A diamond’s most magnificent feature is its sparkle. A rough or raw diamond has little to no sparkle to speak of, which is why it is cut and polished to enhance that particular feature. Whether in a loose diamond or a mounted one, you get the most beauty out of the specific ways in which natural light is let in and reflected back out.
Understanding a Diamond’s Sparkle from Brilliance
Most people use the terms ‘sparkle’ and ‘brilliance’ interchangeably, which is wrong from the technical perspective. The shine of a diamond is what occurs when the stone moves under a source of light. The light that is not reflected back enters the stone, and then bounces from one facet to another, and at last toward the center. This light is referred to as scintillation. Brilliance is different in that it refers to the full amount of light reflected by the stone in question.
Why do Some Diamonds Sparkle More?
Aside from their unique crystal structure, a diamond sparkles owing to its facets. A diamond’s facets refer to the flat “faces” that are cut into the stone’s surface. They act like mirrors bouncing the light to form that twinkle which so distinctively defines diamonds as we know them. Some have perfect facets that send back very bright and white light, and these are small as well as numerous. Other facets are fewer, bigger, and effectively more like prisms which split the light into various colors.
In general, the more facets you have in a diamond, the more the stone would sparkle. While all loose diamonds sparkle, some shapes exude the flashes of light in a better way than others do. Many cuts were originally designed to optimize this exceptional property of the stone, which wearers value highly.
Shapes with the Most Sparkle
Brilliant cut diamonds have the most facets, and therefore, the most sparkle as well. Of brilliant diamond stones, the most popular one is the round brilliant. With more than 55 facets, the classic diamond shape grabs the light in a better way than others do. Engineered for this particular purpose, modern round brilliant diamonds exhibit the most sparkle possible, and adding more facets does not really improve brilliance. Other diamonds cut into these shapes with a similar brilliant design comprise the radiant, oval and marquise cuts.
Other Factors Affecting a Diamond’s Sparkle
The number of diamond facets is a major factor, but not the only one when it comes to the effects on sparkle. Cut quality and distribution of diamond facets too can affect brilliance. The beauty of a stone would be diminished when its facets are poorly shaped. It is their even distribution, coupled with well-proportioned measurements, that ensures there is no dark area in the stone, and also that light is reflected all the way through it. So how does a customer make sure their diamond has these qualities? If this is you, then ask about the cut grade of the stone, and ask to review its certification. Certified round brilliant cut diamonds come with a grade that lays down the quality of cut.
A ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ cut grade means the stone has little to no dark area, and that means it has lots of sparkle. However, a diamond with ‘good’ cut grade would have more such areas inside. Even with the round brilliant cut, the quality would almost definitely affect the stone’s sparkle. You should avoid all the ones with a ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ cut grade, or essentially risk getting a dull stone.
Other diamond shapes do not get overall cut grades, so look for “very good” or “excellent” ratings in the “Symmetry” and “Polish” categories. These are two factors that reflect the quality of both the cut and facets of a diamond. Of course, there are many popular diamond rings out there, but you have to look into these factors as well to make the most out of a purchase.
Enhancing a Diamond’s Sparkle
After buying a stone with the best shape to deliver the kind of brilliance you want, the next step is to find a way of showing it off to great effect. For buyers who stick to the popular ring styles and prefer superior shine in these, it is best to ask for a setting that allows light to enter it deeply.
There are many popular diamond rings settings, but not all of them let in the light equally well. While the bezel setting is clean and modern, it covers most of the stone’s surface area. For true sparkle, you would need to select a solitaire claw setting.
While the six-prong setting mimics a classic style, four claws show more of the stone. One more way to get more brilliance is to choose a setting such as the halo, which has even more diamonds set around the center stone. The numerous small stones would reflect light into the centerpiece stone, enhancing its sparkle.
Finally, choose a white metal to maximize the brilliance of your engagement ring’s diamond. This acts as a mirror of sorts, sending more light through the stone and boosting sparkle even further.