Pattern Formation

What Causes the Hearts and Arrows Effect?

  1. Introduction

  2. Formation of Hearts in Diamonds

  3. Formation of Arrows in Diamonds


With the arrival of the Internet consumers have become more informed and educated about the differences in the quality of cut and its effect on performance…

Brian Gavin's Picture of Hearts in a Hearts and Arrows Diamond

From the Internet Boom to Transparency

The advent of the Heart and Arrow effect in the market became a tool for consumers to see perfection in optical symmetry.

Since optical symmetry is difficult to quantify because of the variations between each cutter and each stone, criteria needs to be standardized for consumers to avoid discrepancies.

Therefore just as the labs grade Color, Clarity and Cut, they should grade Hearts and Arrows too.

Diamond Manufacturers should be rewarded for their excellence in producing an optically symmetrical stone and consumers need to be able to purchase with assurance and comfort.

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

Formation of Hearts

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The Process of Polishing Diamonds

From Blocking to Completed Stone

Diamond Cutting Process: From Blocking To Completion

How The Hearts Are Formed

  • The perfectly shaped hearts are formed when the main pavilion facets are cut at the correct angles, indexing and polished with such perfection in their symmetry, that their reflection results in a perfect heart pattern.
  • Once the perfect heart pattern has been attained, the perfect arrow pattern in the crown results.
  • The diagram to the right shows the visual effect through a Hearts and Arrows scope at different stages throughout the cutting and polishing process.
How Hearts Are Formed In Diamonds

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Sequence To The Heart Formation In Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

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Sequence To The Formation

  • How the main pavilion angles reflects on the opposite side to create the heart pattern.
  • One pavilion facet creates two opposite sides of a heart.
  • Two pavilion facets create 1 heart and 2 single sides of the next heart and so on until all the hearts are complete.

Formation Of The Heart

  • The diamond image at right shows the main pavilion facets outlined in orange and a main pavilion facet reflecting on the opposite side in the lower girdle facets on either side of the opposite main pavilion facet high-lighted in green.
  • The steeper angle of the lower girdle facets causes the new forming heart to separate from the arrow head.
Formation Of The Hearts In Diamonds

It takes a total of 5 different facets to work in harmony to create one heart. That is 2 main pavilion facets and 2 Lower girdle facets and 1 Star facet from the crown.

Hearts and Crown of a Hearts and Arrows Diamond

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See Above: Pictures 1 & 2: without star facets and note the squared off heart shape in Picture 3 & 4: with the star facet in place, Picture 3: without upper girdle facets and Pictures 4: with upper girdle facets.

  • If the physical symmetry, meaning the meet point symmetry, as well as indexing is out the slightest, the optical symmetry will be affected.
  • The optical symmetry will clearly show the physical symmetry being in or out of perfect harmony.
  • The lack of optical symmetry will be seen very clearly when viewing the diamond through a Hearts and Arrows scope.

It is easier to camouflage errors in the formation of the arrows, as there are less facets to align, but it is impossible to hide any inconsistencies in the heart pattern. There are 5 facets that complete each heart shape, in addition, the upper girdle facets complete the patterning around the outside circle of the pavilion and the slightest deviation is easily noticed.

Formation of Arrows

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How The Arrows Are Formed

  • The shaft of the arrow is formed when one main pavilion facet reflects on the opposite main pavilion facet.
  • The main crown facet allows a different view of the reflected main pavilion facet thereby forming the arrowhead.
Brian Gavin's Picture of Arrows in a Hearts and Arrows Diamond


Formation of the Arrows in Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
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