Luxury Buyer's Guide to an Exceptional Heart Shaped Diamond Ring
Heart Diamond Ring

Luxury Buyer's Guide to an Exceptional Heart Shaped Diamond Ring

Essential Tips for Purchasing a Heart Diamond Ring
Essential Tips for Purchasing a Heart Diamond Ring

Learn everything you need to know about buying a heart shaped diamond ring.

History of the Heart Shaped Diamond

Heart shaped diamonds have a rich history starting in the 1400s. In 1463, an early heart shaped diamond cut made its debut during private exchanges between the Duke of Milan, named Galeazzo Maria Sforza, and the Duke's confidante Nicodemo. Mary Queen of Scots sent Queen Elizabeth I a heart shaped diamond ring as a gesture of friendship in 1562. Around that same time, French clergyman and statesman Cardinal de Richelieu was said to own a gargantuan 20-carat heart-shaped diamond given to his holiness by a well-heeled diamond merchant. During the Renaissance, heart shaped diamonds became popular among European royalty and nobility. The shape symbolized love and was often used in engagement and wedding jewelry. The heart shaped diamond maintained its popularity through the Baroque and Rococo periods, with jewelers perfecting the cut to enhance its brilliance and symmetry.

The largest heart shaped diamond in the world is the Graff Venus. Weighing an impressive 118.78 carats, this diamond is not only the largest of its kind but also boasts a flawless D color grading. The rough diamond, originally weighing 357 carats, was discovered in the Letseng Mine in Lesotho. It was meticulously cut and polished by Graff Diamonds over a period of 18 months. Another famous heart shaped diamond is the Heart of Eternity. It is a fancy vivid blue heart shaped diamond weighing 27.64 carats. It was first unveiled as part of the De Beers Millennium jewels collection at the Millennium Dome in 2000. While the estimated value is at least $16 million, the stone was sold to an undisclosed buyer.

Today the heart shaped diamond is a popular engagement choice for couples looking for a more unique stone to symbolize their devotion to each other.

Heart Shaped Diamonds 10.51 carats and 10.51 carats

The 4 Cs: Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut

The process of cutting a heart-cut diamond requires more precision than cutting any other diamond shape. The most challenging part of cutting a heart shaped diamond is the clef - the inward-facing point at the top of the diamond. The lobes are the rounded portions at the top which give the diamond its heart shape. Today diamond cutters aim to have the most brilliance and maintain the brightest color. When looking for the perfect heart shaped diamond, it is important to find a diamond cut with a 1:1 ratio. A 1:1 ratio ensures the diamond is as tall as it is wide. Additionally, there should be perfect symmetry on either side of the heart. When a skilled cutter is creating a heart shaped diamond, they usually start with it as a pear shape then create the clef ultimately creating a perfect heart. The symmetry of the heart shaped diamonds is most important when it comes to the visual appeal of the stone.

Fancy Red Heart Shaped Diamond 1.71 Carats

Carat: The bigger the diamond the better when it comes to a heart shaped diamond ring for displaying its unique shape. Most heart shaped diamonds will start around 3 carats. Heart shaped diamonds are also known to appear smaller than the carat weight so if you are comparing the overall appearance of different diamond shapes, the heart will appear smaller than similar diamond of the same carat weight. A ring over 3-carat allows for the full shape of the heart to be seen from all angles.

Clarity: Heart shaped diamonds have a larger table (the top surface of the stone) compared to other shapes. Due to the larger surface area, inclusions are more visible in a heart shaped diamond. Sotheby’s recommends finding a heart shaped diamond with VS1 clarity or higher.

Color: Color is more visible in heart shaped diamonds, so a near-colorless grade, H or better color is recommended especially when considering a larger carat weight.

Cut: While GIA does not provide an overall cut grade for heart shaped diamonds or other fancy shapes, there are very important distinctions to look out for when shopping for a heart shaped diamond. The most important is symmetry. The best heart shaped diamonds have a 1:1 ratio.

Heart shaped diamond ring 20.00 carats

Type I and Type II Diamonds

About 95% of diamonds are Type Ia and contain trace amounts of nitrogen. Most engagement rings and other diamond jewelry are made from Type Ia diamonds. Type Ib diamonds are often associated with intense canary yellow diamonds and are often used for jewelry. Type II diamonds are much rarer than Type I diamonds and have fewer inclusions and higher clarity than the more common Type I diamonds.

Type IIa diamonds are the purest form of diamonds with no measurable nitrogen or boron impurities. These diamonds are often colorless but can also be found in rare colors like pink, brown or blue. These are extremely rare and comprise less and 2% of all mined diamonds. These diamonds are formed under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions which can give the diamond higher clarity and brilliance.

Type IIb diamonds contain boron which gives them a blue or grayish-blue color. Unlike other diamonds, Type IIb are semiconductors and can conduct electricity and are even rarer than Type IIa diamonds. The Hope Diamond is an example of a famous Type IIb diamond. Sotheby's sold a Type IIb heart shaped diamond weighing 5.04 carats for $10.6 million in 2020.

Fancy Brown Pink Heart Diamond Ring

Fancy Colored Heart Shaped Diamond Rings

Another potential option is considering a fancy colored heart shaped diamond ring. The most common color for a heart shape is pink. Other popular colors include blue and yellow. Prices for fancy-colored heart shaped diamonds are significantly higher due to the rarity of colored diamonds. A colored diamond heart ring is an excellent choice if you seek something distinctive that will highlight the unique shape of the heart shaped diamond. In 2020 Sotheby’s sold two fancy vivid heart shaped diamond rings at auction. One ring featured a heart-shaped 5.04-carat fancy vivid blue diamond with VS2 clarity. The blue vivid heart was mounted on platinum and flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds. The ring sold as the top lot in the sale for approximately $10.5 million. The second ring was a fancy vivid pink heart shaped diamond ring weighing 4.49-carats. The ring is mounted on 18-karat white gold and flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds. The ring sold for approximately $8.1 million.

Toi et Moi Heart Shaped Diamond Ring  

Celebrity Heart Shaped Diamond Rings

Heart shaped diamond rings are popular with celebrity buyers. Famously, Richard Burton gifted Elizabeth Taylor a rare heart shaped diamond from Cartier for her fortieth birthday. The Necklace is called the “Taj Mahal Diamond” because it was originally a gift in 1621 from Shah Jahan to his wife who admired the Taj Mahal. Following this historic moment, the heart shaped diamond became associated with romance, love, and devotion.

Lady Gaga was proposed to by Taylor Kinney with a bespoke 6-carat heart shaped diamond from jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. Lady Gaga’s ring is estimated to be around $500K. Arvil Levine received a 5 carat heart shaped diamond ring from Mod Sun in 2022. Nicki Minaj was gifted a large yellow heart shaped diamond ring from Meek Mill.

Fancy intense pink-purple heart shaped diamond ring 3.04 carats

Buying a Heart Diamond Ring At Sotheby's

Sotheby's sells natural heart shaped diamond rings on its marketplace, available for immediate shipping. Prices start at around $30,000 for a 3 carat heart shaped diamond that is VS clarity and H color. This price can vary significantly depending on the cut, fluorescence, polish, brand, and provenance. Fancy colored heart shaped diamonds are priced significantly higher due to rarity. Along with high-quality unsigned diamond rings VS clarity and H color or better, Sotheby's also sells heart shaped diamond rings from top luxury brands including Harry Winston, Tiffany, Cartier, and more. Sotheby's also sells rare and impressive heart shaped diamond rings at auctions in New York, London, Switzerland, Paris, and Hong Kong. You can also contact a Client Advisor in New York or Bucherer in Zurich to learn more about Sotheby's diamond engagement rings include rings featuring a heart shaped diamond. In addition to the available heart shaped diamond rings listed on the marketplace or available at auction, Sotheby's can also source a heart shaped diamond ring from its global supplier network. Browse our curated selection online and speak to a Salon associate to schedule a viewing.

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