Hearts & Arrows Report


In the 1980s, Japanese diamond cutters were first to produce round brilliant diamonds cut so exactly that their facet reflections overlapped in 3D space, creating kaleidoscopic patterns when seen through reflecting viewers. Typically associated with Excellent-Ideal cuts of superior quality, polishers used “secret recipes” to create a pattern of "Hearts" when viewed looking down on the pavilion and "Arrows" when viewed in the table-up position. The precision and crispness of these patterns relied on precise angles in combination with specific facet length, width and azimuth. Their techniques spread to other cutting houses and Hearts & Arrows diamonds began appearing on several continents by the mid-1990s.


The eight uniform patterns seen in the top and bottom of Hearts & Arrows (H&A) diamonds have a historical association with good fortune and spiritualism. The number eight is considered lucky in Asian culture. The arrows pattern has been compared to the octagram of the I Ching, the Rinbo of Buddhism and the eight-spoked wheel of Dharma, associated with spiritual perfection in the Buddhist faith. Regardless of spiritual belief, the astonishing achievement of the perfect H&A pattern, painstakingly cut into the world's hardest substance, can be seen by any admirer of structure. In its most fundamental form it symbolizes the diamond cutter's quest for perfection in precision and ultimate beauty in a diamond.

Hearts & Arrows Viewer

The Hearts & Arrows (H&A) viewer is a reflecting optical symmetry tool. Looking through it you will see arrows radiating outward in the crown of a H&A diamond. Turn the diamond over and a circle of hearts appears in the pavilion. The arrows pattern may also be seen in certain lighting or under magnification when mounted but the H&A Viewer is the only tool that reveals hearts patterning. All facets must be precisely aligned to appear correctly. If any part of the diamond is even slightly asymmetric the patterns will be uneven or distorted.


In past decades tools and measuring devices have improved. Now a percentage of well-cut diamonds, particularly near the center of the Excellent-Ideal range, show some level of cut precision, simply as a by-product of good tooling; what some cutters would call a ‘happy accident.’ Diamonds held to the uppermost level of craftsmanship will show extremely precise patterns. These exquisite diamonds are valued for the care, precision and consistency demonstrated in their cutting as much as any visible effects that result from this precision. There is also the attractiveness of rarity. Just as D color and Flawless clarity are rare, so is the H&A level of cut quality. Top H&A diamonds are valued for their uniqueness and quality as the ultimate in cutting precision.

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