Hearts On Fire, the Boston based diamond jewelry company, filed a lawsuit against Blue Nile asserting that the Seattle based online retailer infringes the Hearts On Fire® trademark. Blue Nile is accused of using “Hearts On Fire” as a search term in its pay-for-click and sponsored link advertising on search engines. Moreover, Blue Nile is alleged to also use the “Hearts On Fire” phrase in the text of those links implying it sells Hearts On Fire® diamonds.
One of many companies in the 1990s who created brands based on the Hearts and Arrows patterns, Glenn Rothman renamed his company after his trademarked “Hearts On Fire” brand. Within the diamond industry, Glenn is known for his marketing success as he has promoted the Hearts On Fire® name to be one of the top brand names.
Jewelers are desperate for ways to differentiate their diamonds from the price competition of online retailers and the Hearts On Fire brand has benefited. The power of Rothman’s marketing skill is evident in that consumers are willing to pay more than double for the brand. Ironically, the Hearts and Arrows pattern not a requirement for brilliance and sparkle, but is more of a by-product.
The Hearts and Arrows pattern is a result of diamond cut with great optical symmetry when viewed under a Hearts and Arrows scope. Many of the exceptionally cut round diamonds display the Hearts and Arrows pattern so there is nothing unique about the brands, other than the marketing. In fact, cubic zirconia can be cut to display the Hearts and Arrows pattern so there is nothing intrinsically valuable about the pattern other than the consumer perceptions from the marketing.
Clients of Diamond Source of Virginia are happy to find the majority of round diamonds sold by the company display the Hearts and Arrows pattern. This is a result of only recommending round diamonds with at least Very Good GIA grades, Excellent Holloway Cut Adviser ratings, and at least Very Good proportional symmetry. What makes Diamond Source of Virginia client even happier is that they do not have to pay extra for the Hearts and Arrows pattern. They can get exceptional beauty for less than half the price of the brand name diamonds.
No doubt, the Hearts On Fire lawsuit against Blue Nile will generate considerable publicity for both companies. Only time will tell how much diamond buyers will hear and learn about Hearts and Arrows patterns and if the increased awareness of generic Hearts and Arrows alternatives will lead to greater sales for Blue Nile and Diamond Source of Virginia.