There are several unique qualities that make diamond the King of Gems. Diamonds are rare and they are the extremely hard and durable. But it is their potential for extraordinary light performance that makes them so beautiful and desirable.
Cut quality and craftsmanship are the biggest factors in determining the light handling capabilities of diamonds in the middle to upper range of the color and clarity scales. Exceptionally well-cut diamonds such as Ideal Diamonds
refract and reflect the majority of light that enters them, returning that light to the eye of the viewer in sparkles and beams of spectral color.
Diamond Brightness is one of the key factors in light performance. This factor is also referred to as brilliance. Diamonds look brighter if a high percentage of the light coming directly from the source is refracted and returned to the eye. When a diamond looks brighter it also tends to look bigger. In addition, when a diamond looks brighter it also looks whiter which is yet another reason ideal cut diamonds are worth a premium.
A diamond’s “fire” is another major contributor to its beauty. Fire results from the prismatic effect of refraction as white light is split into its spectral components of yellow, red, blue, and green. Diamonds can possess good brightness without good fire and vice versa. Ideal cut diamonds have the optimal balance of both. Diamond brightness is the most obvious characteristic in light performance. Fire is more subtle and is more pronounced and easily observed in certain types of light than in others. Diffuse fluorescent light, such as that commonly found in office buildings and sunlight on a cloudy day, will suppress fire whereas candle light and rooms with multiple incandescent lights will tend to accentuate it.
The overall shape of the diamond effects brightness as well. There is no shape that if cut properly will produce a brighter diamond than the classic round brilliant shape. Since its earliest development the classic round diamond has been the standard that all other diamonds are measured by. While modern technology and the scientific understanding of cut quality and diamond light performance has enabled the development of a wide range of beautiful diamond shapes, there is a reason why the round brilliant outsells them all.
When considering diamonds it is important to focus on light performance. All diamonds are hard and all diamonds are rare, but only diamonds with great fire and brilliance really deliver the mesmerizing beauty that has captivated man (and especially women!) through the ages.