Cuts That Make A Diamond Sparkle

What truly creates a diamonds heart stopping brilliance and beauty? The prismatic fire which captures first the eye, then heart? 

It may be said there is something mythical behind the appeal of a diamond, but from a technical perspective, a diamonds beauty can be distilled to three scientific points: reflection, refraction and dispersion. In turn, all of these points are defined by a diamonds make, consisting of the cut, the polish and the symmetry. 

Each individual rough diamond is bursting with potential, but its dazzle and fire must be coerced from the diamond by a cutting expert. Cutting requires a high degree of skill, as the cutter aims to optimize the stones natural brilliance. 


Reflection is the light that hits the diamonds surface and immediately bounces back, creating an instant and dazzling shine. A brilliant reflection is directly influenced by the diamonds polish. When the polish is perfect, the lustre of the stone is enhanced, creating an eye-catching shimmer across the surface. Reflection only accounts for a small portion of the brilliance a diamond exhibits, because only a fraction of the light hitting a diamond is reflected. The remaining light travels through the surface into the diamonds core. 



Refraction is the light that moves through a diamond and bounces back to the eye, generating the mesmerising sparkle that make diamonds a girl’s best friend. Diamonds are a small and complex prism like a hallway of mirrors. When light enters the top of the stone, it is bounced and bent about the interior before bursting back through the surface. 



It is the dispersion of light through a stone that generates its brilliant rainbow. Depending on where the light falls along the surface of a diamond, refraction and dispersion also create light and dark contrasts. These dark contrasts should not be considered negatively, as they magnify the intensity of light. As a candle burns brightest in a dark room, this contrast of light and dark creates the ‘fire’ at the heart of a diamonds scintillating beauty. 



The way a diamond is cut significantly affects its brilliance. If the cut is too deep or too shallow, the majority of the light won’t bounce back through the surface. Although of lesser significance, the shape of a diamond also affects how much it shines. The most popular shapes in the market today were created to give the best light performance. These cuts intensify the diamond’s brilliance by ensuring that complex angles enhance its natural properties. Only premium cut diamonds are hand selected by Linneys diamond graders. 



A diamonds polish has a lasting effect on determining its level of shine and this is often referred to as lustre. The polishing process gently removes any remaining roughness or surface blemishes and brings out the brilliance of the stone. 



One of the most crucial elements is the symmetry of the diamond. Prefect symmetry is achieved when all opposing facets are identical. Inaccurate symmetry impedes light refraction, and causes light to ‘leak’ from the stone. A stone with poor symmetry will lack life and fire, a negativity that is visible to the naked eye. 

Diamond certification often provides a symmetry grade, but this represents a symmetry performance scale. Though two different diamonds may achieve the same grade of ‘excellent’ symmetry on paper, one may sit at the top of the scale, the other may sit at the bottom, just above a grade of ‘very good’. The diamond at the peak of this grading scale will appear brighter than the one at the bottom. 

Linneys team of highly qualified diamond experts hand-pick and personally examine each diamond we choose. Only diamonds of a premium cut pass Linneys rigorous examinations, to ensure you receive the very best.  



Clarity is also an important consideration, as blemishes on the surface affect how much light can enter the diamond, while inclusions stop the light from moving freely within the stone. Fewer imperfections result in a more brilliant stone, which achieves a higher clarity grading. Linneys standard clarity range is SI2 and above, clients can select the clarity that they prefer within that range providing various price options. 



Diamonds are measured by their absence of colour, the less colour that the stone exhibits, the higher its colour grade. The impact that colour has on the beauty of the diamond is visible with the naked eye so it becomes an important value factor. 

When the diamonds are formed hundreds of kilometres under the earth’s surface, their colour occurs naturally. Within the white diamond colour scale, we see this colour as shades of yellow. The less yellow a stone exhibits, the brighter and clearer it appears to the eye, giving it a higher value. Linneys standard colour range is H – D and clients can select the colour that they prefer. 

There is an art and science behind what makes a diamond sparkle, and at Linneys our expert jewellers know exactly what is required to bring out the best qualities of each precious stone. If you’re thinking of investing in a beautiful, timeless piece of diamond jewellery in Perth or Sydney, then come into one of our three showrooms or contact us online today.




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