What Is Diamond Brilliance?

When a diamond is mined from within the earth, its iconic sparkle will only be revealed after being cut and shaped by an expert diamond cutter. The finished result will be layered with distinct facets that bounce and reflect light, dazzling the viewer with its shining beauty. When you hear the term "diamond brilliance," it refers specifically to the optical properties of white light reflecting off the gem.

How Does Your Diamond Cut Affect Diamond Brilliance?

Truly grasping the definition of diamond brilliance relies on a knowledge of how white light passes through and is thrown back by a diamond's facets. An exquisitely designed diamond will feature cuts that are perfectly angled to create maximum light refraction. If a diamond is cut with facets that are too shallow or too deep, it will appear significantly less bright. Diamond cuts that exhibit the highest possible brilliance include:

  • Round Brilliant Cut
  • Princess Cut
  • Radiant Cut
  • Cushion Cut

Brilliance vs. Fire vs. Scintillation

Brightness is not the only factor that plays into a diamond's sparkle. Breaking down diamond brilliance further requires an understanding of fire and scintillation. Becoming familiar with these terms will help you recognize which diamonds exhibit the most brilliance.

  • Fire is what creates the multi-colored flashes of light reflected from within a gemstone. A diamond acts like a prism, and depending on its cut, can refract white light into a rainbow of colors.
  • Scintillation is another aspect of brilliance that relies on motion to produce sparkle. Movement helps our eyes better pick up the light and dark patterns within a diamond cut, almost like a kaleidoscope.

How To Choose The Perfect Stone

When you're on the hunt for your dream diamond, choosing a stone with high brilliance may be one of your goals. Now that you can speak confidently about brilliance, fire and scintillation, be sure to seek out these optical effects in action. Ultimately, your decision to purchase a diamond should include careful consideration of every aspect of the diamond. This means taking your time to weigh your options for carat and color as well as cut and clarity. Marci Jewelry in Bellevue, Washington has a team of experts eager to assist you in the entire diamond buying process. To book an appointment, learn more about brilliance, or to ask us a question, contact us today!