“Hearts & Arrows” (H&A) diamonds are cut so precisely that their refractive facets overlap when viewed through a magnifying glass. The downward kaleidoscopic pattern when viewed straight from the tip looks like a “Heart” and the pattern when viewed straight from the top of the diamond resembles an “Arrow.” The precision of Hearts & Arrows is often combined with classy cuts of exceptional quality.

How does the “Hearts and Arrows” diamond scope work?

Light shining from outside through the top is still white. Light refracted from the inner surfaces is colored (usually red, blue, or purple). This creates a structured lighting environment where refraction from the main edges makes the white stand out against the dark background.

History of “Hearts & Arrows”

In the 1980s, Japanese diamond cutters first produced round brilliant diamonds that were cut so precisely that their reflected facets overlapped in 3D space, creating patterns has a consistent shape when reflected by the viewer. Those polishers used a “secret formula” to create the “Heart” pattern – a combination of reflections when viewed from the tip (circled in red in the image below) and “Nose name” – the mirror image of the eight bottom faces seen through the top and rim when viewed straight from above.

The accuracy and sharpness of the patterns depend on the angle combined with the length, width and azimuth of the faces. The techniques of the early manufacturers spread to other cutters and “Hearts and Arrows” diamonds began appearing on multiple continents in the mid-1990s.

Heart and Arrow Icon

The eight uniform patterns seen at the top and bottom of the Hearts & Arrows (H&A) diamond have historical associations with fortune and spiritual significance. The number 8 is considered lucky in Asian culture. The arrow patterns have been compared to the eight trigrams in the I Ching and the wheel of the eightfold path, which are associated with spiritual perfection in Buddhist beliefs.

Spiritual beliefs aside, the structural perfection of the H&A pattern is carefully cut to be the world's hardest material, worthy of admiration by any structure enthusiast. In its most basic form, it represents the diamond cutter's intention for perfect precision and ultimate beauty of a diamond.

Is it expensive to produce Hearts & Arrows Diamonds?

Yes, mainly due to loss incurred during the manufacturing process. Achieving the optical precision of “Hearts and Arrows” required a rigorous manufacturing process. All faces must be aligned in both angle and direction in three-dimensional space. So making requires better tools, more time, and most notably, more loss from the original rough diamond. In return, the finished product achieves the most optimal lighting effects. Facets, when combined with the appropriate angle, will capture light and diffuse it more clearly by optimizing the diamond's internal reflectivity.

“Hearts & Arrows” Standard

There are many different standards and definitions for “Hearts and Arrows” diamonds. Nowadays, many diamonds are produced that have some pattern like hearts and arrows but simply because of good tools. They do not have the exceptional sharpness and precision of “Hearts and Arrows” diamonds that are purposely produced with top optical precision. These diamonds are sometimes nicknamed “Random Luck” hearts and arrows.

IGI is one of the only gemological institutes in the world to establish grading criteria and standards for Hearts & Arrows diamonds, presenting true images of the diamond's crown and top faces in the section Hearts & Arrows on report.

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