Engagement Rings

The Heart-Shape Diamond Engagement Ring Buyer’s Guide

Pros/Cons of Heart-Shaped Diamonds: A strongly symbol of love, the heart shape is also less common, and therefore comparatively expensive. It may also be seen as kitschy.

Tip 1: Consider a diamond halo for a setting as it will make the ring look bigger without compromising the shape of the heart.

Tip 2: Watch out for lack of symmetry. It’s hard to sculpt hearts evenly.

Of all the gem cuts, nothing is more blatantly sentimental than a heart-shaped diamond. A good one costs a pretty penny and attracts a lot of attention. The heart cut tends to be favored by women who are bold, playful and unapologetically feminine, with a well-developed sense of camp. 

To find a large selection at a range of prices — from a trusted source — we go to sites like Blue Nile and James Allen.

In This Article

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History of the Heart-Shape Diamond

Heart-shaped diamonds date to 15th century aristocracy. There’s a rumor that Mary Queen of Scots sent her rival Queen Elizabeth a heart-shaped diamond ring as a gesture of friendship in 1562. A century later, Cardinal Mazarin, Italian politician and gambler, acquired a famous stash of diamonds that included two 22-carat brownish heart shape diamonds that supposedly ended up in a brooch worn by Empress Eugenie.

So she wants a heart-shaped-cut diamond? Go to James Allen or White Flash to see what kinds of ring designs work best with that shape (and others). Their selection spans from vintage to modern — and across all budgets

Famous Heart-Shape Diamond Rings

Famous wearers of heart-shaped diamond rings include Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Zoey Deschanel, and Nicki Minaj (see Instagram post below). That says it all. Stefani wore a pale pink heart-shaped diamond in a micro-pavé diamond halo when she was married to Gavin Rossdale. Nicki Minaj rocked a 15ct yellow diamond heart with a double halo of colorless diamonds from rapper Meek Mill.

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Lady Gaga had her 6-carat diamond heart from Taylor Kinney set in a ring by Lorraine Schwartz with a minimal prong-set solitaire that showed off its perfection (see below on Instagram). As if the heart-shaped rock wasn’t gooey enough, the couple’s first initials appeared at the bottom of the band in pavé diamonds, separated by a diamond-encrusted heart. 

Allegra Riggio wears a heart-cut diamond ring to mark her engagement to Jared Harris, working with designer Erica Courtney to design a simple five-prong gold setting for her ring (pictured, oddly, below).

Best Settings for a Heart-Shape Diamond 

If you have a rare heart-shape stone of several carats, perfectly cut and faceted, you might want to put that on view with a minimalist setting, as Lorraine Schwartz did with Lady Gaga’s ring. Otherwise, a diamond surround or halo looks wonderful on a smaller heart cut and can add substantial girth. One heart-shaped row of diamond accents should do it, unless your bride’s idea of the perfect engagement ring looks like a classic valentine with a lacy border, in which case this pink diamond in a triple halo from Astteria may be just the ticket. (Photo courtesy of Astteria)

Photo courtesy of Astteria
0.51 Ct. (1.32 Ct. TW), heart shape, GIA certified light pink diamond ring. $7,200. (Photo courtesy of Astteria)

How Much Do Heart-Shape Diamond Rings Cost?

An average heart-cut diamond (like this one-carat example with I2 clarity and I color) set in a simple solitaire in 14k white gold costs $3,839 at Kay Jewelers. 

Bigger isn’t always better. Look for super sparkle at sites like White Flash and Brian Gavin. Both are known as go-to sellers of ideal cut diamonds.

Photo courtesy of Kay Jewelers
1-carat Diamond heart shaped solitaire ring in 14K White Gold. $3,599. (Photo courtesy of Kay Jewelers)

A slightly smaller but higher quality diamond (D color, VS1 clarity) with a diamond halo and diamond pavé on a platinum band (total diamond weight 1.10 carats) costs $5,700 on Brilliant Earth. You’ll also get a guarantee of conflict-free, responsibly sourced diamonds there.

Photo courtesy of Brilliant Earth
Fancy halo diamond ring with side stones (1/3 ct. tw.) and 0.75 carat heart diamond. $5,710. (Photo courtesy of Brilliant Earth)

James Allen, last we checked (see below), had more than 1,000 heart-shape diamond rings, including dozens of 1-carat diamond starting at around $2,200. You can adjust the criteria on their site and see how color, clarity, cut, and carat weight affect price.

What’s more, you can select a few rings at a time on the site (click on the side-by-side hearts at the bottom left corner) and then compare them across categories: carat, color, clarity, as well as polish, symmetry, measurement size, price and more. All come with GIA certificates.

What to Watch Out for with the Heart-Shape Diamond

This is a tricky shape to cut and facet effectively and there are multiple ways it can go awry. The heart itself should be perfectly symmetrical and nicely curved, the point finished well. Make sure the “wings” of the heart have not been cut too thin. According to the GIA, the preferred length-to-width ratio for heart-shaped gems is around 1:1 but it’s not unusual for the heart to be slightly wider than it is long.

Not only do gem cutters need to get the heart silhouette right, they have to end up with symmetrical facets that line up perfectly with all those curves. Inclusions will show up easily with this cut — learn more about that here.

Setting a heart-shape diamond is also tricky. Smaller cuts are often mounted as solitaires with prongs at three corners, which can visually transform the curves at the top into points, destroying that familiar silhouette. White metals blend in better than rose or yellow gold in settings like that. A diamond halo looks best on a smaller heart shape diamond, maintaining the classic shape while giving it a little more heft and sparkle.

Pros and Cons of the Heart-Shape Diamond

Pros: The heart shape is a rare jewel compared to standard cuts so you’re not going to find a ton of quality heart-cut diamonds in your average jewelry store. Yet the heart-shape diamond is a jewelry standard. The finest auction houses are full of them around Valentine’s Day and they sell for good money. They are, after all, the most blatant symbols of affection and for some, there’s just nothing like a sparkly heart to, well, melt the heart.

Cons: A good heart-cut diamond will be more expensive than your average diamond. This is a cut that requires skill and a quality gemstone, the bigger the better. Given the cost required to get it right, the heart-cut diamond may not lend itself to the limited budget of a first marriage or the everyday wear of an engagement ring, but is more commonly purchased as an anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift. But as demonstrated by celebrities from Lady Gaga to Gwen Stefani, the heart-shape diamond engagement ring is not unheard of. For some women, it’s the perfect choice. 

Bottom Line

Whether or not a heart-shape diamond is worth investing in for an engagement ring depends on your bride and I would venture to say the choice of a heart-shaped diamond should come from her. Women either love this style or they hate it. If yours is the kind who would love it, you probably know that already. If you don’t, it’s best to find out first.

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