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Hearts and Arrows Diamonds


The term Hearts and Arrows refers specifically to round brilliant diamonds that have been cut to a very high degree of three dimensional symmetry, also referred to as “optical symmetry”. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds will show a distinct pattern of 8 arrows when viewed from the top in a special reflector device, and a pattern of 8 distinct hearts when viewed from the bottom.

It is very difficult for the diamond cutter to achieve this level of precision in three dimensions, requiring more skill, more time, and the loss of more weight from the original diamond rough thereby making it more costly to produce. Achieving optical symmetry requires an exacting process of making sure all of the tiny facets line up perfectly against their counterparts on the opposite side of the diamond. Only then will a precise pattern of hearts and arrows be present.

A CUT ABOVE® Hearts & Arrows vs. GIA Excellent Cut

The following set of images illustrate the difference between an A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Super Ideal in the first row and a GIA EX EX EX without the same level of cut craftsmanship in the second.
 (for more info see our page on GIA Ex vs AGS Ideal cut grades.)
Hearts And Arrows Diamonds

A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond

Perfect arrows & top light performance Ideal Scope
Perfect arrows & top light performance Ideal Scope
Perfect arrows and top light performance ASET
Perfect arrows and top light performance ASET
Perfect Hearts
Perfect Hearts

GIA Ex Ex Ex diamond

Broken arrows and light leakage in Ideal Scope
Broken arrows and light leakage in Ideal Scope
Broken arrows and light leakage ASET
Broken arrows and light leakage ASET
Broken Hearts
Broken Hearts

Because educated consumers are becoming aware that cut quality and craftsmanship are crucial to light performance and beauty, more manufacturers are attempting to cut hearts and arrows diamonds today. Interestingly, it is often assumed that hearts and arrows diamonds are all ideal cut diamonds, yet this is not always the case. It is possible to cut diamonds with proportions that are somewhat less than ideal and still line up all the facets properly in three dimensions. This can result in a diamond with both hearts and arrows patterning and light leakage. Likewise, it is possible to cut a diamond to ideal proportions and receive an ideal grade without achieving perfect optical symmetry. Certified ideal cut diamonds with hearts and arrows patterning are often referred to as “super ideal”.

Hearts and arrows patterning is a related but independent factor in terms of what makes ideal cut diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (Gem Trade Laboratory) does not issue a report designating a diamond as Ideal. Their highest grade is Excellent. Nor do they grade for optical symmetry. The American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) which performs the most sophisticated diamond cut quality analysis uses a 0-10 grading scale with 0 signifying Ideal. AGSL, like GIA, grades symmetry on their reports as it relates to facets meeting at symmetrical points around the stone. It is possible to achieve ideal “meet point” symmetry without achieving perfect optical symmetry and hearts and arrows patterning. However, AGSL does offer a computer generated pavilion side ASET image showing the hearts pattern, available on platinum certificates. (To learn more see this article about this AGSL report feature.)

Super ideal cut diamonds like the A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows combine ideal light performance and perfect alignment of all facets in three dimensions, creating a perfectly “tuned” diamond which produces fire and brilliance at the extremes of what is technically possible. See why the value proposition of  H&A diamonds is so compelling on our page about the benefits of hearts and arrows diamonds

Please visit this page for more information about the technical aspects of hearts and arrows formation. To find the perfect option for your hearts and arrows diamond ring, please visit our inventory of A CUT ABOVE as well as  Expert Selection round diamonds.
Learn more in our series on Hearts and Arrows Diamonds:
Hearts and Arrows - Introduction (this article)

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