Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

hearts and arrows diamonds - sure sparkle

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The Hearts and Arrows diamond is a "super-ideal" cut version of the traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut. Cut to ideal proportions with perfect optical symmetry, polish and maximum light performance, these diamonds feature a visual pattern of eight “hearts” visible through the pavilion (the bottom, or pointed section of the diamond) and eight “arrows” when the stone is viewed in the table-up position. This visual phenomenon was nicknamed the “Cupid effect,” and these diamonds became known in the trade as “hearts and arrows.”

Enhancing the Ideal Cut – the Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond

The ideal cut diamond is cut to “ideal” mathematical proportions in which every facet is placed at exact angles to create an ideal balance between optimum brilliance (return of light to the eye) and the scattering of light, or "fire" (this is the prism effect that separates white light into its spectral colors).  To achieve this optimum reflection and refraction of light, the cutter must be willing to sacrifice valuable carat weight to yield a smaller diamond though with superior beauty.

The hearts and arrows cut was developed in the 1980s by Japanese cutters who produced diamonds cut so exactly that the facet reflections created overlapping, kaleidoscopic patterns when seen through reflecting viewers. These diamonds created a visual pattern of eight “hearts” visible through the pavilion (the bottom, or pointed section of the diamond) and eight “arrows” when the stone was viewed in the table-up position.  This visual phenomenon was nicknamed the “Cupid effect,” and these diamonds became known in the trade as “hearts and arrows.”

Beginning in 1997, Brian and his father, Benjamin Gavin, researched and refined the 90s version of the hearts and arrows design. Their combined knowledge in the fields of cut and light performance, based on five generations of experience, helped them achieve a noted improvement on the standard hearts and arrows design of the day, enhancing the “performance” quality of the diamond, and improving its light reflective performance under all lighting conditions.

These enhancements, introduced in 1998, set a new quality benchmark and created a new grading system for the worldwide standard hearts and arrows pattern cut and earned Gavin the reputation worldwide as “The Cutter.” Gavin’s ideal Signature cut is recognized today as the standard that other companies   emulate.

In March 2009, Gavin launched his new Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows diamonds. These stones are cut to even more exacting standards for quality and brilliance. Every Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond has earned the coveted AGS 0 grade for Light Performance and was accompanied by the new AGS Platinum Diamond Quality Document introduced in January 2009, and them the Proprietary Light Performance Diamond Quality Document since November 2011.

Barend Deutz - Master Diamond Cutter

Cut Beyond Brilliant® - The Distinct Difference

These signature-cut diamonds are optically balanced for maximum visual performance. This signature quality reveals the beauty and personality of each individual diamond. It gives voice to the inner essence of the diamond through its contrast, brightness and scintillation. This is the distinct difference you’ll appreciate in each Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond. Cut Beyond Brilliant®.

“Each Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond communicates its own special meaning and emotion. No other stone can speak as clearly your heart’s message of love.” Brian Gavin

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Buying Guide: What You Need To Know About Hearts and Arrows Diamonds 

Brian Gavin's research about Hearts and Arrows was started in late 1997 by Brian Gavin together with his father Benjamin Gavin. This research ran over a period of two years which ultimately perfected the combination of angles and percentages for Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamonds, Cut Beyond Brilliant ®, to deliver a Sure Sparkle™.


Consumers today have become more and more educated and demand perfection in diamond cutting as they do in any other high end consumer product today. They want to know that they have a finely manufactured stone. The advent of the Heart and Arrow effect in the market became a tool for consumers to see perfection in optical symmetry. Since optical symmetry is difficult to quantify because of the variations between each cutter and each stone, criteria need to be standardized for consumers to avoid discrepancies. Therefore just as the Labs grade Color, Clarity and Cut, they should grade the Hearts and Arrows too. Diamond Manufacturers should be rewarded for their excellence in producing an optical symmetrical stone and consumers need to be able to purchase  assuredly and with comfort. The perfectly shaped hearts are formed when the main pavilion facets are cut at the correct angles and polished with such perfection in symmetry that their reflection results in a perfect heart pattern. Once the perfect heart pattern has been attained, the perfect arrow pattern in the crown results.

1. Proper Proportions Deliver Maximum Light Return:

Cutting diamonds so that the crown and pavilion angle reflect just the right offset, ensures the highest volume of light return, and a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle) and that the sparkle will be broad spectrum, which means that it is larger in size, bolder, brighter, and more vivid! As a fifth generation diamond cutter, Brian Gavin knows exactly how to cut diamonds to deliver maximum light performance, and optimize visual performance. While other diamond cutters seem focused on cutting diamonds to retain the maximum amount of carat weight, Brian Gavin is intent that every diamond be precisely cut to a degree of craftsmanship that is unattainable anywhere else.


2. Optical Precision Beyond Excellent or Ideal Symmetry:

Gemological laboratories like the AGS and the GIA grade diamonds for “meet point symmetry” which is based upon how closely the points of the facets align to each other, however even diamonds cut to excellent or ideal symmetry can leak substantial amounts of light, if the degree of optical symmetry is not optimized so that the facets of the diamond are precisely aligned, indexed, and shaped consistently, so that a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows is evident. Every Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows, which is evidence of superior optical precision!

perfect hearts and arrows diamonds
Precise optical precision produces exceptionally formed hearts and arrows patterns

bad hearts and arrows diamonds

Less desirable optical precision results in poorly formed hearts and arrows patterns.


3. Superior Light Return & Incredible Sparkle in All Lighting Conditions:

Even the poorest cut diamonds seem to sparkle like crazy when viewed under the pinpoint type lighting conditions provided by jewelry store lighting, we refer to this visual fantasy as the Walt Disney Effect, because it is the direct result of pinpoint type lighting that is designed to make poorly cut diamonds perform well. However if you don’t live in a jewelry store, then you know that the real world lives in a world that is primarily illuminated by diffused light. Brian Gavin Signature diamonds are designed specifically to perform incredibly well under all lighting scenarios, from diffused light, to pinpoint light, and even under lighting conditions where diamonds normally appear not to sparkle!

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Common Questions and Related Articles to Further Your Education on Hearts and Arrows Diamonds:

General Hearts and Arrows Thoughts

Understanding the Imagery

Hearts and Arrows vs. The Others

Hearts and Arrows: Beyond Round


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