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engagement rings

How Light Affects a Diamond’s Appearance | GIA 4Cs Blog

“Shine bright like a diamond,” is a phrase that can be understood in a variety of ways, depending on the diamond light source. In fact, there’s often a noticeable change in how a diamond appears in sunlight, in candlelight, and under artificial light. This change proves the importance of understanding how light affects a diamond’s appearance.

It All Begins with Diamond Cut

Diamond cut is often confused with shape, but they are very different. Diamond shape refers to the general silhouette or outline of the stone; diamond cut refers to its facet arrangement. Of the 4Cs of diamond quality (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight), cut is the most complex and technically difficult  “C” to assess. The proportions, facet arrangement and finish (quality of polish and quality of symmetry) constitute what we call cut. These define the diamond’s ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely — proving the quality of cut is crucial to a diamond’s final beauty and value.

A diamond’s facet arrangement is key to understanding how your diamond interacts with light and its surrounding environment. Think of your diamond’s facets as a complex series of mirrors reflecting the environment. A round brilliant colorless diamond has an astounding 58 facets or “mirrors” that show the reflection of its surroundings, including you.

Loose-diamonds-showing-fire

Every time the diamond moves, or if you move past the diamond, you see a mesmerizing display of glinting lights and colors, as light reflects on the facets and the facets reflect light on each other. This symphony of reflected light is made up of brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the pattern of light and dark areas and the flashes of light or sparkle when a diamond is moved).

Try it for yourself:  See how the diamond changes its look depending on how far or close you hold it from your gaze.  It will also respond differently to a diffused lighting environment – for example, fluorescent light bounced off of a white ceiling. Or to an environment with a dark ceiling and spot lighting only.  And its look will even be influenced by the color and lightness or darkness of the clothing you wear.

As you shop for diamonds pay close attention to a diamond’s interplay with light and your personal preference for the pattern of light and dark areas caused by the reflections within the diamond. Ask your jeweler to show you diamonds under different lighting conditions so you can compare looks between store lighting and daylight or incandescent light.

diamond-cut-example

Consider the lighting conditions you’ll wear the diamond most, and ask to view the diamond under those conditions.  For example, if you work in an office under fluorescent lighting, ask to see diamonds under fluorescent lights until you find that one diamond whose sparkle and brilliance seems to speak just to you.

And once you’ve purchased your diamond, remember that facets are like mirrors and mirrors work best when they’re clean. So to maximize your diamond’s play with light, make sure to keep it clean by following these simple diamond cleaning tips.

It’s captivating to see how a diamond’s appearance can change in relation to its surroundings. Seize the opportunity to find out which kind of light complements your diamond best by exploring different environments.

Diamond cut quality and the surrounding environment play a significant role in how light interacts with the faceted stone. What scenery do you think maximizes your diamond’s brilliance?

To enjoy another gemstone’s reaction to light, you might also like alexandrite’s color change. Check it out in Phenomenal Gems.

Main image photo by Robert Weldon/GIA

Source: How Light Affects a Diamond’s Appearance | GIA 4Cs Blog

Engaging Facts

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From Brides Magazine

 

Ever wonder what the most popular month is for engagements? Curious about how many brides were actually surprised when the question was popped? Click through to get the scoop on how many men would actually don an engagement ring and more!

1)      The most popular month to become engaged is December. Will your Christmas be brilliant?

2)      61 percent of guys consult with their girlfriend before buying the ring.

3)      27 percent of brides call their best friend first after the proposal.

4)      Cost of the average engagement ring: $5,229 dollars

5)      Percentage of brides who change their Facebook status soon after they get engaged: 75 percent.

6)      Approximately 2,000 couples get engaged every year at Disney World.

7)      29 percent of men would wear an engagement ring.

8)      The average length of engagements: 14.7 months.

9)      75-100 couples take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty every year to propose.

10)  Percentage of couples who take engagement photos: 69 percent.

11)  7 percent of our Facebook readers dated for 3 months before they got engaged.

12)  62 proposals were made on the Jumbotron at Fenway Park in Boston in 2011.

13)  37 percent of brides were completely surprised by the proposal.

14)  46 percent of couples announce their engagement via Facebook.

Rings Across the USA

Each part of the USA has a favorite ring design. These are the most popular designs by city.

 

Chicago

CHICAGO

Chicago sticks with the classics. Colorless diamonds, usually round- or princess, and a clean-lined band. Channel set side stones are extremely popular in the Midwest.

 

DC

WASHINGTON, DC

Engagement ring shoppers in our nation’s capital are more conservative with their choices, and lean toward colorless round diamonds.

NY

NEW YORK

Brides focus on one big high quality diamond. Often placed in a simpler setting. Seeing as the middle stone is the priciest part of the ring, that means that New Yorkers shell out big bucks for their engagement rings.

Dallas

DALLAS

You guessed it. They like them big in Texas. Dallas ranks 3rd in highest amounts spent on engagement rings. Many shoppers have decorative bands with small accent diamonds.

LA

LOS ANGELES

L.A. residents are not afraid of gong to flashy. L.A. residents purchase fancier, more decorative rings such as double halos. Cushion cuts are very hot.

Miami

MIAMI

Miamians are big fans of pavé. Using many smaller diamonds is a less expensive way to get lots of flash for less cash.