Heart Cut Diamond Guide (What You Should Know Before Buying)

Thinking about a heart cut diamond engagement ring? 

You're in the right place. In this Learning Guide, I'll answer the most popular questions about heart diamonds like: 

heart cut diamond guide-01
  • Are heart diamonds expensive?
  • Who carries the most heart diamonds?
  • What kind of ring setting should you choose for a heart diamond?

Top 4 Places to Buy Heart Cut Diamonds

James Allen has a generous selection of heart diamonds in their inventory. Currently, they carry over 15,000 loose heart shape diamonds of various qualities, clarity, color grades, and carat weights. You can choose from as small as .30 cts (though I don't recommend it for heart diamonds, more later on why) to larger stones as big as 10 carats!

And that's just their natural diamonds.

If you're wanting ethical diamonds, they also have a small selection of under 200 lab created heart shape diamonds that go up to 5 carats.

So, not the biggest selection for lab created diamonds.

James Allen provides 360˚ viewing capabilities for all of their heart shaped diamonds. You can drag and rotate it all the way around at high magnification without ever leaving your phone or computer.

They carry around 80 different ring settings for heart shaped diamonds. The diamond ring styles cover a wide variety of settings from solitaires to heart shape pave engagement rings.

James Allen Heart Cut Pave ring

Over the last few years, James Allen has taken a dive in their reputation as they are owned now by Signet Jewelers, who also owns competing chain retailers like Jared and Kay's.

Despite being owned by the same parent company. the diamond pricing is different and more affordable online than in those stores. Better quality too.

For that same reason, you can use your free lifetime warranty (that comes with all engagement rings at James Allen) at select Jared stores or straight to home office itself. Their lifetime warranty will cover any diamond ring maintenance you'll need, from re-tipping prongs to rhodium plating white gold ring settings.

#2 Buying a Heart Shaped Diamond at Blue Nile

blue nile homepage

Blue Nile is veteran in the game of loose diamonds online. They were the first ones to really step into the scene in 1999. Since then, they've built a solid reputation on providing more diamonds with lower prices than what you'd find at chain jewelry stores.

They have a large collection of loose heart cut diamonds, comparable with James Allen. With over 11,000 heart shaped diamonds, I guarantee you'll find a one to your liking. Keep in mind though, not all of them have 360˚ viewing.  And if you have the budget for a larger diamond, they carries heart cut diamonds up to 13 carats!

If only, right?

Blue Nile carries heart diamonds certified by only the best grading authorities of natural diamonds. All of their diamonds are come with a GIA grading report or an AGS grading report. No needing to worry about buying certified diamonds from anyone but the best.

Blue Nile Heart Diamonds

Once again, here is another retailer that lacks in the lab diamond department. At least James Allen had a small selection of lab created heart diamonds. Blue Nile doesn't carry any loose lab diamonds. They do have a small collection of lab created pink diamond jewelry and blue diamond jewelry.

They don't have a free maintenance warranty either. You do get complimentary inspection and polishing on your engagement ring, but you have to send it in. If there are any prongs needing re-tipping, Blue Nile will take care of it for a cost.

Not the best service warranty.

But the big takeaways here are that Blue Nile is a reliable and legitimate online diamond retailer. They don't always have the cheapest prices, but many choose them over less expensive online retailers. Majority of shoppers have an excellent time with customer service at Blue Nile. They have more than enough heart shaped diamonds to create a beautiful heart cut engagement ring.

#3 Buying Heart Shaped Diamonds at Ritani

If you're a jewelry lover, chances are you've heard of major engagement ring designer, Ritani. They are among popular names like Tiffany's, Harry Winston, and Chopard. As the diamond industry evolved, they've added loose diamonds to their exclusive designer ring settings.

They also introduced a market analysis, which plainly lays out how their diamond prices are figured. This is unique to Ritani, as an attempt to gain customer trust and show diamond price transparency. 

It's a fantastic idea, really. Everyone always wants to know why diamonds are so expensive.

While their loose diamonds are cost-effective, the ring settings are not. Try not to be too surprised, as designer ring settings come with a hefty premium. Ritani is no exception. However, some of the designs are patented and unique, meaning exclusive only to Ritani. You just need to decide if the chosen ring setting fits into your budget.  

Ritani makes a great option for a heart diamond ring because they also throw in a free lifetime warranty that will cover all your maintenance needs-just like James Allen. 

whiteflash banner

Whiteflash has the smallest selection of heart cut diamonds out of everyone on our list, but they're still worth mentioning. Buying a well-cut heart diamond can be a difficult feat, and Whiteflash makes it easy.

Whiteflash's diamonds are more expensive than the average retailer because they specialize in diamonds of superior cut quality and optimal light performance. However, keep in mind that heart diamonds are some of least expensive shapes. You may not be able to squeeze an ideal cut diamond from Whiteflash in your budget, but you might find the sparkliest heart diamond fits instead.

Basically, if you like bling, go for a Whiteflash diamond.

When you buy heart diamonds from Whiteflash, you gain both Idealscope and ASET images. These special images detail how well-cut your stone is. It shows you how much white light enters and leaves the diamond, as well as how much light doesn't reflect out. Light leakage can impact light performance, so you're able to see exactly how superior the cutting quality really is.

If you can't tell the difference between an Ideal cut diamond and a Very Good cut diamond, you may not think the price difference is worth it at Whiteflash than others on our list.

The problem is, all heart shaped diamonds in their inventory are from their Virtual Selection. That means they don't have any 360˚ view and you can't see your diamond in real time viewing like other retailers. You must inquire about the diamond.

Pretty inconvenient for the customers, right?

As for warranties, the Whiteflash Ultimate Care Plan gives buyers the choice between 3 year plan or a lifetime plan. You can always opt out as well. The cost of each plan is dependent on the total of your custom engagement ring.

Alongside their diamonds, the ring settings at Whiteflash are expensive as well. Many of them are designer settings that can complement a beautiful heart shaped center stone.

Heart Cut Diamond FAQs

Heart shaped diamonds aren't the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings, unlike round brilliant diamonds. Often times, they're saved for special occasions like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.

However, more and more diamond buyers are choosing unique diamond shapes instead of the traditional round cut diamonds. The heart shape isn't a popular fancy shape diamond either, but there are still many who love it.

After all, the heart shape has always been associated with love and romance.

And what could be more romantic than spending your life together? 

It has also been a staple in friendship. The biggest piece of history the heart shaped diamond has was being a gift from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Elizabeth in 1562 as a token of friendship. 

Here are the most asked questions about heart shaped diamonds.

Is it Cheaper to Buy Heart Shaped Diamonds Online?

On average, buying a diamond online of any shape is usually less expensive. That isn't always the case though. Diamond prices are affected by many details other than shape.

Are Heart Cut Diamonds More Expensive?

At a base level, heart shaped diamonds aren't one of the more expensive diamond cuts. Round brilliant diamonds, princess cut diamonds, oval cut diamonds are just a few of the more expensive fancy shapes.

In actuality, heart shaped diamonds are one of the least expensive fancy shapes. Heart diamonds aren't in high demand, so the prices tend to be lower.

What to Look for When Buying A Heart Shape Diamond

Cut quality and grades

The cut quality is important for every diamond shape, not just a just heart shaped diamond. The cut quality of your heart shaped diamond expands more than just a simple cut grade. Heart shape diamonds don't have an official cut grade on a grading report, just like other fancy cuts.

A round brilliant cut diamond is the only diamond cut that has an official cut grade. Exceptions to this may be grading reports from the American Gem Society, who grades cut quality a little differently from the GIA. Both are accepted.

Many online retailers will categorize a fancy cut shape in cut grades when they sort diamonds. It's better to look at the measurements of a fancy cut instead of grade. Proportions, symmetry, polish, length to width ratio, and the thickness of a girdle can impact are all components that make up the cut quality of a diamond.

Key terms:

Length to width ratio- The length to width ratio of a diamond may also be abbreviated as L/W ratio under diamond details. The ideal length to width ratio of a diamond varies among shapes. For a heart diamond, it can determine how skinny or wide the heart looks.

Girdle- A girdle is the outermost edge all the way around a diamond. Most diamond girdles are thin to slightly thick.

You can generally expect heart shaped diamonds that are categorized as Ideal or Very Good in a catalog to be the best quality the retailer carries.

The recommendations for a heart shaped diamond with excellent cut quality are as follows:

Length to width ratio (L/W ratio): Between 0.9-1.10. Most agree 1.00 is the ideal heart cut diamond. 

However, a heart diamond can also go up to 1.2. The heart will appear longer with a 1.1 length to width ratio, while it will appear wider with a 1.2 l/w.

Measurements:

Table size: 53-63%

Depth: 58-62%

The measurements of your heart diamond are important because it has to do with the faceting of your diamond. Not only does the faceting affect light performance, it also reduce the appearance of the bow tie effect. Heart shaped diamonds are vulnerable to a bow tie shadow shape that can appear across the surface. Thankfully, they're not as prominents as they can be in oval diamonds and marquise diamonds.

Girdle:

Thin to slightly thick

A slightly thick girdle on a heart diamond is important so that the edges are well defined, especially at the top of the diamond.

Clarity grades

A heart shaped diamond can also be called a heart brilliant cut, due to the cutting style used to create the heart shape. Brilliant cut diamonds are faceted with lots of short facets that result in a glittering light performance. Round, princess, cushion, and oval cut diamonds are all examples of brilliant cut diamonds.

One of the best things about brilliant cut diamonds is they can help deter your eyes from obvious clarity imperfections. In regular terms, that means you can save money by choosing a lower clarity grade for your heart shape diamond engagement ring.

The goal of a brilliant cut diamond is to reflect lots of sparkling white light. The bright light performance of brilliant cut shapes like a heart cut diamond can make slightly included diamond imperfections harder to see. Additionally, the overall shape and surface size of a heart cut diamond works to its advantage as well.

For example, a step cut diamond shape like an emerald cut diamond reveals inclusions more than the brilliant cutting style of a heart shaped diamond. Both of these diamonds have an SI2 clarity grade.

SI2 heart diamond
SI2 emerald diamond

On the diamond clarity chart, SI clarity grades are slightly included. This means they may have inclusions seen by the naked eye. Any clarity grade above SI clarity is considered eye-clean, and can be more expensive if all other grades are the same.

So, you can choose a lower clarity grade in a heart shaped diamond and have less noticeable inclusions that other shapes.

Color

A lot of people will say that brilliant cutting styles also allow you to choose lower color grades for your diamond. However, this isn't always the case. The color grade of a diamond has an official chart, but how we view color is subjective.

A heart shape diamond with a color grade of H may appear colorless to one person, or tinted yellow to another. As per the GIA color grade chart, an H grade is classified as near colorless.

J Color Heart Diamond

J Color Diamond

H Color Heart Diamond

H Color Diamond

E Color Heart Diamond

E Color Diamond

Ultimately, color grade is up to personal preference. So is clarity, but most people don't want a diamond with obvious inclusions. Too many inclusions can also compromise the integrity of your diamond if they are on the surface.

Some people are more sensitive to color than others. People with warmer skin tones may choose a warmer color grade because of the way it complements their skin. No matter which color grade you choose, it can't affect the integrity of your diamond. It's merely an optical preference.

Carat

The carat weight of your heart shaped diamond doesn't need to be anything specific. I don't usually give a recommended carat weight for other fancy shapes. The carat size of your diamond is arguably the least important of the 4Cs.

But that's just me.

It's completely okay to want a big heart shaped diamond. However, when you increase the carat weight dramatically, the price increases too. One of the main reasons is because larger stones require higher color and clarity grades to compete with the size.

Like a round diamond cut, heart cut diamonds appear smaller than other diamond cuts. So if you really want a big diamond, a heart cut diamond is already at a disadvantage. If the size of the overall shape of your diamond is very important to you, you might consider an emerald cut diamond shape or a radiant cut. These elongated shapes will appear larger than a heart shaped diamond of the same carat weight.

One Carat Heart Cut Diamond

One Carat Radiant Cut Diamond

The last thing I want to point out about heart shape diamonds is to not go too small with your carat weight. You may not want to go below a .5 carat diamond. If you choose a heart shape diamond too small, the top of your heart shape becomes harder to distinguish when you look down at it.

Red Flags When Buying A Heart Shaped Diamond

We've touched on the things you want to keep in mind when purchasing heart shape diamonds. There are just a couple things to watch for as your choose your perfect heart shape diamond.

Engagement Ring Settings

You might find that engagement ring settings for heart cut diamonds can be difficult to come across, or that there aren't too many styles that fit the shape. You also want to be wary of the type of setting and prongs you have.

A prong setting is probably the most popular choice of engagement ring setting for solitaire engagement rings. Make sure the bottom of your heart shape diamond is protected. Most people opt for a V shaped prong so the entire bottom of the heart is covered.

V Prongs

The drawback to these types of prongs is that it lets in less light than other types of prongs. Despite this, you should protect the pointed tip of your heart diamond, as it's the most susceptible to being chipped. Pear shaped diamonds and marquise cut diamonds also have the same problem.

Grading Report

When you shop online for a loose heart shape diamond, you're more likely to run into ones with grading certificates. You can still find certified diamonds at local jewelry stores, but they often cost more.

You'll also notice that popular chain retailers like Kay Jewelers and Zales sell uncertified diamond engagement rings. I don't recommend buying diamonds without a grading report from a trusted gemological laboratories. I recommend only purchasing GIA certified diamonds and AGS certified diamonds when choosing a natural heart diamond.

How to Get the Best Deal When Buying Heart Shaped Diamonds

  • Try to keep your carat weight above .5 carats so your heart shape doesn't become distorted
  • Keep the bottom of the heart shape diamond protected by a V-prong for best protection
  • Choose a heart cut diamond that is even on both sides when looking down on it. Poorly cut diamonds can impact light performance as well as overall durability.
  • Don't choose a diamond based solely on size or carat weight, pay attention to its cut, clarity grades, and color grades too.
  • The shape and cut of a heart diamond makes some inclusions less visible than in other shapes with a bigger face-up size.
  • Choose an online retailer as opposed to a chain retailer. Online diamond retailers cut out the middleman and sell less expensive diamonds with certifications from approved gemological laboratories.

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