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Hearts & Arrows diamonds explained

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You may have seen some diamonds marketed as having "Hearts & Arrows". This article explains what this means and explores the pros and cons of Hearts & Arrows diamonds and what to consider if you're thinking about choosing a diamond for an engagement ring.

What is a Hearts & Arrows diamond?

Hearts & Arrows Diamond Plot
Hearts (on the left) viewed from below and Arrows (on the right) viewed from above

Hearts & Arrows diamonds are round brilliant cut diamonds, which, when viewed from below through a specialised Hearts & Arrows viewer, display a pattern of eight grey hearts pointing towards the middle, and when viewed from above, display a pattern of eight grey arrows pointing away from the centre.

What makes Hearts & Arrows diamonds special?

The hearts and arrows pattern is only visible in diamonds with very precise proportions and symmetry, including ideal angles, depth, and table size. Achieving these requires a very high level of skill from the diamond cutter. The 'table' - the flat surface at the top of the crown - must be precisely perpendicular, or at right angles, to the pavilion, and the diamond must have exceptional optical symmetry.

Pros and cons of Hearts & Arrows diamonds

Excellent light performance
Hearts & Arrows diamonds have very high light reflection and dispersion levels. This gives them a bright, sparkling appearance that many people find very attractive.
Higher cost
Hearts & Arrows diamonds are typically more expensive because they require a high level of precision to cut.
Superior craftsmanship
The Hearts & Arrows pattern can only be seen in diamonds cut to a very high level of precision, and as such, they can only be produced by the most skilled diamond cutters.
Not to everyone's taste
While many find the Hearts & Arrows pattern visually appealing, some may not like how it looks. This is a matter of personal preference and is subjective.
Most diamonds are not cut to the same very high standards required to produce the hearts and arrows patterns, so Hearts & Arrows diamonds are comparatively scarce.
Pros and cons of Hearts & Arrows diamonds

What to look for when buying a Hearts & Arrows diamond

There is no absolute standard for assessing a Hearts & Arrows diamond. Some will have a clear pattern; in other cases, it may be less distinct. Some experts grade the patterns, while others do not. And, even when a stone is given the highest cut grade, the hearts and arrows may not be easily visible.

As such, it is important to view the stone for yourself if you wish to judge this, or if that isn't possible, seek the advice of a trusted jeweller.

It's also important not to forget that there are other equally and arguably more important factors to consider, namely the 4Cs of carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. Ensure you are happy with each of these first and foremost.

Are Hearts & Arrows diamonds worth it?

There's no easy answer to the question above since it will depend on (a) how much the price premium is, and this varies from stone to stone, and (b) the individual customer's preferences and priorities.

If a buyer is looking for a visually striking diamond that captures the eye with its fire and brilliance, a Hearts & Arrows diamond may be a good option. However, if a buyer is more concerned with carat weight or wants to prioritise other factors such as colour or clarity, there may be better choices than a Hearts & Arrows diamond.


Are Hearts & Arrows diamonds more expensive?

Yes, Hearts & Arrows diamonds are typically more expensive than other diamonds due to the additional time, effort, and expertise required to produce them, which results in a higher cost of production, which is then reflected in the retail price of the diamond.

Are Hearts & Arrows diamonds rare?

Yes, Hearts & Arrows diamonds are rare because they require an extremely high level of precision in the cutting process to achieve their distinct pattern. 


Hearts and arrows diamonds are cut to extremely precise proportions to optimise their fire and brilliance, and this precision requires a high level of skill and expertise from the cutter. This can result in a higher price tag than other diamonds that are not cut to the same level of precision.

Whilst these means they are comparatively rare and command a price premium, it shouldn't be taken as a given that a Heart & Arrows diamond will be more beautiful or worth the extra investment. Buyers should prioritise the 4Cs of carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. They should also ensure their diamond is conflict-free and ethically sourced and comes with a reputable diamond certificate.

David Rhode
Together with Tim Ingle, David created Ingle & Rhode to offer a better alternative to the traditional luxury brands. Since 2007, we’ve provided our customers with genuinely ethical engagement rings, wedding rings and fine jewellery – free from conflict diamonds, dirty gold and child labour. With more than 16 years experience in the jewellery industry, David has deep expertise in diamonds, gemstones and jewellery design and manufacturing.