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The symbol for the heart is timelessly associated with love, so it is to no surprise that the unique and stunning heart cut is a popular choice for engagement and wedding bands alike. The Heart cut is the ninth most popular diamond cut in the world, due primarily to its lack of availability rather than the components of the cut itself.
If you are considering a Heart cut stone, it is essential to be well informed of the pros and cons that come with the cut, the most suitable GIA grades for the cut, and the most sensical settings for the cut. This article will walk you through the in’s and outs, as well as the in between, of the Heart cut.
The Heart cut has been an idea in the making for over 100 years but hasn’t reached levels of success until recent developments in cutting technology and laser technology have allowed jewelers to achieve the perfect cut without sacrificing the brilliance or quality of the ring in doing so.
The Heart cut actually starts its life out as a Pear cut. After a Pear cut is achieved, the cutter creates a cleft on one end while retaining the shape of the other to create the shape of the heart. The Heart cut can come in slim and tall hearts or short and wider shapes – this is dependent on personal preference and only goes to show how much this cut has developed in the last several decades.
The ideal size for a Heart cut is between 1-2 carats. A Heart cut stone that exceeds 2 carats may not have the same brilliance that a larger stone will, while one that is smaller than 1 carat won’t distinguish the features of the shape as well as a larger stone might.
What are the pros?
The Heart cut is a unique cut that easily sets itself apart from other, more popular, cuts that have extremely similar features and can often be mistaken for one another. This cut is still in the early years of its development and the ways in which the shape it is obtained will likely change over the upcoming years, making the Heart cuts available today possible collector items of the future. Stones and diamonds in the Heart cut are expected to become more valuable over the upcoming years, so not only is this beautiful cut extremely unique, it is also a smart investment.
Diamonds can get expensive – for the budget conscious newlyweds to be, it is also a huge perk that the Heart cut compliments a variety of affordable gemstones beautifully. The Heart cut is particularly popular in shades that are often associated with the hearts – this includes the red of the ruby or the pink in a sapphire. Choosing to go with a gemstone instead of a diamond will allow you to retain the unique nature of the Heart cut while sustaining affordability.
And the cons?
The Heart cut is still a work in progress and, as such, it is still widely available for the men and women that want this cut for their rings. The Heart cut can be cut by request, or custom cut, but such a cut will come with a hefty fee. Further, as a work in progress, the setting for this cut has not been solidified. We will discuss more on settings below, and we believe that our number one recommendation might be the answer that jewellers have been looking for, but the relative newness of this cut does leave room for improvements across the board.
Another negative aspect of the Heart cut is what jewellers call the bow tie effect. The bow tie effect is where the cleft that shapes the hearts creates a shadow in the center of the stone. This, however, is more-so a result of a poorly cut Heart cut than it is a result of the cut itself.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created an international diamond rating system that allows for a universal standard for determining a diamonds quality. An aspect of this quality is the diamonds clarity. A diamonds clarity is determined by its number of inclusions and/blemishes. All diamond will have some inclusions and blemishes, but a flawless diamond will be one where they can’t be seen when magnified by ten.
This list contains the clarity ratings as they determine the value of a diamond from the most expensive to the least:
Flawless (Fl) – No Inclusions.
Internally Flawless – (IF) No inclusions, only blemishes.
Very Very Slightly Included – (VVS1 and VVS2) Contains inclusions but they are very difficult to see.
Slightly included (SI1 and SI2) – Noticeably included.
Included (I1, I2, I3) – Obviously included.
An ideal diamond for a Heart Cut will be anything from VVS2 and up. Avoid Heart Cuts that fall into the categories of SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
The GIA also grades diamonds on their color – or rather, lack of. This rating system does not include colored diamonds. Essentially, the ideal diamond is colorless while the least desirable is light yellow or brown.
These changes in color are extremely subtle, and may not even be noticeable to the naked eye, but they make a colossal impact on the price of a diamond so they are important.
This list contains a list of the color ratings, D being completely colorless and most valuable and Z being of color and the least valuable.
D, E, F – colorless
G, H, I, J – near colorless
K, L, M – faint color
N, O, P, Q, R – very light color
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z – light color
The ideal diamond for a Heart cut is colorless, so grades D, E, or F – however a nearly colorless grading that’s closer to the completely colorless spectrum, such as G, will also produce desirable results.
A three prong setting is the best suited for a Heart cut stone. A three prong setting secures the diamond into position at the two uppermost points of the heart and at point at the bottom of the heart. This setting allows for sunlight to permeate through the diamond and create its notable brilliance.
A second popular setting option for the Heart cut is the Bezel setting. Bezel settings use the metal of the band and wrap it around the diamond to secure it in place. While this is the most secure option for this cut, it also blocks the light from reaching the stone and causes the stone to create significantly less brilliance.
Recap Plus Some
Ok, so, what do we know? The heart cut has made strides with development of diamond cutting technology. This unique cut is still relatively hard to come by but worth the investment, as it is expected to gain value in upcoming years. This cut looks best with 1 to 2 carat diamonds but also complements gemstones well, making it an affordable cut for couples looking for a fun and unique ring. The Heart cut is best set in a three prong setting, but will suffice in a Bezel, which is also the most secure setting for this particular cut.
But wait – don’t run to your nearest jeweler quite yet. Before you run out your door, here are a few additional tid bits to keep in mind:
1. If your Heart cut stone is a diamond, deal only with reputable jewelers that will provide IGA certification.
2. If you’re buying a used or antique diamond studded ring, don’t listen to number one. The IGA hasn’t been around forever and diamonds have. Instead, in the instances of antique or used diamonds, ask for a certificate of authenticity or professional appraisal of the diamond you’re buying.
3. If a colored, or colorless, gemstone is you’re thing, we’re into it. Check out our extensive gemstone directory for ways to ensure your are purchasing the best quality authentic gemstone for your ring.
4. It never hurts to get a second opinion – if you’re confident in your purchase, this isn’t necessary, but if you’re like us and like play it safe, take your purchase to a professional jeweler or gemologist for a second opinion as to the quality of your stone.
5. You’re getting married! This should be the most rewarding and enjoyable experience in your life to date – while we absolutely promote the idea that knowledge is important, and that you should be well informed, we also want you to remember not to lose sight of your excitement and joy, so go on, go shopping for your engagement or wedding ring and don’t forget to have fun with it!