So you’ve run across not only the 4 Cs of diamonds, but also the possibility of buying a premium, branded cut diamond for an engagement ring — in this case, James Allen’s True Hearts diamonds. Are they worth paying more for? What is a True Hearts diamond?
In this article we’ll provide a full review of the True Hearts diamond collection.
I’ll also show you exactly how to use the image / video technology at James Allen to see exactly what any True Hearts diamond looks like, how to freeze the motion, and understand observe the hearts and the arrows in these diamonds.
When you’re finished, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if purchasing one is worth it.
What are James Allen True Hearts Diamonds?
James Allen’s True Hearts diamonds, often purchased for the discriminating connoisseur’s diamond engagement ring, are exceptionally well cut diamonds.
They display the famous “arrows” pattern of a round brilliant cut when viewed from the top. (This is not unique to the True Hearts line of diamonds. It can happen with any superb round brilliant cut colorless diamond.)
True Hearts diamonds also display the famous, and complementary, “hearts” pattern when viewed from below.
In the illustration above, colors make it easier for you to pick out the pattern for the first time.
- The image on the left shows the arrows. This is a top view of the diamond.
- The image on the right shows the hearts. It’s a view from the bottom of the diamond.
- This is a highly desirable pattern. It results from near perfect symmetry.
Beware of Confusing Claims – Not From James Allen, but Other Retailers Marketing Similar Diamonds
Some people say that a diamond displaying a highly symmetrical hearts and arrows pattern goes beyond the AGS cut grading of Ideal, and beyond the GIA cut grading of Excellent.
However, a little reflection — in my opinion — will show that the words “super ideal” and “beyond ideal” are probably marketing words which have no official meaning. Here’s why I believe that:
It seems to me that GIA and AGS would not limit their upper boundary of Excellent (GIA) or Ideal (AGS).
In my view — and I feel very sure of myself — any diamond that a reviewer or salesperson calls “Beyond Ideal,” implying that it’s better than another diamond graded Ideal by the AGS, is really just an Ideal Cut diamond.
Sure, it’s at the upper end of perfection for Ideal. (Or is it? We don’t have a 3rd-party lab to tell us.)
No official, 3rd-party lab has graded it as “beyond ideal” because no such official grade exists.
The official 3rd-party lab graded it simply as Ideal (AGS) or Excellent (GIA).
In my opinion, it’s unclear whether anyone has the standing to create a “top of the top” designation for cut in a diamond.
“Super Ideal” or “Beyond Ideal” Diamond
It’s so important to remain firmly grounded in official labs (AGS or GIA) grading of diamonds, so that you’re not confused or deceived, or possibly even ripped off, as you shop for the best diamond you can find.
Some other diamond retails claim that their diamonds are “beyond ideal” or “super ideal,” as if these are designations of an official grade of diamond, from a 3rd party lab such as AGS or GIA. Don’t believe them.
Rely only on GIA and AGS gradings, especially when you see language such as “beyond ideal” or “beyond excellent”.
Rely also on your own eyes and judgment. If you see a hearts and arrows pattern that you love, and if you see that it’s a better (more symmetrical, clearer) such pattern than another diamond, all good. That’s real. Some Ideal diamonds definitely appear better than other Ideal diamonds.
When a reviewer or a salesperson or a website asserts that a diamond is “beyond” the official AGS Ideal Cut, or beyond the official GIA Excellent Cut, they’re implying that it is graded officially better than all other diamonds graded as Ideal (AGS) or Excellent (GIA).
Some even baldly state that.
It’s simply not true.
They’re also implying that there is an objective, mathematical, lab-endorsed standard by which something may be graded “beyond ideal.”
No such objective, lab-backed standard exists.
Opinions exist, and they can be taken into account. Especially your own opinion.
A Gymnastics Analogy to Make It Clear
It’s as if, in an Olympic gymnastics competition, Gymnast A gets a perfect 10. Then Gymnast B also gets a perfect 10.
Then bloggers write posts claiming Gymnast B’s performance rated a “beyond 10.”
To which other bloggers respond that Gymnast A’s performance was a “super 10!”
“Beyond 10” and Super 10” do not exist except in the bloggers’ minds. Maybe Gymnast B turned in a better performance. Maybe not. If each one met the criteria to be rated a 10, then that’s all that can be said about them officially.
Remember, the GIA came into being precisely to bring a referee to the claims of diamond sellers. It’s safest to rely on the referee.
That’s why I say you can rely only on official AGS and GIA grading reports for cut, and on your own eyes.
James Allen True Hearts Diamonds Are in Upper Range of AGS Ideal and the GIA Excellent Grades
Having been completely up front with you about the meaninglessness of “beyond ideal cut” and “super ideal cut,” I will also frankly tell you that True Hearts diamonds are exceptional.
They are definitely in the upper ranges of “Ideal” (AGS) and “Excellent” (GIA) Cut, in my view. They have exceptional cut quality. They also have incredible light performance.
You can see this for yourself in the hearts and arrows imaging for each one at James Allen. You can clearly see it in the highly symmetrical hearts and arrows patterns.
How to View the Hearts and Arrows Images at James Allen
After you’ve see the hearts and arrows with the help of the enhanced images, you’ll become more skilled at seeing them in actual diamonds, as well as in the images directly available on James Allen’s pages for the True Hearts line.
To make the constantly turning images at James Allen stop, so that you can observe the “arrows” patterns of any diamond, you’ll need only click and hold.
Unfortunately, you can’t view the “hearts” in the 360-degree image. There’s no way to turn it so that you’re looking at the culet (bottom) of the diamond straight on.
However, you can look at the color-enhanced “hearts” and “arrows” views of any given diamond in the James Allen True Hearts collection, by clicking the icons for those views. These icons appear just below the main image.
This is what it looks like when you view the Hearts option:
Why I Trust James Allen
James Allen doesn’t try to imply that their True Hearts line of diamonds are somehow better than GIA or AGS grades of Ideal (AGS) or Excellent (GIA).
James Allen does say their True Hearts diamonds have perfect internal symmetry and proportions. They also back up that claim with clear imaging, and colorized images showing the hearts and arrows visible in each specific diamond.
That is eminently honest, respectable, and forthright. Some other diamond sellers, whom I won’t name, go so far as to trademark names of cut grade which are “beyond” the AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent. To me, this could imply that someone other than the diamond retailer has established a standard and graded the diamonds.
But that’s just not true, or at least not at all widely accepted.
James Allen doesn’t do that. James Allen makes a straightforward statement of fact and backs it up with images you can examine yourself.
That’s why I like James Allen and trust them.
Are James Allen’s True Hearts Diamonds Worth the Premium Price?
If you want to know whether a line of diamonds is worth the extra cost, then you need to know two things:
- Are the diamonds as exceptional as the seller claims them to be?
- Does that please you enough to pay the premium?
So let’s take three diamonds at random from the James Allen True Hearts diamond selection and examine their hearts and arrows images.
Is There Really a Difference to James Allen’s True Hearts Diamonds?
Check out these three diamond from James Allen:
Looking at those hearts (the view from the bottom) and the arrows (the view from the top), you can see from those images of these individual diamonds that the cut and symmetry are outstanding.
To see how exceptional are those cuts, compare them to this image:
- Diamond #4 – 0.50 Carat $880
Compare the arrows in this $880 1/2 carat diamond to the $1,290 1/2 carat diamond in the True Hearts collection.
Although the $880 diamond doesn’t have the hearts-and-arrows colorized imagery, you can easily see the difference. The arrows in the $880 diamond are slightly off-kilter. They don’t quite line up.
Take your time looking at the non colorized $880 diamond’s image. You’ll see the arrows very soon, if you don’t see them right away. They’re slightly crooked, unlike the arrows in the $1,280 True Hearts 1/2 carat diamond.
So There’s a Big Difference – How Much Does That Matter to You?
You may wonder, “What does that matter if the arrows are slightly crooked?”
That’s a completely legitimate response. If it’s not important to you, then it’s not important to you, and that’s that.
However, for connoisseurs, it matters. (Not that their opinions should matter to you, if you’re not a connoisseur.)
So it’s up to you, but it matters in the same way that any high-quality product matters to those who are most informed about them.
- People who know coffee know great coffee.
- People who know beer know great beer.
- People who know cars know great cars. (Doesn’t mean they have to buy one, if it’s inappropriate to their budget.)
- The same applies to any product, including diamonds.
The True Hearts higher level of symmetry and proportion mean that those diamonds will send more light and more fire streaming through the table. They’re more beautiful.
The second part of the equation is, of course: does that matter to you? That may be related to another question: can you afford for it to matter.
- Diamonds are diamonds.
- Ultimately they mean the same thing: love, eternity, commitment.
- A billionaire celebrity buys a diamond that means as much to him and his beloved. If he spent $880 on a diamond, that would reflect poorly on him.
- A manual laborer buys a diamond which means as much to him and his beloved. Maybe it’s even a Cubic Zirconia. The point is: he makes a purchase, requiring some sacrifice, appropriate to his means.
- There’s no shame in that. All work is honorable. All earned money is honorable. So all engagement ring economic sacrifices, appropriate to one’s means, are honorable.
- If the James Allen True Hearts line of diamonds is appropriately within your reach, I’m 100% comfortable saying to you that they are worth the price.
You’ve just seen with your own eyes that the claims James Allen makes are real. And James Allen is completely legitimate in how they describe these diamonds. James Allen doesn’t invent an imaginary “super ideal” or “ultra ideal” or “uber excellent” cut. That’s why I trust and respect James Allen.
Only You Can Decide for You
Only you can decide whether the increase in beauty pleases you enough to pay the premium. Decide after careful shopping and patient research of all levels of cut available to your budget. (Notice that I compared an official GIA “Good” grade of cut ($880 for a 1/2 carat) to an official GIA grade of “Excellent” cut ($1,290 for a 1/2 carat). That’s a full 2 grades difference.
I chose to make an extreme comparison so that even person new to diamond shopping could see the difference, with a just a little work and patient looking.
- You should compare “Very Good” cuts to other “Excellent” cuts at James Allen.
- You should also compare “Excellent” cuts to the “Excellent” cuts which have been selected to appear in James Allen’s True Hearts collection.
- Compare prices. Compare the arrows. (Unfortunately, for many diamonds not in the True Hearts collection, you can’t compare the hearts, because the images directly from beneath the diamond are not available unless they are in the True Hearts collection. But you can be assured that the hearts view (from below) corresponds to the arrows view (from above).
Even If You Think James Allen’s True Hearts Collection Is Not in Your Budget
Even if you think James Allen’s True Hearts collection is not in your budget, it’s worth perusing the collection.
- You can learn a lot about what to look for in less expensive diamonds, by looking at the best.
- Furthermore, if you do fall in love with almost-perfection, you may find a way to earn the extra money to buy it. Side hustles abound on the Internet, and elsewhere. Ways of cutting costs (coffee? Wine? Subscriptions?) also abound.
No pressure. Seriously, and $880 diamond, or less, can mean just as much. It’s not about the absolutely money you spend. It’s about what you do to make a sacrifice to afford it that means so much to your confidence and to your beloved.
Whatever you decide, at least now you know: James Allen is forthright and honest as they offer you an opportunity to buy the best cut of colorless diamonds you can find in their True Hearts collection.
You also know better how to evaluate any diamond you may be considering.
Enjoy the hunt. Enjoy the sacrifice. (Just keep it appropriate to your income.) Enjoy the gifting, and this next stage in your relationship.