James Allen True Hearts Diamond Reviews, which one carat diamond should I buy? $6-10K Budget

“I’m in the early stages of shopping for a diamond engagement ring online, you helped a friend of mine select a James Allen True Hearts princess cut diamond a few months ago, and definitely is beautiful! He was really pleased with the level of customer service that he received from James Allen, and the advice which you provided, and highly recommended both of you. I’m hoping that you can help me pick out the best James Allen True Hearts round brilliant cut diamond, in the range of $6-10K, but I might be willing to spend more.

Tips for Picking the Best One Carat Diamond from James Allen:

James Allen True Hearts diamonds offer exceptional light return, visual performance, and great value; however the selection criteria for the brand is a bit broader than I would like to see it, and thus I suggest that you use the following link to Search for James Allen True Hearts Diamonds because I’ve pre-loaded it with my preferred range of parameters.

Once that page loads, adjust the sliders to accommodate the range of diamond carat weight, clarity, color, and price that you are interested in. Then right click your mouse over the photograph for each diamond to open the diamond details page up in a new tab, and click on the icon for the lab report.

Eliminate any options that do not meet the following criteria:

  • Crown angle between 34.3 – 35.0 degrees
  • Pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees
  • Polish / Symmetry: GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal
  • Culet: GIA “none” or AGS “pointed” (same thing)

In case you are wondering, one of the presets included in the criteria that I use to Search James Allen True Hearts Diamonds is a total depth between 59 – 61.8% and a table diameter between 53 – 58%.

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: AGS 104077441015

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews, AGS 104077441015, hearts patternThis 1.021 carat, F-color, Internally Flawless, James Allen True Hearts round diamond has and overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, as determined on their proprietary Light Performance grading platform which uses Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to measure diamonds for brightness! And it exhibits a very nice pattern of hearts and arrows, which is an indication that the diamond was cut with a superior degree of optical precision! There is a little bit of variance in the size and shape of the hearts, but it is very slight, certainly a better hearts pattern than what you’d expect to see in most ideal cut diamonds! This ensures that the diamond will sparkle like crazy!

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James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews, AGS 104077441015, Ideal ScopeAnd as you can see the Ideal Scope image for this 1.021 carat, I-color, Internally Flawless clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond looks fantastic! The Ideal Scope is used to determine to what extent a diamond is leaking light, as a result of the superior level of optical symmetry, the light return for this diamond falls into the excellent category! Combined with the 40.8 degree pavilion angle, 34.3 degree crown angle and 77% lower girdle facet length, this diamond is going to exhibit a high volume of light return, a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and broad spectrum sparkle! Which means that the sparkle will be larger in size, bold, bright, and vivid! R-O-C-K-S-T-A-R!

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James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: AGS 104076983003

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, AGS 104076983003While James Allen does not provide ASET images for the diamonds that they sell, it is not an issue with diamonds like  this 1.048 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond and the one reviewed previously, which were graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) on the Light Performance grading platform, because the results of the ASET scan are provided on the Diamond Quality Document (DQD) issued by the AGS Laboratory. Of course an ASET image doesn’t tell you anything if you don’t know What the Different Colors of an ASET Scope Image Mean, so I’ll tell you real quick that all the red means that the diamond will be nice and bright, and the blue is an indication that the diamond exhibits strong contrast brilliance! The green represents the second brightest light from within the room being reflected back by the diamond, notice the even distribution of light!

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As a seasoned diamond buying professional, I consider the insight provided by reflector scope images, such as the ASET Scope, Ideal Scope, and Hearts & Arrows scope, to be of critical importance because they enable me to judge the degree of optical precision that each diamond has been cut to exhibit, and this has a major impact upon the volume of light return, the size and intensity of the sparkle, and the overall look of each diamond.

James Allen True Hearts round diamond reviews, AGS 104076983003, Ideal ScopeThe Ideal Scope image for this 1.048 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond looks excellent, and it indicates that the diamond is producing the highest degree of light return! Rest assured that this is top performing diamond that is going to be blindingly brilliant due to the combination of proportions and optical precision. The 40.9 degree pavilion angle is going to provide a high volume of light return, while the 34.5 degree crown angle produces a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and the 77% lower girdle facet length provides broad spectrum sparkle! I am absolutely thrilled that my Search of James Allen True Hearts Diamonds revealed this hidden gem!

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James Allen True Hearts Diamonds Reviews, AGS 104076983003, Hearts PatternThe hearts pattern exhibited by this 1.048 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond looks pretty darn good! It might not be quite up to  the production standards of a Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows diamond, because of the slight variation in the size and shape of the hearts, but it also costs a bit less than a BGD Signature diamond of the same carat weight, color, and clarity; thus as with everything in life there is a trade-off between different brands of hearts and arrows round diamonds. It might take a second for your eyes to adjust and see what I’m seeing, but use the heart in the relative six o’clock position as a point of calibration.

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It requires an extremely high degree of optical precision to produce a crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows within round brilliant cut diamonds, the slightest variance in the length of the lower girdle facets, or the indexing of the facets, will create subtle differences in the size and shape of the hearts. True hearts and arrows diamonds, exhibit virtually no difference in the appearance of the hearts, so while the hearts pattern exhibited by this diamond is truly very good.

I personally wouldn’t kick diamonds like this up into the category of hearts and arrows, which is an issue that I have with the selection criteria for the James Allen True Hearts brand, it’s better than most, but not as refined a product as others; however the price point is also a reflection of that, so I can’t really argue about it, merely point this type of thing out and let you decide which level of super ideal cut diamond is right for you. Fair enough? Good. I’m glad we got that sorted out…

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: GIA 7192683114

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 7192683114This 1.13 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond is graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Gem Trade Laboratory (GIA-GTL) with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, which is sometimes referred to as GIA 3X or GIA Triple Excellent cut. The 40.8 degree pavilion angle is going to provide a high volume of light return, and the 35.0 degree crown angle will provide a very good balance of brilliance and dispersion, while the 75% lower girdle facet length provides broad spectrum sparkle!

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Be aware that there is a “cavity” type inclusion located on the underside of the diamond, as indicated on the lower plotting diagram provided on the diamond grading report, which is located in the lower girdle facet that is positioned just above the three o’clock position. In most instances a cavity is not a major concern, but it is something to ask the Gemologist at James Allen to evaluate to determine whether it is a deal breaker or not.

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 7192683114, hearts patternThe hearts pattern exhibited by this 1.13 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond is once again pretty good, but not excellent. Notice how the heart located in the relative nine o’clock position is just a little smaller than the rest, and how the gap between the tip of the hearts and the arrowheads beneath them varies in size, once again this is an indication that there is a slight variance in the length of the lower girdle facets and the indexing of the facets as they were polished on to the diamond. This might be the technical sort of thing that only matters to a professional diamond buyer, but precision is the name of the game when we’re talking hearts and arrows diamonds.

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James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 7192683114The Ideal Scope image looks excellent for this 1.13 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond, and this insight combined with the proportions, and the very good pattern of hearts and arrows pattern is a clear indication that this diamond is a top performer! As with all of the James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviewed thus far, this diamond is easily within the Top 1% of the annual production for round brilliant cut diamonds! It would be nice to see an ASET Scope image but I have not had much luck obtaining those from James Allen in the past. I know that some people feel that ASET and Ideal Scope images are practically interchangeable, but I don’t subscribe to that theory.

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The reality is that each of the different reflector scopes used as part of the process of grading diamonds for optical precision, were designed for sole and separate purposes, and while some patterns of light distribution might look similar when diamonds are viewed through each of the different reflector scopes, that things are actually different.

An ASET Scope is designed to determine where in the room a diamond is gathering light from; how effectively it is making use of that light; and how evenly the light is then being reflected or distributed throughout the diamond. Whereas an ideal scope is designed or intended to determine the extent to which a diamond is leaking light, and they all leak light to some extent by the way, but some leak less light than others!

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: AGS 104059904027

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, AGS 104059904027, Ideal ScopeThis 1.225 carat, I-color, VVS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 which means that it was graded on the Light Performance grading platform which relies on Angular Spectrum Evaluation technology, and thus we have an ASET Scope image on the diamond grading report that tells us how bright this diamond is, and which demonstrates how evenly light is being distributed throughout the diamond! It looks great by the way! And he diamond also looks great in the Ideal Scope image that appears to the left, so we’ve got another winner in the light performance department! Sunglasses required!

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James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, AGSL 104059904027, hearts patternThis 1.225 carat, I-color, VVS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond also exhibits a very good hearts pattern, but now that you know what to look for, it probably didn’t take long for you to figure out that the heart pictured in the relative eleven o’clock position is just a bit smaller than the rest. Thus you know that this is a hearts and arrows diamond by the standard of one company, but we both know that I don’t consider it to be a “Hearts and Arrows diamond” by the strict standards taught to me by industry legends Brian Gavin and Garry Wright, but that’s okay because the industry has yet to adopt a standardized system for grading hearts and arrows, thus it’s all open to interpretation.

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James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: GIA 1199541079

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 1199541079, Hearts PatternThis 1.25 carat, H-color, VVS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond is graded by the GIA Laboratory with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent. The pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees is going to provide a high volume of light return, while the 34.5 degree crown angle produces a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and the 75% lower girdle facet length ensures that the sparkle will be broad spectrum! The hearts pattern is pretty good, but take note of the tip of the heart pictured in the seven o’clock region, that little twist is an indication of Azimuth Shift and tells me that the lower girdle facets are different lengths, which also explains why the hearts appear to be different sizes.

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James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews, GIA 1199541079, Ideal ScopeI’d really like to see an ASET Scope image for this 1.25 carat, I-color, VVS-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond, but that is not something that the GIA-GTL provides, ASET is proprietary to the AGS Laboratory, and one of the Differences between GIA Excellent vs AGS Ideal cut diamonds. But we do have an Ideal Scope image for this diamond, and it looks excellent, so the diamond should be quite stunning and lively! The reality is that I don’t really expect James Allen True Hearts Diamonds to exhibit the highest degree of optical precision, I don’t think that is really their target market, but this is definitely better than a lot of ideal cut diamonds that I see scope images for.

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The thing to realize is that there are different degrees of perfection to be found within the more popular brands of hearts and arrows ideal cut diamonds, each brand seems to offer a different level of optical precision, and clearly so does each diamond, which is why it is important to consider each diamond on a stone-by-stone basis.

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews: GIA 7193773528

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 719377352, Ideal Scope imageThis 1.31 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts round diamond is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent, so you know by now not to expect an ASET Scope image. Based upon the Ideal Scope image provided, it appears to have excellent light return, and this combined with the 40.8 degree pavilion angle is a good indiction that it is going to exhibit a high volume of light return! The 34.5 degree crown angle should provide a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and the 75% lower girdle facet length should produce the broad spectrum sparkle that I look for in a diamond, but the inclusion in the middle of the table facet might be a concern.

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The diamond crystals located in the table facet of this diamond are darker in color and tone, and thus they are pretty easy to pick up in the high resolution video that is provided on the diamond details page, but know that they should not be visible to the naked eye given the VS-2 clarity grade, things just happen to look larger than life at 30x magnification!

You can see the cluster of diamond crystals that I’m referring to in the middle of the table facet in the Ideal Scope image provided above, they are visible here because the Ideal Scope contains a magnifying lens that makes it easier to determine the extent of light leakage that a diamond has…

James Allen True Hearts diamonds reviews, GIA 719377352, hearts patternA magnifying lens is also part of a Hearts and Arrows Scope, which is why the inclusions can be seen scattered about within the pattern of hearts exhibited by this 1.31 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond.  The presence of inclusions within the hearts pattern of a diamond is not something that I consider to be a determining factor of whether a diamond is or is not hearts and arrows, thus I don’t consider this to be a concern, and it is perfectly normal for inclusions to “mirror” within a diamond because the facets of a diamond are designed to act like tiny mirrors, thus it is quite common for inclusions to reflect around within the diamond as can be seen in this photograph.

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Now that we’ve got that out of the way, take a look at the hearts located in the relative eleven o’clock an done o’clock positions, and compare their size and shape to the heart that is located between them in the relative twelve o’clock position, and then look across the diamond to the heart in the six o’clock region, and you’ll see that the hearts on this James Allen True Hearts Diamond also vary slightly in size and shape.

Note that this diamond exhibits strong blue fluorescence, which is definitely something that I consider to be a plus in a near colorless diamond, because it is likely that the strong blue fluorescence will help make the diamond appear to be a little bit whiter when the diamond is viewed in lighting environments where a high volume of ultra-violet light is present.

Practically every diamond that I’ve ever owned personally has exhibited medium blue or strong blue fluorescence, and my 2.25 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity, super ideal cut diamond actually exhibited very strong blue fluorescence, so obviously I’m a fan of blue fluorescent diamonds! By the way, I was able to locate the inclusions within my SI-2 clarity diamond with just my eyes, and I was all right with it, because the inclusions were not glaringly obvious, and the lower clarity grade enabled me to buy a larger diamond, while maintaining an exceptional cut quality…

The reason I’m telling you this, is because I want to emphasize that we all have to make considerations when buying a diamond, there are trade-off’s to be considered as to the different qualities of characteristics that each diamond offers, while I’m not one to sacrifice on diamond cut quality and optical precision, I am likely to bend a bit on clarity or color.

Take the Stress Out of Buying a Diamond:

I hope that you enjoyed reading these James Allen True Hearts Diamond Reviews, and that you learned a bit while doing so. There are some very nice diamonds featured within this article, and the truth is that any one of them will make a fabulous center stone for a diamond engagement ring. I hope that you will use the affiliate link provided if you decide to purchase any one of them, doing so will not affect your purchase price, and helps to ensure that this web site continues to be a resource for diamond buyers like yourself.

If you’d like my help finding the diamond of your dreams, or perhaps looking over the details for a diamond which you are considering, please take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service. Be sure to provide me with the range of diamond characteristics that you are open to considering, and price range that you are working with. Thank you for reading my blog.

You can also Search for James Allen True Hearts Diamonds on your own, using that link which is pre-coded with my preferred range of selection criteria, and then filter the results using the range of crown and pavilion criteria provided at the beginning of this article.

Todd Gray
Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)
Todd Gray

@NiceIceDiamonds

Professional diamond buyer with 30+ years trade experience in the niche of super ideal cut diamonds. In my free time, I enjoy freediving & photography.
The incredible #story behind the Sirisha diamond necklace by @BrianGavin 71 #Diamonds cut to order #Amazinghttps://t.co/dHOo1T99xT - 2 years ago

Leave a Comment:

4 comments
Swarna says April 26, 2015

I have ordered the ring in an open setting, do you think that this diamond being an I color would show color when viewed from the side? I do have diamond studs that are in I color, they do look white and don’t show any color but the studs are always viewed face up as opposed to the ring which may be seen from the side.

Also, I see that this diamond has only the idea scope image and not the ASET, so would you be able to take a look at the ASET image if I am able to get it from James Allen and let me know what you think?

Thanks!
Swarna

Reply
    Todd Gray says April 26, 2015

    It really depends on how sensitive you happen to be to the subtle differences in diamond colors, and what side of the spectrum the diamond is in terms of being an I-color, whether it is an I-color that closer in color to an H-color, or an I-color that is closer to J-color, or just straight on I-color; and of course the color of the metal which holds the diamond in place will have an effect upon our perception of color. I find that white metal prongs seem to raise the perceptible color of a diamond by about one color grade, whereas yellow gold prongs tend to drop the perceptible color grade by one color grade.

    Of course I would be happy to look at the ASET scope image if you are able to obtain one from James Allen, that would be awesome! Feel free to email it to me at diamonds[at]niceice.com

    Reply
Swarna says April 25, 2015

Hi Todd,

It must be my lucky day today! I was just looking at the 1.021 carat, I-color, Internally Flawless clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond yesterday and had been planning to email you to get your opinion on it and I see that you have rated it Rockstar today! I have ordered that and will update you on how it looks once I get it. Thank you so much!

Reply
    Todd Gray says April 25, 2015

    I’m so happy that you found my review of James Allen True Hearts diamonds to be helpful, and look forward to hearing all about the diamond when you have a chance to feast your eyes upon it! Congratulations!

    Reply
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