What is Hearts On Fire (HOF)?
What makes their Diamonds so different?
Are they worth it?
Let’s Find Out…
Hearts On Fire is a trademarked name given to Premium Cuts of Diamond that exhibit the Perfectly Proportioned Hearts And Arrows Pattern as seen through a special Diamond Scope.
Viewing the Diamond through a Scope like this is the only time you’ll ever see these cool Diamond Patterns.
These Premium Cuts are expensive, after all, you are buying the best Cut of Diamond that exists.
But, to be fair, there is nothing really special about this Cut. Any Diamond can be Cut to exact proportions whether they are the trademarked Hearts On Fire Diamond or not.
Hearts On Fire patented this exceptional Cut, but many other Diamond Cutters also Cut to these perfect proportions.
If you put their Diamonds side by side with equivalent Cuts, all things being equal, the stones will look identical.
They’re just Diamonds Cut very well. That’s all!
These Premium Cuts of Diamond go by many different names in the industry: Blue Nile’s Signature Ideal Series, James Allen’s True Hearts, and even the standard Hearts & Arrows that many Jewelers carry.
Any Diamond could be Cut to perfection like the HOF Diamonds. They just sell the sparkle.
I can’t blame them either. Cut does impact the beauty and sparkle of a stone more than any of the other 4C’s (Clarity, Color & Carat Weight).
So I decided to have a closer look, and I ventured into the Hearts On Fire Jewelry Store in Las Vegas…
Their stores aren’t large, and their merchandise is quite limited. It’s almost intimidating walking in…
I find out their merchandise is limited because of a couple of different reasons:
- They group their Colors and Clarities together so they don’t need to carry so many qualities
- They only sell Round and Square Cut Diamonds
- Their Prices are High
- They want to look Elite
I tell the saleslady that I’m looking to buy a single Diamond Stud for my ear (which I am – right now I have 1/3 Carat that I’m looking to upgrade).
She takes me over to the Earring Case and pulls out a pair of One Carat Diamond Studs. She says she can quote me half price for them and sell me just one stone.
The price she quotes me is $3,200.
I ask her what the Clarity and Color is?
She says the Earrings are VS2 – SI1 (I write all of this down on their brochure).
I don’t understand why companies sell Diamonds like this. Why group different Clarities and Colors together (like IGI does)???
Why the range?
And… Why such a Low Color Grade?
I ask her what the REAL Clarity is of the Diamonds, because there is a price difference between VS and SI Diamonds.
Jeweler’s Catalogs often list ranges of Clarity and Color, but if you go in and ask them, they will normally tell you what the true quality is, it will be listed right on the tag.
But she says they just sell them in a range, they’re VS2-SI1.
I frown. I’m okay with paying for VS Clarity, but I don’t really want SI.
I ask her about Color since I really adore Colorless Diamonds and don’t want a J.
She says “Color doesn’t really matter much since their Diamonds are all Cut to Perfection”.
I tell her that sounds like a contradiction of perfection to only dwell on one aspect of the 4C’s. Cut determines about 50% of the value of the Diamond, what about the other 50%?
“It’s all about the Sparkle” she says “Take a look”.
She hands me the Diamond Studs. They certainly sparkle (but they also have a ton of lights in the store).
I’m not sold. I want to do more research because I’ve seen plenty of other Diamonds sparkle like this. It all has to do with what Cut you buy.
When I get back home, I go online to the Hearts On Fire website.
I pull up the same Diamond Stud Earrings that she showed me in the store.
Interesting enough, the quality listed online says that they are VS-SI, I-J (the lady in the store said VS2-SI1).
So which Quality are they?
HOF is saying that the Diamonds you buy could be a VS or an SI, which would be ALL and ANY of these Clarities: VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2.
This DOES make a huge difference in PRICE!
A VS1 Diamond is NOT the same price as an SI1. NO WAY!
See for yourself…
There’s a big price difference! The VS is $400 more than the SI Diamond (in this example of Half Carat Diamonds). And comparing the VS1 Diamond to an SI2 would be an even bigger price difference!
So why does HOF sell these Diamonds grades with the same one price?
I decide to look at Solitaires instead (one single Diamond). Maybe that will help shed some light upon the subject. Solitaires will normally just list One Clarity and One Color…
I find this particular Engagement Ring and select the .50 Carat as seen here…
I don’t see the Clarity and Color prominently displayed. I find them hidden under the “More Info” tab. This Diamond Quality is then listed as VS1-SI1, and G-I in Color (This is what they call the “Sensational” Quality).
Again, this range of quality drives me crazy. The Diamond you end up with could be a VS1, VS2, or SI1, and the Color could be a G, H or I.
Anywhere else you shop, you can actually specify what exact Color and Clarity you want.
Here, it’s just a big mystery!
The price of this .50 Carat Diamond Solitaire is $5,500.
That’s Pretty Hefty for a 1/2 Carat Diamond!
I have many questions regarding their quality and prices. For one, the Solitaire Diamond selling for $5,400 could end up being an SI1, I (per their range). While the Diamond Earring (Quoted price of $3,200) could ALSO end up being an SI1, I as well.
So in reality, if these two Diamonds COULD end up being the exact same stone, then why does one sell for $5,400 and the other sell for $3,200???
It doesn’t make much sense to me.
Granted the mountings are different. The Solitaire comes in a thick 18k White Gold Mounting, while the Earrings come in an 18k White Gold Basket Head. But that would still leave a price difference of about $2,000. 2 GRAND For the SAME stone???
Plus, the lady in the store said the Diamond Earrings were VS2-SI1, and the website says VS-SI. Who’s right, who’s wrong? If you thought you were buying a high quality stone like VS, and ended up getting an SI2 instead, you wouldn’t be happy!
Plus, there’s a big VISUAL difference between these two Clarites. Look at a VS1 versus an SI2. They DO NOT look the same!
I make the Call
I decide it’s time to call Hearts On Fire to get more information at 1-877-PERFECT (1-877-737-3328).
I talk to a salesperson (who doesn’t work there anymore I’m told) that should have never been answering phones or selling Diamonds.
It was frustrating and he didn’t know what he was talking about.
All he could tell me was what it said on their website. I can read that.
He said they “Do NOT sell SI2 Clarity Diamonds” and that the Clarity for the Studs is either VS1, VS2 or SI1.
I say “That’s NOT what the quality listed leads me to believe. SI is both SI1 and SI2 Clarity and NOT just SI1. If it was just SI1 Clarity, wouldn’t they list it like they did on the Engagement Ring (VS1-SI1)?”
See the SI Clarity Range below…
He didn’t get it!
I ask him about the difference in price between the one Diamond Stud and the Diamond Solitaire. He kept saying that the Solitaire was higher Quality.
I tell him that it could be, but it’s also true that you could end up with the exact SAME Clarity and Color as well. That’s what the range shows!
He kept saying it’s not the same.
He finally said he would pass my questions on to the right department and they would get back with me in a day or two.
A week later, the response I finally get back floored me.
It was from a lady who made no sense at all. Her reply didn’t address my questions. She said the Earring Quality was VS-SI, and the Color was I-J. Which I already know because that’s what it says on their website.
Then she went on to say that the price difference between the Earrings and Solitaire was because the Earrings were 2 Diamonds and the Solitaire was One Diamond.
This is what I get for waiting a week?
I replied back that my REAL Questions were about the Price Differences and the true Clarity on the Earrings.
I waited for a response. One day passed, then Two, then Three…
I got no reply back. EVER!
After 2 FULL Weeks go by I decide to call them AGAIN!
I connected with a lady who said she was the person in charge. She went on to say that the lady handling the email no longer worked for them (as well as the previous guy on the phone). If this is the case, then shouldn’t someone else pick up her emails and handle them?
I go through the entire scenario AGAIN of the Stud versus the Solitaire, and the Clarity showing SI (not just SI1).
She tells me that the VS-SI on the Earrings DOES mean that the Earring Clarity could be VS1, VS2, SI1 or SI2. Finally someone admits that SI means both SI1 and SI2. Thank you!
I ask her what quality will show on the appraisal I get. She says “VS-SI” and “I-J“.
Really? Even after I buy the actual stone I still won’t know what the real quality is?
Who would buy a Diamond and never know what the true Clarity or Color was? I’ve never heard of such a thing.
How are you supposed to Shop and Compare Diamonds if you don’t know what quality you’re comparing?
I told her “Surely you know that a VS1-I is NOT the same price as an SI2-J?”
It’s just the Cut that matters!
She said she understands where I’m coming from, but their Diamonds are more about the intensity and light of the Diamonds. The Cut is the most important 4C and has more of an impact on beauty than any other characteristic.
I agree that Cut plays a huge, huge role in the beauty of the stone, but I can’t wrap my head around such a low Color. I-J is not desirable. I Love, Love, Love Colorless Diamonds and would never buy any other Color.
She says Hearts On Fire Diamonds are better because their stones are Cut under 100x magnification (versus 10x). And that their Diamonds are all consistent “Every Single Diamond we Cut is identical to every other Diamond we Cut. No other company can say that.”
It is true that there are some Hearts and Arrows Diamonds out there that are not perfect in Pattern or Proportions. But if you look at the Certificates and view the Hearts and Arrows Patterns you’ll certainly be able to find Diamonds that ARE equal and consistent.
And using 100x magnification as a selling tool is not as exclusive as it sounds. The standard for viewing and grading Diamonds is 10x (GIA Standard Nationwide). So anything magnified MORE than that won’t impact Quality or Clarity in the least. Plus, Diamonds are only shown under 10x magnification, so going higher is irrelevant.
And besides, James Allen’s True Hearts Diamonds ALSO boast that they Cut and Polish their Diamonds under 100x magnification.
So it’s not exclusive to HOF!
I ask her “If you put your Diamonds up against James Allen or Blue Nile’s Diamonds, would you really see a difference?”
She says she has not really seen those cuts to compare (yet she says theirs are better?). But then she goes on to SLAM Blue Nile and say that “Blue Nile is nothing but a bunch of people in a room sitting around looking at Diamonds on a computer that were not good enough to sell. They are left over Diamonds.”
I’m shocked that we would say such a thing. She said that “Blue Nile sells discounted Diamonds. Their Diamonds have Knots in them like a tree, and Hearts On Fire Diamonds do not.”
Again I’m speechless. She pretty much said that Blue Nile sells junk and that their Diamonds are full of Flaws.
You take a look at this Blue Nile Diamond and see if it looks bad. This Diamond is AWESOME!!!! Truly it is!
In the back on my mind I’m thinking… But Hearts On Fire sell SI2 Diamonds! SI2 Diamonds have many Flaws, some even visible, so how can they knock Blue Nile’s selection? Plus, the quality of Diamonds I’m looking at buying is VS with Excellent Cut and Polish. Those Diamonds don’t have Knots or Visible Flaws!
Not Cool, Nor Fair!
I ask her “So if I wanted to buy a VS1, E (which I do, and am), then there’s no way for me to do this?”
She says “There is!”
I would have to buy a “Serialized Diamond“. Serialized Diamonds list the actual Color and Clarity of the stone.
Finally… There is a way to buy a Diamond from HOF and know the exact quality of the stone!
She says their Serialized Diamonds have the Serialized Number etched directly onto the Girdle of the Diamond. As so…
I ask her for a price quote.
After a minute or two of her sitting in a room staring at a computer, she comes back with a price quote.
For a .53 Carat Diamond, VS1, E, the price would be “$6,530“.
$6,500 for a Half Carat Diamond?
A 1/2 Carat is not a very big stone. $6,500 is generally the price you’d pay for a decent 1.00 Carat Diamond.
Blue Nile sells a .50 Signature Ideal Cut Diamond, VS1 Clarity, E Color, GIA Certified, Excellent Cut, Excellent Polish, Excellent Symmetry, for just $2,290.
James Allen sells a .52 Carat True Hearts Ideal Cut Diamond, VS1 Clarity, E Color, AGS Certified, Triple 0’s (the best) for $2,500.
The price difference between these Diamonds and the Hearts On Fire Diamond is $4,000.
That’s almost triple the price!
HOF Serialized Diamonds state that their Cut will get a Zero Cut Grade from AGS…
…Just like the James Allen Diamond does for $4,000 LESS!
IS HOF worth it?
That’s for you to decide.
Let’s look at the Pros and Cons.
- Excellent Cut
- Sparkles like Crazy
- Extremely Beautiful
- It’s a Brand Name (a lot of people like that)
- You can find Equally Cut Diamonds without the Trademarked Name (Cut Not Exclusive)
- Clarity is Good. Color is below Average
- You don’t know what the real Quality of the stone is (unless you order Serialized)
- Comes with No GIA or AGS Diamond Report (you just get a HOF Diamond Document instead)
- Others use 100x Magnification to Cut and Polish as well
And telling potential customers that Blue Nile’s Diamonds have knots in them is just plain wrong. It all depends on what quality you’re buying. Yes Blue Nile does sell some lower end Diamonds, but they also sell top of the line (just like all Jewelers do). You have to be fair about it and tailor yourself to all different types of clientele!!!
If it were me, I would buy the James Allen True Hearts Diamond hands down. It’s just as impressive, it will sparkle like a million stars in the sky, and the price is awesome. Plus, you get to view the actual stone (the selling point for me) at 10x magnification and see the actual Hearts and Arrows Pattern in the stone before you buy it. :)
Hearts On Fire says they sell The Worlds Most Perfectly Cut Diamond. I don’t disagree. But any Jeweler can sell the exact same equivalent Diamond, you just have to look for them.
Is this Premium Cut worth it?
Premium Cuts are definitely worth buying. But NOT at double the price!
Why spend $4,000 more than you have to?
I decided to call a local Jewelry Store that used to sell HOF Diamonds to learn more.
The owner told me that Hearts On Fire does sell Diamonds that are perfectly Cut, no doubt about it.
But, he found it very difficult to sell these stones since they were double the price of equivalently Cut Diamonds. He said Premium Cuts are hard to come by. Many stores sell “Hearts and Arrows” Diamonds, but the patterns aren’t as perfect, and some are way off. He said these Premium stones do exist though and are much cheaper than HOF. He says to look for AGS Triple 0’s, or Triple Excellent in GIA Graded Diamonds. They are out there and half the price.
He went on to say that HOF did perfect their Cut, but other Diamond Cutters obtain the Perfect Ideal Cut as well. They’re just regular Diamonds that are Cut very, very well. Plus, you can get not only equivalent Cuts, but you can also choose what Clarity and Color you want.
That’s the ticket!
And that’s my two cents.
Take it or leave it! :)
P.S. Prices were good at the time of this post (08-26-2013). Prices and Availability may Change!
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