What Makes A Diamond Sparkle?

What Makes A Diamond Sparkle?

Besides being one of the hardest materials on earth, diamonds are renowned for their exceptional brilliance and fire. Beautiful would be an understatement of the sparkle diamonds have; no wonder they've been glittering on the fingers of brides, movie stars, and everyday women alike. But what makes these precious stones so special? Why do we love them so much?

The answer lies in the way that diamonds interact with light. Read on to learn more.

What is a Sparkle in Diamond?

As mentioned above, a diamond's sparkle results from its interaction with light. When light enters a diamond, it hits the flat surfaces of the facets and is reflected and refracted as either white light called brilliance or flashes of spectral colors called fire. Scintillation occurs when the diamond is moved, and the light is broken into a series of sparkling flashes. The perfect diamond sparkle occurs when these three special effects - fire, brilliance, and scintillation - are in perfect balance.

What Factors Affect a Diamond's Sparkle?

While every diamond sparkles, some sparkle more brilliantly than others. The overall sparkle of a diamond depends on a combination of various factors.

Diamond's Cut Type and Shape

From a rough crystal to the final faceted gemstone, diamonds are cut and polished to maximize their ability to reflect and refract light. It is the one element that man entirely controls. While a raw diamond is still valuable for its carat weight, color, and clarity, it needs to be cut and polished to make it sparkle. A well-cut diamond is cut to an exacting formula and can be cut in a way that maximizes the diamond's inherent fire, brilliance, and scintillation. On the other hand, poor cut quality will result in a dull, lifeless diamond.

The more facets a diamond has, the more reflective surfaces there are to reflect and scatter light. A round brilliant cut diamond with 57/58 facets has the ideal facet pattern and will be more sparkly than single cut diamonds with fewer facets.

Light sources

While a diamond's facet arrangement, proportions, and quality affect the sparkle, you should also consider the lighting conditions in which you wear your diamond. A diamond will show more white light under fluorescent light and more fire under a direct light source, such as sunlight or halogen spotlights. Without light, there is no sparkle; light brings a diamond to life.

Diamond Size and Setting

Most people naturally assume that the bigger the diamond, the more it sparkles. However, this is not the case. The sparkle will be the same for diamonds of the same cut quality. But, how a diamond is set affects the amount of light that enters and exits the diamond. A bezel setting will have less sparkle than a prong setting because light can enter and exit the diamond from the sides.

How to Keep the Diamond Sparkling

A diamond can get dirty, just like anything else. It can absorb oils from the skin and gather soot and dust. When it gets dirty, the diamond loses its sparkle. Clean your diamond jewelry regularly with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Also, have your diamond ring cleaned and routinely serviced by a professional jeweler to ensure the setting is secure and the diamond is clean and polished.

If you need to learn more about diamonds, contact us at Lesley Ann Jewels today. Our store has a wide selection of designer jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands.