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.
Ahead, check out 15 heart-shaped diamond engagement rings for the unabashedly romantic.
Kataoka Curved Bleeding Heart Ring
If you’re looking for a heart-shape diamond ring with an artisanal feel, this piece checks all the boxes.
SHOP NOW: Catbird NYC, $5,780
James Allen Heart-Shaped Side Stone Engagement Ring
Side stones give a heart-shape diamond a vintage-inspired finish.
SHOP NOW: James Allen, $4,270
Brilliant Earth Six-Prong Classic Ring
This ring features a striking contrast between the heart-shape center stone and the gold band.
SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, starting at $650
Neil Lane Diamond Ring
Is sparkle your top priority? Look no further.
SHOP NOW: Kay Jewelers, $2,775
Adiamor Micro Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
A pave diamond band complements this romantic heart-shaped center stone.
SHOP NOW: Adiamor, starting at $1,440
Nicole Rose Yellow and White Heart Diamond Ring
A fancy yellow diamond that’s cut into a heart shape? Sold.
SHOP NOW: Nicole Rose Jewelry, $12,500
Blue Nile Luna Diamond Engagement Ring
A classic silhouette with the perfect amount of sparkle.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, starting at $3,950
Edward Avedis Sabrina Heart Ring
Eschew tradition and opt for this 2ct pink tourmaline ring in a whimsical heart shape.
SHOP NOW: Edward Avedis, $6,900
Tiffany Heart-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
This clean platinum band accentuates the radiance of the heart-shaped center stone.
SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co., call for pricing
Harry Winston Heart-Shaped Engagement Ring with Tapered Baguettes
Add modernity to the heart shape with tapered baguette side stones.
SHOP NOW: Harry Winston, $26,700
Forzieri Heart Diamond V-Shaped Band Shape
A thoroughly unique silhouette for a thoroughly unique diamond shape.
SHOP NOW: Forzieri, $1,810
Luisa Alexander 18K Gold, Sapphire And Diamond Ring
For the bride who loves all things colorful, this rainbow-hued ring is everything and more.
SHOP NOW: Moda Operandi, $9,800
Brilliant Earth Tria Diamond Ring
This delicate center stone is positioned between two dainty diamonds for a classic, simple aesthetic.
SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, starting at $1,090
Christopher Designs Heart-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
A halo of diamonds accompanies this heart-shaped center stone for a romantic finish.
SHOP NOW: Christopher Designs, call for pricing
Zales Heart-Shaped Diamond Ring
This is the kind of ring that’ll reflect light beautifully.
SHOP NOW: Zales, starting at $4,719