Diamonds are a mystery, unless you are a gemologist or have been in the diamond industry and understand how the proportions, the cut, the girdle, the color and all other minute details affect the reason why diamonds present like optical illusions. But, most of us aren’t a gemologist or have been in the diamond industry and don’t understand all of those things, and I could bore you with all the minutia, but you would not only either be asleep very quickly or have your eyes glazed over, you would definitely be clicking off this site!
There are plenty of websites that will tell you all about proportion and facets, but I believe in speaking to you so that you can understand in layman’s terms what makes a diamond look the way that it does.
Diamonds aren’t really optical illusions, but they do have optical attributes, in that they reflect light and light shines through them and shoots out all different colors of the rainbow and white flashes. This is no accident either. Diamond cutters work very hard to create these optical effects, and they have to have the right proportions for the right amount of light to bounce around inside the diamond and bounce out of the diamond to get just the right amount of sparkle and shine for a beautiful stone.
The first optical illusion is the brightness or brilliance that the diamond has. This is the effect of white light that is reflected both inside and outside of the diamond. Imagine a hall of mirrors with lights that are pointing in just the right direction and those lights are bouncing off each mirror. This would be the brightness that is inside the diamond. If you move one mirror, the brightness dims. It works the same way with a diamond. If one cut or facet is off, the brightness is dimmed too.
The fire is the rainbow of colors that you see inside your diamond when the light hits it in just a certain way. If you take your stone and you move it around in the light, you can usually see pink, yellow, green, purple and blue light that is flashing inside the stone where the light is hitting it. Fire is easier to see when the stones are bigger than .5 carat, so if you do have a smaller stone, don’t feel bad if you can’t see those colors very well. When the crown facet area around the table, which is the part that surrounds the flat part of the top of your stone, is larger than the table there will be more fire in the stone.
Have you ever noticed that when you move your diamond will sparkle with spots of light that flash? It should, and those sparkles should be even and balanced. Also, when you look at your stone, there should be a pattern of light and dark areas from the internal and external reflections. Both of these things, the sparkle and the patterns together are called scintillations. When they are all in sync, there should be a crisp clean sharp look to your diamond.
Shine Bright Like A Diamond
When you go diamond shopping, keep these optical illusions in mind. Color and clarity are factors when you are buying a diamond, but when it comes down to it, people are going to really notice how bright that diamond shines.