes the description “Excellent Ideal Cut” and this would indicate that the diamond is much, much nicer than the sample picture.

The certificate describes the diamond’s cut as having 8 hearts and 8 arrows.

As EGL has a different set of masterstones than GIA has which are used to compare diamonds to when they are grading diamonds, EGL-graded diamonds with a color grade of “I” could sometimes be seen as a “J” grade if they were to be graded by GIA. Having said that this is still a fantastic deal as it is over 1 ct and VVS2 with an Ideal Cut! An absolute steal at $4,992!

0.70 Carat I-VVS1 Excellent Cut Round Diamond

Today we bring you a perfect little diamond.

We found it on James Allen’s site and as soon as I saw this little beauty I knew I had to include it as our Catch of the Day

Shape: Round
Carat weight: 0.70
Cut: Excellent
Color: I
Clarity: VVS1
Certificate: GIA
Depth: 61.7%
Table: 54.0%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent
Girdle: Thin to medium
Culet: None
Fluorescence: None
Measurements: 5.75*5.72*3.54mm


The GIA dossier reports a feather and a pinpoint. Feather means it has a microscopic hairline, and pinpoint means it has a tiny, well, pin point, also an extremely small point. Looking at the diamond through the loop you can see that neither the feather nor the pinpoint affect the stone’s clarity characteristics when viewed from above, which is an excellent sign.

With such an excellent cut and symmetry this stone is a very good deal.

Just looking at this diamond in comparison to other stones of similar size you can see that the symmetry really stands out and gives it a striking beauty.

I don’t think it will be long before it’s snatched up.

Remember that these kinds of photos are taken in such a way to maximise viewing of the stone’s symmetry. The brilliance and fire are not evident in the photo, but will definitely show strongly in a stone with an excellent cut, excellent symmetry and with a thin girdle and a VVS1 clarity. Combinations such as this one has make for a very beautiful stone.