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H&A, superideal, Hearts and Fire worth it?


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Hi everyone,

I have been doing a little bit of research for the last little while and I seem to have fallen in love with the idea of getting a rock with Hearts and Arrows/ superideal/ Blue Nile signature cut among many... I understand that they are cut to very specific proportions for maximum brilliance; however, is there a big difference visually btwn the aforementioned cuts and an AGS 000 or GIA Excellent. And, is the cut really worth the premium that one pays?

I'm looking forward to any advise you can give me.

Thank you!


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You bring up a great question. You always hear about Hearts & Arrows when it comes down to purchasing the "perfect" Round Brilliant diamond.


Let me tell you what this really means. This is actually a marketing/advertising technique used to bulid up the romance of purchasing a diamond. The concept is that by looking through the pavillion (bottom) of a loose diamond through a special viewing scope, you can see an alternating pattern of hearts and arrows. Thus, this gives the jeweler a huge advantage in selling a diamond at a significantly higher price.


Let's also look at this. How often will you see the Hearts & Arrows of a diamond? Once it's mounted, you won't be able to see the Hearts & Arrows. So, the concept is great to romance a sentimental purchase, but at the end of the day, we, as consumers, want to make a wise purchase at the best price.


My advice to you is to stick to the standards of grading laboratories, like GIA and AGS. They are grading laboratories that take into the consideration the "science" of the cut. So, an Excellent cut grade GIA or an AGS 000 is the main criteria you will need to focus on if you are looking for a "perfect diamond". Don't get caught up with "branded-labeled" diamonds as you pay much more for literally the same quality diamond.


Hope this helps you out in your research.

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Hi Susan,

The differnce between an AGS000, or a GIA "Excellent" cut grade is that GIA has a wider ( and more realistic, in my veiw) range for the top cut grade.

AGS may have widened theirs since GIA came out with a cut grade.


Personally, I prefer a really well cut "Non Ideal" wityh 60% table and 60% depth.

The differences are subtle, but if you know what to look for you can see the difference.

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Note, a GIA EX/EX grade does not qualify a diamond as "Ideal" as on many grading reports the EX/EX represents polish and symmetry only, and proportions which ultimately had the biggest impact on the appearance and light return of the stone.. A GIA EX/EX round brilliant with a depth of 64% is going to be far from Ideal and far from attractive as you could potentially accomplish with a better proportioned stone. Even if the diamond did have a good depth and table, the crown and pavilion angles do also ultimately factor into the light performance of the diamond as well.


There is no doubt that Hearts and Arrows diamonds are gorgeous stones with outstanding light performance. Some are branded and more considerably more expensive than others.


This is not to say that non-Ideal diamonds without H&A's are less attractive. But, I don't think anyone could argue that non-Ideal diamonds certainly can vary in appearance. Some are far less attractive than Ideals, some are equally as beautiful.


As a final point, I would also like to note that many vendors who offer premium cut diamonds with Hearts and Arrows also offer upgrade policies with those diamonds. Where they will not offer upgrade policies on diamonds of lesser cut. Depending on your ultimate goal, this may or may not be something to consider. We have many people take advantage of this policy.

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Hearts and Arrows is a rather specific symmetry pattern that a lot of people seem to like. It doesn’t just happen by accident – the cutters have to work extra to get it and consequently they charge a premium for producing it. It’s not necessary for the stone to be ‘ideal’ or even ‘excellent’ to show the pattern but as a matter of practicality it usually is, precisely because the cutters and dealers are hoping to charge a premium for it and this is something that H&A customers demand. Almost all round H&A stones are also AGS-000, GIA-Excellent, or both.


Whether it’s worth the premium depends on how much you like the pattern, or even if you like it at all. I do happen to like it but there are plenty of spectacular stones out there that will not fall into any of these categories.



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