The History of Diamond Heart Pendants: From Royalty to Modern Times

The diamond heart pendant has a rich history of symbolic meaning and aesthetic charm from royalty to modernity. A heart-shaped diamond pendant is a timeless way to express love, commitment, and affection to a loved one. It can also symbolize other meaningful responses such as gratitude, admiration, or appreciation towards someone you are fond of or who is special to you. 


What Does the Heart Shape Symbolise?

What Does the Heart Shape Symbolise?

The heart symbol is associated with love and affection. Traditionally, the heart is considered the seat of emotions. The “heart” of something also means the centre or most integral part. Gifting someone a heart pendant is not just a way of showing emotional appreciation and love but also a way of conveying how integral and important they are.

The human heart plays a central role in the body’s functioning and keeping us alive. The heart is, therefore, also associated with vitality and warmth.

Gifting someone a heart-shaped pendant is considered a romantic gesture in many cultures. In ancient Egypt, the heart shape was supposed to represent the soul, while in medieval Europe, it symbolized fidelity and devotion.

Significance of a Heart-Shaped Diamond Pendant

Diamonds are known for their durability and rarity and are associated with purity and elegance. A heart-shaped diamond pendant can represent commitment, long-lasting love, loyalty, and devotion. It can also represent purity – whether the purity of feelings or the soul.

In addition to affection or passion, the diamond heart also signifies clarity (meaning you are clear about your feelings for the person) and strength (such as a strong friendship). A diamond heart necklace can have different designs with different meanings. For instance, a winged heart can symbolize freedom or religious ascension.

Whether it is a significant someone, a friend, or a family member, a heart-shaped diamond is the perfect way to convey that they are special to you. 

History of the Heart-Shaped Diamond

History of the Heart Shaped Diamond

Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave one of the earliest recorded diamond engagement rings to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Diamond jewellery has long been a popular choice for royalty and nobility, symbolising wealth, status, and fashionable elegance. 

The 15th Century

The heart-shaped diamond can be traced back to medieval royalty in the mid-15th century. The Duke of Milan and his confidante discussed an early heart-shaped diamond in private exchanges. In addition to being a royal preference, aristocratic elites enjoyed and sought it after.

It is interesting to note that around this time, the legendary diamond cutter Louis Van Berquem discovered a way to cut diamonds and introduced new techniques, such as making symmetrical facets and a diamond polishing wheel. 

The 16th Century

In 1562, Mary Queen of Scots sent Queen Elizabeth a gold ring with a heart-shaped diamond, which became historically famous as a strong symbol of friendship and goodwill between royals. The wealthy French clergyman and statesman Cardinal de Richelieu had a famous twenty-carat heart-shaped diamond he had acquired from a wealthy diamond merchant. 

The Renaissance (14th-17th Century)

During the Renaissance, the heart became a popular design motif in jewellery, particularly for rings and pendants. The heart’s association with love and affection can be traced to the 18th century when French and English jewellery designers began to use it along with arrows, ribbons, and flowers to depict romantic love. 

The 19th Century

In the 19th century, it was common for people to wear heart-shaped lockets with strands of their lover’s hair. In the early 20th century, King Edward VIII gave a heart charm to Wallis Simpson as a romantic gesture. During the World Wars, soldiers often sent heart-shaped jewellery home to their girlfriends, wives, mothers, and sisters.

Heart Diamonds in Modern Times

Heart Diamonds in Modern Times

Considering how challenging it would have been to carve a diamond into a heart shape and polish it during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it is surprising that heart-shaped diamonds were made, and no wonder that they were cherished.

Modern heart-shaped diamonds have the advantage of being made with more advanced cutting techniques. They balance weight retention while maximizing scintillation and positioning its multiple facets (often 59 facets) to be beautifully shaped.

The diamond heart pendant continues to be a timeless classic. Heart pendants became a beloved style, from simple solitaire diamond hearts to more elaborate designs with smaller diamonds or other gemstones framing them. These versatile and timeless pendants can be worn with diverse outfits. They are a great way to combine luxury and elegance with a unique expression of personal style, love, and compassion. 

Popular Contemporary Styles

Contemporary heart diamond jewellery comes in different styles. Some of the popular styles and designs are given below.

1. Classic heart pendant 

This is a simple yet poignant style, with a single diamond heart in a metal frame. It is great for casual wear but can also be dressed up for an occasion. 

2. Double heart pendant

This pendant has two interlocking hearts, representing a connection or relationship. While it is a popular romantic gift, it can also be gifted to close friends or family.

3. Floating heart pendant

This style consists of a heart-shaped diamond suspended in a pendant that appears floating. 

4. Halo heart pendant

This heart-shaped diamond has smaller diamonds surrounding it in a halo setting, giving it more sparkle and shine. 

Celebrity Heart-Shaped Diamonds

Celebrities have a considerable influence on trending fashion and consumer choices in jewellery. Several celebrities have been spotted with heart pendant diamonds, including Meghan Markle, Jennifer Aniston, and Taylor Swift. 

Elizabeth Taylor, a famous actress known for her regal elegance, received a heart-shaped diamond from actor Richard Burton in 1972 for her fortieth birthday. Known as the Taj Mahal, the diamond was flat, big, and decorated with rubies.

In recent times, there has been a rise in celebrity engagement rings featuring vintage and non-traditional engagement ring shapes, including the heart. Lady Gaga received a diamond heart engagement ring from her boyfriend, Taylor Kinney, featuring a large, wide, perfectly symmetrical diamond. Nicki Minaj received a heart diamond engagement ring in a rich yellow colour and a double halo setting. 

Wrapping Up

From medieval royalty to modernity, heart-shaped diamonds remain timeless, representing friendship, affection, and love. While historically associated with royalty, wealth, and nobility, they have become more popular and accessible in modern times. However, they remain a relatively expensive diamond cut because of the skilled craftsmanship involved in making them into a symmetrical shape.

FAQs about Diamond Heart Pendant

1. How many carats should a heart diamond pendant be?

When deciding on the diamond carat, consider your budget and the purpose of the gift. If it is meant for everyday wear, a 0.25 or 1-carat diamond will be a good fit.

2. Which is better: lab-grown or naturally mined diamonds?

While the two can look extremely similar, naturally mined diamonds are more expensive than lab-grown diamonds. The latter also have a lower environmental impact and are ethically sourced. 

3. How do you choose the metal for a heart diamond necklace?

Silver, white gold, and platinum are popular metals for romantic gifts or sentimental value. Yellolabw gold goes well with white diamonds, while rose gold is trendy. 

5. How do you select a diamond heart pendant?

When selecting a diamond heart pendant, you should look at its symmetry – both halves of the heart should be identical in shape and size. You can also consider whether you want a wider or narrower cut heart.

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Nishit Mehta

Nishit Mehta is a third-generation diamantaire with over 30 years of experience in the diamond and jewelry industry. With vast knowledge and expertise in making jewelry for other jewelers, Nishit has recently decided to expand his brand, La Joya, in the lab-grown diamond jewelry space. His passion for creating exquisite jewelry has made him a trusted name in the industry.