Grading the Hearts and Arrows Pattern
TRADE SECTION - TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Hearts and Arrows pattern as seen under a viewer
After checking a diamond’s parameters on a lab report or with a Sarin machine, it is important to check each stone with an H&A viewer.
It should be understood that these viewers are not made to any standard and many are inconsistent, some of them do not work at all, while others are below average, but still passable. We demonstrate how to use the viewer on our website
, but it is important to know what to look for. The pattern should look like the image above. If the viewer is functional, any material deviation from this image demonstrates that the diamond has departed from the normal H&A parameters and has problems with its physical or optical symmetry, proportions, angular symmetry or it is not properly placed in the viewer.
In this section we show images that are often accepted as passable hearts or arrows patterns, but would not have “made the grade” at the Japanese labs and should be rejected today.
This is a solid hearts pattern as seen in a Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut. Note: Pattern is very symmetrical with even separation between arrowhead (V’s) and the tip of each heart.
The following four examples show Heart patterns that are not acceptable due to the inconsistency of the eight hearts or the lack of spacing and or symmetry between the bottom tips of the heart and the arrowhead shaped pattern (or V’s as they are often called). Many in the trade would consider these patterns acceptable, but they are not perfect enough to be classified as Super Ideal H&A’s. As the old saying goes, “Close, but no cigar.”
Hearts are inconsistent with varied separation from V’s with a cleft appearing in 5 of the eight hearts.
Hearts are good, but there is not even separation between heart tips and the V’s, which makes this pattern sloppy.
Hearts are similar, but are not well shaped and are beginning to separate at the cleft resulting from lower girdle halves length approaching 82%.
Crooked hearts and asymmetrical appearance makes this pattern unacceptable.
This is a solid Arrows pattern as seen in a Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut. Note: Pattern is very symmetrical with all the arrows being straight, well formed, bright and showing the same intensity in the viewer. Compare this pattern with those shown below.
Arrows point to problems
The following four examples show arrows patterns that are not acceptable due to an inconsistent or asymmetrical pattern of the eight arrows. Some of them show clustering, flagging or side effects that materially destroy the arrows pattern. Note: a pair of small triangles visible between each arrow, which is desirable to show optical symmetry. Many in the trade would consider these patterns acceptable, but they are not perfect enough to be classified as Super Ideal H&A’s.
Arrows are distorted by “flagging, side effects and clustering” and are unacceptable.
Side effects distort the arrows and make the pattern weak.
Crooked and asymmetrical arrows, triangles are also scattered showing weak symmetry.
Arrows are asymmetrical and do not “light-up” evenly, due to steep and varied angles of the crown and pavilion.
The four examples above are off the mark, but are actually better than some that we have encountered in the trade today being sold as Hearts and Arrows, including some with H&A inscribed on the girdle of the stone. It is easy to call a diamond H&A, if the buyers are naïve about what they are buying.
Our advice: Trust, but verify!