Heart-shaped diamonds are the ultimate romantic cut. This cut is based on the Brilliant cut and is very similar in terms of mass; if you were to compare one of each side by side, each weighing the same, they would be very similar in size. The Heart shape is seen frequently in pendants, but is suitable for any type of jewellery, including engagement rings.
The heart shape is usually comprised of between 56 and 58 facets, just like the Brilliant cut. Heart shapes are sometimes cut with “French tips,” where the bezel facet at the point of the stone is eliminated.
When looking for a Heart shaped stone, it is important to look for a perfectly symmetrical stone, where the lobes (the top arches) are of even height and breadth. The stones with best the proportions will have a length-width ration of 1 : 1. You can measure the width of a Heart shaped stone by finding the widest point from one lobe to the other for the width, and measure from the point to the highest point of the lobes for the length.
The Heart shape can suffer from a so-called “bow-tie effect” when light passing through the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the stone. This is why it is imperative for you to see a selection of similar stones from which you can choose your favourite from. Look for one with minimal or totally absent bow tie effect.
The Heart cut could find its origins as far back as the 16th century, along with the other Brilliant cuts. However, gems which would today be classified as ‘triangular with rounded corners’ or ‘drops’ were at one time described as being Heart-shaped. The first recorded Heart shape diamond appears in a portrait entitled “The Gonzaga Princess,” painted circa 1605 by Frans Pourbus the younger. The large piece of jewellery on the princess’s left sleeve contains a variety of different cuts, some of which are thought to be versions of the heart-like ‘drops’ popular in France at the time.