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Long ago, in the 16th century, Mary, Queen of Scots, sent a glistening gift to Elizabeth I as a metaphorical olive branch—it was a heart-shaped diamond ring. While you don't often see this variation of diamond cut for engagement rings, the heart-shaped silhouette is definitely worth a second look. Due to its old-world roots and artful design, it's become an appealing option for traditional and alternative brides alike. Modern-day adopters of this whimsical stone silhouette include celebrities like Lady Gaga and Niki Minaj.
What Is a Heart-Shaped Diamond?
A heart-shaped diamond is a variation of the brilliant round cut diamond. It's at least one-half carat in size and sometimes flanked by smaller diamonds.
Symmetry is of the utmost importance with a heart-shaped diamond, however, there is some wiggle room. “While the standard ‘preferred’ ratio is 1:1, meaning the length and width are nearly identical in measurements, many find they prefer a slightly different profile,” James Allen cofounder James Schultz tells Brides.
Meet the Expert
James Schultz is the cofounder and chief customer officer for James Allen.
Ahead, learn about the pros and cons of heart-shaped diamond engagement rings, how to care for a heart-shaped diamond, and more.
Pros and Cons of a Heart-Shaped Diamond
Schultz states that a heart-shaped diamond can be budget-friendly, but your choices may be limited if you’re looking for a larger diamond. “Heart cuts can be more affordable than a brilliant cut, however, you may not have as large of a selection to choose from—especially in higher carat weights,” Schultz says.
What to Look for in a Heart-Shaped Diamond
• Are there options for the shape of the diamond? “Do you like a taller heart shape or do you like a wider heart shape? There’s flexibility,” Schultz says.
• What should I look for when it comes to the color and clarity of a heart-shaped diamond? Because the color is often concentrated on the points, “if you are considering a heart diamond that is J-K or lower (on the Diamond Color Chart), you may notice that this area has more warmth compared to the center.” As for inclusions, Schultz explains that it depends on how the stone has been faceted and where the inclusion is located. “Inclusions (or flaws) may be easier to detect in the direct center of the stone under the table, whereas an inclusion near the point might be hidden due to the sparkle,” he says.
• How can I tell if the ring is high quality? Due to the heart’s unique shape, “it is recommended to have a V tip prong at the point of a heart shape, as this area is more prone to damage,” Schultz says. “It’s also a good idea to have a five-prong setting securing your heart shape. The style of the shank (band) and whether you want a solitaire, something vintage, or a halo of glittering diamonds outlining your stone is up to you.”
How to Care for Your Heart-Shaped Diamond
Similar to how you’d care for your other precious stones, Schultz recommends removing your jewelry before sleeping, showering, exercising, and swimming. “Regular inspections and cleanings are helpful to make sure that your prongs are in place and the gem has not encountered any damage,” he adds.
To help you find your dream heart-shaped engagement ring, here are our favorite heart-cut rings for every style and budget.
Blue Nile Luna Diamond Engagement Ring
A classic silhouette with the perfect amount of sparkle. A dazzling row of shared prong set diamonds makes this ring compatible (and stackable) with other bands.
Blue Nile Petite Hidden Halo Solitaire Plus Diamond Engagement Ring
Build out your own heart-shaped diamond engagement ring with Blue Nile by selecting your desired shape, cut, carat, and clarity. This 18K rose gold solitaire ring featuring a cathedral setting is as exquisite as it gets.
Stephanie Gottlieb Heart Shaped Solitaire Engagement Ring with Pave Scarf Detail
Eschew tradition and opt for this fashion-forward heart-shaped solitaire engagement ring with a pave scarf detail. The 14K rose gold finish is accompanied by a ring-selfie-worthy two-carat center stone.