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History of the Heart Shaped Diamond

The shape of the heart has been a symbol of love for many centuries, with the image used for decorative and illustrative purposes. It was believed the heart is the centre of all human emotion so it’s no surprise that over many years Heart shaped diamonds have become a popular cut used in jewellery.

The Heart cut diamond is a unique gemstone shape that is cut with 59 facets, each equally reflecting the light in the diamond.


Heart shaped diamond history

The earliest mention of the heart cut gemstone can be traced back to the mid 1400’s, where it is mentioned in a letter from the Duke of Milan Galeazzo Maria Sforza: “He commands a Titus Livy just as you might a heart-shaped diamond”. It is believed that the stone shape had been pioneered by Lodewyk and Berquem, who created new techniques in diamond cutting. They invented the diamond polishing wheel and discovered that diamonds can in fact be cut by their own dust in 1458. The idea of absolute facet symmetry was also introduced by the pair. The heart shaped diamond had become synonymous with royalty by the late 1500’s. Mary Queen of Scots sent Queen Elizabeth a Gold ring with a heart shaped diamond in 1562. Cardinal de Richelieu (1585-1642) was also known to own a heart shaped diamond weighing 20 carats. It was originally gifted to the king by Alphonse Lopez who was a diamond merchant who settled in Paris in 1610.

Choosing your Heart shaped diamond

Choosing the right heart shaped stone is important for its sparkle and brilliance. The most important thing is to consider the quality of the curved cut and finish as these determine the way the light reflects up through the stone. The heart cut diamond has also been known as being susceptible to what is commonly known as the “bow tie effect”. A diamond bow-tie is a dark shadow in the shape of a bow-tie that runs along the width of a diamond, usually in the centre. This happens when the diamond has been poorly cut, and the light falls through the stone instead. The more symmetrical stones give a more definite heart shape and are easier to differentiate from a pear-shaped stone. The smaller the size of the diamond, the more difficult it is to create the heart shape – so it’s often wise to choose a diamond that is over 0.5 carats. Finally, when choosing a ring setting for the stone we can help you make sure it complements the curves and allows the stone to sparkle and shine at its best!