In Japan in the 80's someone noticed hearts patterns when they looked at the back of a diamond with a Firescope™ (a desktop version of the Ideal-Scope). They designed a novelty instrument to display the H&A phenomena. These diamonds took off – the Japanese just love cute things - up to 80% of engagement rings sold there have been H&A's.
A true H&A's must have all the patterns visible at a single glance, indicating the diamond has optically perfect symmetry.
A H&A's viewer does not show light leakage the way an Ideal-scope does, however an Ideal-Scope will not show heart patterns. The device is a simple but effective symmetry tool. But many beautiful diamonds have poor symmetry. There is no link between symmetry and ideal proportions.
Branded H&A's have become very popular in the USA; they are seen as a safe way of buying an Ideal Cut diamond, they have cute patterns and there has been some clever marketing. If you are contemplating buying a H&A diamond you should consider some of these arguments:
* Once set it is impossible to see the hearts pattern.
* You may be paying for marketing money spent on establishing the various brands of H&A's. The trend may not be around in years to come and any premium you pay now could be of no value then.
* H&A patterns do not guarantee a diamond is ideal cut. When we select diamonds with an Ideal-Scope at Precious Metals, we find around 50% of diamonds with good H&A's patterns are rejected for having too much light leakage.
Hearts pattern viewed at the back of unset stone
Arrows pattern viewed from the top