Which Diamond Cut Sparkles the Most?
Along with the rarity and status they bring, there are two key attributes that make diamonds so highly regarded: fire and sparkle.
The fire of a diamond is when white light disperses as it hits the facets and produces a wonderful display of colored, rainbow-esque lights.
The sparkle of a diamond is the reflection of light, which produces a disco ball-style display and produces that signature diamond twinkle (aka sparkle) effect.
Both the sparkle and the fire come together to produce the sort of display that is widely sought after. But which diamond cut sparkles the most? And what is the best cut of diamond to ensure you get the sparkle you’re looking for?
What diamond shape sparkles the most?
Certain diamond cuts do offer more sparkle than others. Often, diamond cuts with more facets have the most sparkle, but more isn’t necessarily better. In fact, the ideal number of facets on a diamond is 58.
Below, we’ll take a look at which cuts produce that fantastical effect you’re looking for in a diamond.
Round brilliant cut
The classic round brilliant cut without a doubt produces the best sparkle. The facet pattern, which is made of 58 facets, ensures light can pass through it in such a way that it creates the perfect sparkle. A round-cut diamond has the quintessential diamond shape and is certainly one of the most popular choices on the market.
Engineer Marcel Tolkowsky created a formula for the round brilliant cut in 1919 when writing the thesis for his PhD. It was from this formula that the round-cut brilliant diamond was created, the diamond with the greatest sparkle.
When it comes to choosing your diamonds, if maximum sparkle is important to you then an Ideal/Excellent Cut round-cut diamond is what you’ll want to go for. Brilliant round-cut diamonds are usually more expensive than other cuts, because while other cuts do offer incredible sparkle, they don’t quite match up to what’s produced by this classic.
While cushion-cut diamonds don’t offer the same sparkle as a round brilliant cut, its cushion-like shape is still highly effective at producing a high level of sparkle. Also cushion cut diamonds offer a greater fire, so do produce their own fantastic display.
A princess cut is generally square in shape, but can sometimes be more rectangular. However, as with round-cut diamonds, princess cuts also have 58 facets, so offer you a high level of sparkle.
Emerald-cut diamonds tend to have a larger surface area and are long and usually rectangular in shape. They have step cuts and straight linear facets that run parallel down the center of the stone. The sparkle is more subtle, offering flashes of light rather than the sparkle produced by other cuts.
The radiant cut is similar to both the round and emerald cuts, but with 70 facets. While the sparkle isn’t as intense as the round cut, there’s plenty of chance for it to reflect light and put on a great show.
Oval-cut diamonds are (of course) oval in shape, and the 56 facets are in a similar pattern to that in round-cut diamonds.
Pear-cut diamonds have 58 facets, and as the name suggests, they’re shaped like a pear. Pear cuts don’t offer the same level of sparkle as other cuts, but make up for it with their unique shape.
Heart Shape (cut)
Similar to round-cut diamonds, but in the shape of a heart. They will typically have 56 or 58 facets, and the sparkle rivals that of a round-cut diamond, while not quite reaching those heights.
Marquise-cut diamonds have a distinct longer, narrower shape. They have 56 facets, so offer a high level of sparkle.
Asscher-cut diamonds are octagonal in shape (though often appear square) with large step facets. They don’t offer the same level of sparkle as other cuts, but have a striking and bold appearance.
What makes a diamond sparkle: color or clarity?
A diamond’s sparkle is produced by light reflections. The more opportunity the diamond has to do this, the higher the level of sparkle the diamond will produce.
To give a diamond the best opportunity at producing sparkle, facets are cut into the diamond. This means there are more angles and opportunities for light to hit the stone and bounce off the surface. This is similar to a disco ball: if it was one smooth, reflective ball, light would only bounce off in one direction. However, with hundreds of facets, each different from the one next to it, light bounces off in all different directions.
This is very similar to how the sparkle of a diamond works, just on a much smaller (and more luxurious) scale.
This is known as “brilliance”. Brilliance is the diamond’s ability to reflect light – specifically white light. The more the diamond reflects, the more brilliant it is. It’s this brilliance that creates the sparkle.
Which diamond clarity is best?
The clarity of a diamond is the grade of a diamond’s rarity and purity. Flawless diamonds are quite rare, and as a result are graded the highest. Therefore, flawless diamonds will also be the most expensive. The fewer inclusions and blemishes a diamond has, the better it will reflect light. This means the higher the clarity, the better the sparkle.
What color diamond sparkles the most?
Color also has a big impact on the sparkle produced by a diamond. Because diamonds reflect white light, colorless diamonds produce the best sparkle and fire.
In fact, the more color a diamond has, the less likely it is to reflect white light. And as a result, will produce less sparkle.
A D-color diamond is the highest quality, and will offer the greatest sparkle. Following this are E and F ratings, which still offer a high quality sparkle.
Once you reach I or J ratings, there will be minute traces of color that will start to affect the sparkle. Finally, K, L and M-rated diamonds will have a yellow appearance, and this will have a more noticeable effect on the sparkle the diamond produces.
For more information check out our guide to diamond education and engagement rings.
Looking for the perfect diamond ring?
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