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. This romantic symbol of love is a diamond cut you don’t see often for engagement rings but due to its old-world roots and artful design, the heart-shaped silhouette is worth a second look.
What Is a Heart-Shaped Diamond?
A heart-shaped diamond comprises five distinctive areas (cleft, lobe, belly, wing, and point) all of which outline the silhouette of a heart. Achieving a heart shape usually begins with a larger diamond at least one-half carat in size, according to the Gemology Institute of America.
History of the Heart-Shaped Diamond
According to the Cape Town Diamond Museum, the heart-shaped diamond dates back to the late 1400s, a time when this shape was regarded as symbolic of royalty. In 1463, the Duke of Milan described a diamond as heart-shaped, and it has been sought after ever since. Modern-day adopters of this whimsical stone silhouette include celebrities like Lady Gaga and Niki Minaj.
What to Look for in a Heart-Shaped Diamond
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 Co-Founder James Schultz tells Brides. “Do you like a taller heart shape or do you like a wider heart shape? There’s flexibility.”
Meet the Expert
James Schultz is the Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer for James Allen.
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 and whether you want a solitaire, something vintage, or a halo of glittering diamonds outlining your stone is up to you.”
As for inclusions, Schultz explains that it depends on how the stone has been faceted and where the inclusion is located. “Inclusions 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. As well, because the color is often concentrated on the points, “if you are considering a heart diamond that is J-K or lower you may notice that this area has more warmth compared to the center.”
With regards to price, “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.
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 Sapphire and Diamond Pavé Heart Ring
Equal parts classic and timeless, this deep blue petite sapphire ring is as regal as it gets. The 14k white gold band is accompanied by a heart of pavé-set diamonds.
Kinn Studio Classic Heart Signet Ring
For the minimalist bride who wears her heart on her sleeve, this keepsake ring represents love, loyalty, and friendship. It's constructed from 14k solid gold and can be engraved with one letter.
Ring Concierge Diamond Heart Ring
Diamonds are forever. It doesn't get much more dazzling than this ring-selfie-worthy 14k yellow gold statement piece.