Do Real Diamonds Sparkle in the Light?
Diamonds are forever, as they say. Hence, we ought to ensure that the diamonds we purchase are high quality and very attractive. This begs the question: What makes a diamond attractive? Most people envision diamonds as stones that sparkle intensely when exposed to light—who doesn’t notice diamond bracelet designs that emit mesmerising colours? However, there are diamond imitations like cubic zirconia that are nearly as visually pleasing but far from the real deal.
This article will explain what gives a diamond its sparkle, how a genuine diamond interacts with light, and how to tell if a diamond is real or fake based on its sparkle.
What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?
The word sparkle is used quite casually but is, in fact, composed of several factors determined by the cut quality of a diamond. Gemologists break down the sparkling effect of a diamond into fire, brilliance, and scintillation.
When white light passes through a diamond, the spectrum of colours it emits is called fire. Brilliance results from light entering the stone and bouncing off one of its internal surfaces or facets. Lastly, scintillation occurs when light interacts with a diamond in motion, creating a flickering effect.
How Do Real Diamonds Sparkle?
Genuine diamonds possess a high refractive index. Aside from its cut, the properties within a diamond refract light beautifully. The diamond’s special structure of carbon atoms is what creates its extraordinarily high refractive index (2.4 RI).
It is worth noting that real diamonds do not sparkle in rainbow colours within the stone–they only emit rainbow colours when direct light enters and exits the stone, producing fire. The inside of real diamonds sparkles in tones of white and grey.
How to Identify Fake Diamonds Based on Sparkle
If you’re wondering if diamonds are a good gift, it’s important to know the difference between fake and genuine diamonds. Remember that a stone’s sparkle is a result of its interaction with light—this is true for both genuine diamonds and imitations. However, diamond substitutes like cubic zirconia and moissanite only imitate the brilliance of a real diamond. Some people prefer bright, multicolor sparkles and don’t care if they originate from a fake diamond.
When you place diamonds under direct light, they emit both rainbow colours and white light; if you can only observe one of the two, what you’re holding is probably a fake. Furthermore, because of extreme brilliance, to the untrained eye diamond substitutes can be alluring. Cubic zirconia can appear very bright and emit rainbow colours, but the brilliance of genuine diamonds is much more subtle.
Because of a diamond’s cut quality and its special arrangement of carbon atoms, real diamonds sparkle when exposed to light—an effect composed of fire, brilliance, and scintillation. Real diamonds give off a subtle sparkle and do not display rainbow hues from within.
If you’re unsure about which article of jewellery to start with, consider a diamond tennis bracelet–click here to find out if tennis bracelets hold their value.