One of diamond’s most outstanding features is its ability to sparkle—sometimes catching the eye completely across the room. But consumers are often surprised to learn that diamonds in their natural state, called rough or crystals don’t sparkle at all.
While diamonds have the most impressive potential to sparkle dramatically, its only when they are expertly cut and polished that they’ll soar to their highest level of brilliance. Some people refer to it as a diamond’s shine—but the diamond is actually not emitting shining light, it is reflecting light from exterior sources back to the viewer’s eye.
Diamonds Sparkle More than Other Stones
Diamond is the hardest gemstone known to man. Its next hardest material is corundum, the species that produces both ruby and sapphire. But diamond rates a solid 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond.
The Cut Affects a Diamond’s Brilliance
We know a diamond’s potential to sparkle, but does cutting have anything to do with it actually giving off that scintillating light show we adore? Experts say yes.
Using a round brilliant diamond shape—which incidentally is the most popular diamond shape—we learn that there are 57 or 58 individual facets (the flat polished surfaces) in a symmetrical pattern to create that dazzling cut. Terms like fire, scintillation, shine (not actually what happens as we previously stated) and brilliance are all applied to well cut diamonds. The more precisely the diamond is cut with proper angles and immaculately finished polish on each facet, the better job it does in reflecting the light back to the viewer.
Think of each facet as a superb light handler. In diamonds, the goal is to return the most light that entered the stone back to the eye. The way to achieve this is two-fold really. Look for diamonds that have very little natural inclusions (or flaws) as these interrupt the light return somewhat. Secondly, ask your diamond professional about the polish grade of the stone you are interested in. Today, consumers are a savvy bunch. They ---like you, want to know how expertly the diamond has been polished to achieve its optimum light performance—or sparkle.
Look For a High Quality Cut Grade
There are several grades that indicate the level of polish achieved by the cutter. One of the best grades you may discover is called “Ideal Cut” on a diamond. Other grading systems may refer to “Excellent” as their top cut grade. No matter where you are buying your diamond, clear communication with your vendor is key to understanding what quality of diamond you are selecting.
Cut Versus Shape
Here’s a point not to neglect. When we say ‘cut’ in reference to a diamond, let’s be clear. Cut refers to the properties of the stone’s polish, not the shape of the diamond. The reason for this confusion is because we hear phrases like pear cut or round cut when expressing the shape of a diamond. But cut is a more nuanced quality that evaluates the level of expert skill applied to that diamond for its famous twinkling.
The cut quality takes into consideration the symmetry of the stone’s shape, the angles of each facet, to the next one, and of course the finish work on each facet. These all work together to impact the quality of the diamond’s beauty—and its sparkle.
Ask before you buy. To help train your eye, why not ask for two more stones of equal size and clarity but with differing cut grades. You be the judge. The difference in cut grades may be subtle, and only you can judge what is acceptable and beautiful enough to purchase.
Once you have acclimated yourself with the cut quality parameter and are comfortable engaging in a conversation with your diamond professional about the cut grade you can choose the best diamond for you. Retailers often remark that all things being equal, after shoppers have looked at many diamonds, one will speak to them. And it’s true, looking at so many diamonds eventually narrows down the field for shoppers—and they’ll find one that is calling their name—this is the ideal stone for you.
Keeping the Sparkle at Home
Moving on, it’s worth learning how to keep your diamond sparkling new looking once you’ve made the purchase and start wearing it. Be assured those diamonds, which are the hardest natural material on earth keep looking spectacular and shiny years from now. It’s the nature of this durable material. But diamonds attract grease and grime through normal every day wear. And that is what can dull the splendor of your diamond ring. So here are some helpful tips to make sure your cherished diamond stays as dazzling as the day you first put it on your finger.
It’s interesting to note that the nature of diamond’s material, which is carbon naturally acts like a magnet for all kinds of grime and debris, especially if it is of a semi-oily material. Fortunately there are several ways to keep your diamond looking its best at home.
Choose Your Cleaning Method
Aside from prepared diamond ring cleaning solutions you can easily buy, there are handy ultrasonic cleaning kits available just about anywhere jewelry is sold. Don’t have those tools? No problem.
Let’s Clean our Diamond
With things you already have on hand at home you can set up a cleaning station that will usually do the trick. Simply gather a couple of small clean cloths—at least one lint-free cloth will be most helpful. Next get a soft baby’s toothbrush and two small bowls. Put warm tap water in one and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. In the second bowl, add hot tap water.
Using the brush examine all areas, paying special attention to the underside of the mounting where debris easily accumulates. Lay the ring in the bowl with dishwashing liquid an allow it to soak for several minutes. This loosens any dirt and allows removal much quicker. After a bit of a soak, use the brush to get in all the nooks and crannies of your diamond ring setting. You may want to look at it after you’ve given it a little scrub—and go back in again to make sure you’ve fully cleaned your diamond ring. When you like the way it looks, place the ring in the water bowl for a few minutes to make sure you’ve removed all traces of the cleaning solution.
Placing one clean cloth on the table—use the second clean cloth to thoroughly dry your ring. Allow it to completely dry in the hard to reach areas on the clean cloth for a while. Now you’re ready to enjoy compliments and admiring glances from friends again who’ll love seeing your special ring.
Have a professional Examine your Diamond
Twice a year, it’s a good idea to bring your ring to a local jeweler to be inspected and placed in their professional cleaning devices. The machines in a jeweler’s store are certainly more potent than those we have at home. That’s good. But also, the jeweler has an opportunity to look over your ring to check for any prongs or other areas that may cause your diamond to be loose in its setting. Prevention is better than repair isn’t it? By doing this regularly, you ensure your precious diamond jewelry will keep the stones securely, so you can expect a life time of enjoyment from cherished diamond.