How a Diamond Shines

There’s More to a Diamond Than Sparkle.

How a diamond shinesOne of the greatest draws of a diamond is how it catches light. A well-made diamond ring glitters as the wearer’s hand moves. They also add a brilliant touch to engagement rings and other bands. The way a diamond reflects light is complex, with different words for varying types of shine. Knowing what type of sparkle you like can help you find the perfect ring.

Luster is the reflection of light off the surface of a ring. Diamonds have a powerful sheen scientists call adamantine. Polish helps to draw out a diamond’s luster, which in turn can underscore other forms of brightness in the jewel. Some diamond cuts, such as the Asscher or baguette, place a greater focus on luster than other types of light.

White light that enters and exits a diamond is known as brilliance. As the name suggests, brilliant cut diamonds are named for this type of glitter. Diamond cutters have spent centuries aiming to unlock greater amounts of brilliance from the jewel. Today’s wearers can enjoy round brilliant and cushion cut engagement rings with more shine than those of the past.

Fire occurs when white light separates into the colors of the rainbow. The wearer sees fire as flecks of hue among the facets. Display cases may include spotlighting to better bring out the fire of the diamond engagement rings inside. Brilliant and mixed cut diamonds are best known for including fire with brilliance.

Scintillation is the play of shadows and light in a diamond. To see scintillation in action, gently tilt a diamond ring back and forth. The pattern of light and dark should change as the diamond moves. The reflections should be small patches evenly placed throughout the jewel.

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