A heart-shaped engagement ring is unabashedly romantic and the perfect symbol of love. But did you know that heart-shaped diamonds are relatively uncommon in diamond engagement rings?

There are many reasons for this. Perhaps top among them the fact that the heart shape works best for larger diamonds – those that are at least one-half carat in size. But although uncommon, heart-shaped diamonds are having their moment in the spotlight. If you have your heart set on a heart-shaped engagement ring, read on for some tips to help you pick the perfect one.

Heart-Shaped Engagement Ring: It’s All about the Outline and Symmetry

The outline needs to reflect a traditional heart shape. You may find some that have pointed lobes or very flat wings, rendering an outline that resembles an arrowhead. Symmetry is a key indicator of quality in a diamond of this shape. (After all, who wants an off-kilter sign of affection?) Both left and right sides of the heart should match in size and shape, although it’s not unusual for the width of the diamond to be greater than its length.

Here’s a helpful tip you can use when you’re in a jewelry store:
1. Draw an imaginary line down the center of the diamond you’re eyeing.
2. Check to see if both halves of the heart match in size and shape, from cleft (the center V-shaped region) to lobes (the rounded portions) to point.
3. A symmetrical heart-shaped diamond should also have a length-to-width ratio of 1:1 to 1:1.2.

Fancy yellow 7.02 carat (ct) symmetrical heart-shaped diamond surrounded by 1.08 carats of yellow pavé-set diamonds.

Romance can sometimes be rocky, but the heart remains steady in this fancy yellow 7.02 carat (ct) symmetrical heart-shaped diamond surrounded by 1.08 carats of yellow pavé-set diamonds. The left and right sides look identical. Courtesy: Norman Silverman.

You’re likely to see a number of heart-shaped diamonds that are asymmetrical. Examples of this include a poor length-to-width ratio, misshapen wings and an undefined point. Take a look at the asymmetrical heart-shaped diamond below.

Asymmetry detracts from the innate appeal of a heart-shaped diamond as the high shoulders, flatish wings and short length-to-width ratio of this stone illustrate.

Asymmetry detracts from the innate appeal of a heart-shaped diamond as the high shoulders, flatish wings and short length-to-width ratio of this stone illustrate.

Heart-Shaped Engagement Ring: Clarity Counts

Clarity characteristics can be easier to spot in heart-shaped diamonds. It’s best to look for a stone with good diamond clarity. Avoid diamonds with eye-visible inclusions that could diminish their beauty and affect their durability and value.

This beautiful platinum ring featuring a 1.25 ct heart-shaped diamond surrounded by pavé-set diamonds is sure to tell her you love her.

All clear? Only a closer look – and a GIA Diamond Grading Report – can tell. This beautiful platinum ring featuring a 1.25 ct heart-shaped diamond surrounded by pavé-set diamonds is sure to tell her you love her. Courtesy: Leo Ingwer

Heart-Shaped Engagement Ring: Settings

Most hear-shaped engagement rings are relatively simple in design: streamlined styles emphasize the special silhouette of the diamond’s shape, which offers plenty of drama on its own. Consider classic solitaire settings or elegant halo designs that trace the outline of the central diamond in small, pavé-set stones.

Surrounding a heart-shaped diamond by melee and placing it in a halo setting protects the point – and creates a stunner of a ring.

Surrounding a heart-shaped diamond by melee and placing it in a halo setting protects the point – and creates a stunner of a ring. Courtesy: Yael Designs

As a practical matter, it’s smart to look for a diamond engagement ring that shields the point of a heart-shaped diamond, since it’s the part of the stone most vulnerable to damage. Once you’ve found the heart of your dreams, you’ll want to protect it.

Simple yet stunning, this lovely fancy brown-yellow 1.03 ct heart-shaped diamond makes the perfect engagement ring.

Simple yet stunning, this lovely fancy brown-yellow 1.03 ct heart-shaped diamond makes the perfect engagement ring. Courtesy: Mark Broumand

Ready to go shopping? Pick up more tips with our blog post on Picking a Heart-Shaped Gem. It gets into the details of choosing the perfect heart-shaped gem to symbolize your love.

Main Image: Per Lei single shank heart-shape engagement ring. Courtesy: Danhov