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Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

March 13, 2020

Recently, I got the question: “What are hearts and arrows diamonds?” It sounds like something you can find in a love note. Unfortunately, the answer is less romantic. Although… It is still pretty interesting and perhaps even a bit romantic. But I leave that last part up to you.

A perfect polish

Hearts and arrows is a certain way of diamond polishing. We can safely say: the perfectionist way of polishing. When a polisher makes a perfect round brilliant he creates the so-called ideal cut. These are the perfect angles for every facet of a round brilliant cut. Even the slightest deviation changes a diamond from a perfect cut to a ‘very good’ cut. When a polisher succeeds to create that ideal cut, he can see it in the diamond’s Hearts & Arrows.

a perfect polished diamond from top and bottom

What are Hearts and Arrows

This may sound very obvious but Hearts & Arrows (H&A) is exactly what you may think it is. These are the iconic shapes can see in a perfectly polished brilliant. You can see them under specific lighting conditions. When you look from the bottom, the pavilion of the diamond, you see eight small heart shapes. Turn the diamond around and look from the crown of the diamond. Right now, you can see eight arrows.

How to see the hearts and arrowsPicture from “Hearts and Arrows: Formation of the H&A pattern, by Erik Wanten & Tim Gevers, WTOCD”. (Source: wtocd.be)

How to create Hearts and Arrows

Originally, Hearts & Arrows were diamonds that embodied three important design factors:

  • They are cut in an ideal proportioned way (so extremely close to the brilliant as described by Tolkowsky in 1919).
  • They have great physical and optical symmetry. This would grant the grade of “excellent”.
  • The diamonds are cut to a very specific brilliantine scheme to create the patterns of the hearts and arrows.

It is amazing but it requires FOUR pavilion main facets, SIX pavilion half facets and TWO crown facets to create one complete heart pattern” (source: wtocd.be). Less than 1% of the polished diamond reach the so-called Hearts and Arrows. As you can imagine, the key is to place each and every facet correctly. Mess up one facet and your heart will look – well, nothing like a heart anymore. And when one heart is failed, none of the others will look symmetrical as well. That is why it is very important that a diamond polisher has an eye for detail.


What do you think? Is this way of perfect polishing romantic? I think maybe after all it is. Because when I make a diamond that has these eight hearts and eight arrows, I know I made something special. A perfectly polished diamond. I always hope this diamond goes to someone special. Someone who can truly recognize this special craftsmanship. Give someone a perfectly polished diamond. Because then you don’t need any words to tell that person you think they are perfect.

Polish your own diamond

Do you want to polish a diamond by yourself? Book a Diamond Masterclass Deluxe with me or one of my colleagues. I can’t promise you will be able to polish Hearts and Arrows. But I can promise you I share my knowledge with you and you go home with a great polished diamond. And that is something to be proud of. Book your Diamond Masterclass Deluxe.

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