Were you about to pull the trigger on a “Hearts and Arrows” diamond?
If so you may be glad you held off.
Not every diamond touted as a Hearts and Arrows diamond really is one.
The name should be reserved for diamonds that make a heart and arrow pattern.
If the pattern is all askew then you are paying for something you are not getting.
The pattern of hearts and arrows is visible through a Hearts and Arrows viewer.
Here is what it should look like:
Even if you don’t have a Hearts and Arrows viewer you can easily tell when a diamond has excellent symmetry.
If you can see a magnified image of the diamond and there’s an obvious lack of symmetry then you probably want to look for another diamond. It’s only a Hearts and Arrows diamond if it creates a circle of hearts and arrows.
The Charm of Hearts and Arrows
The introduction of the Hearts and Arrows effect in the market has become an excellent way for purchasers of fine diamonds to see and appreciate an almost magical effect which expresses the perfection of the ideal cut round diamond’s 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.
Diamond grading labs grade on Color, Clarity and Cut.
The Hearts and Arrows effect is not something that receives a mention on any lab report. It certainly would be great if this were an aspect that grading reports 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.
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.