Hearts & Arrows
The hearts and arrows pattern refers to a symmetrical light pattern that is visible in a round diamond using specialist viewing equipment. This pattern was first viewed using a Firescope, a tool developed by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970s. This utensil, uses coloured reflectors to display a pattern that shows the direction and intensity of light emitted from a diamond. These colourful patterns can be evaluated to determine how much light is exiting the diamond at proper angles, and whether the diamond is optically symmetrical.
When flipped over and viewed from the bottom (pavillion), eight symmetrical hearts should be visible.
And when viewed from the top (crown), a symmetrically cut diamond should reveal eight symmetrical arrows.
A diamond with the presence of the hearts and arrows pattern requires an extreme level of cutting precision and delivers superior light performance.
While the romantic appeal of hearts and arrows is obvious, even if the pattern isn’t visible once the diamond is set, hearts and arrows are essentially a marketing ploy. The presence of the pattern does not, in fact, have any effect on the cut quality and GIA does not recognise hearts and arrows as a component of a diamond’s cut quality grade.
Even so, the marketing impact of the hearts and arrows campaign remains. While well-cut diamonds are rare to begin with, diamonds with beautiful hearts and arrows are rarer and remain incredibly desirable.