What Diamond Shape Sparkles the Most? | The Diamond Reserve

What Diamond Shape Sparkles the Most?

A rough diamond might be a beautiful gemstone, but it lacks the captivating sparkle we associate with these precious stones. A skilled diamond cutter meticulously transforms the rough stone into a masterpiece of light manipulation, maximizing its brilliance and fire. While every stone will shine in certain lighting, specific diamond cuts, or shapes have more noticeable sparkle than others. When it comes to pure sparkle, the round brilliant diamond cut reigns supreme.

All That Glitters: the Science Behind a Diamond’s Sparkle

A diamond’s cut is probably the most important of the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color, carat) and shouldn’t be confused with the shape of a stone. Cut refers to how well a diamond’s facets interact with light which results in its level of sparkle. A stone’s facets are measured to examine brightness (internal and external white light reflection), fire (the scattering of white light into the colors of the rainbow) and scintillation (the amount of sparkle a diamond produces).

When light enters a well-cut diamond, it embarks on a dazzling journey:

  • Refraction: Light bends as it enters the diamond due to its unique density and this bending directs the light rays towards the bottom facets of the diamond.
  • Total Internal Reflection (TIR): If the angle of the light hitting the facet is steep enough, it undergoes Total Internal Reflection. This phenomenon traps the light inside the diamond, preventing it from escaping directly back out.
  • Light Play: The trapped light bounces around within the diamond, interacting with the various facets. This creates the dazzling sparkle and fire we see.
  • Brilliance: The overall brightness and intensity of the reflected light determines the diamond’s brilliance. A well-cut diamond will return most of the incoming light to the observer’s eye, resulting in a breathtaking display of brilliance.
  • Fire: As the light bounces within the diamond, it separates into the colors of the rainbow, a phenomenon known as fire. This adds an extra layer of visual intrigue to the sparkle.

A diamond’s cut is different from its shape. The shape of a stone refers to the general silhouette of it when viewed face up. Some of the most common are round, princess, oval and pear.  Diamonds are cut into shapes with numerous facets, each acting like a mirror reflecting light from one part of the diamond to another. The more facets a stone has been cut with, the more brilliant and sparkly it will be. If you choose a cut with less facets, then other characteristics of the stone like clarity and color will be more important. 

What Diamond Cut Has the Most Sparkle?

Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, each boasting unique characteristics and beauty. The round brilliant cut is a marvel of engineering, meticulously designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance. Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when Marcel Tolkowsky, a mathematician and diamond cutter, published his groundbreaking research on light performance in diamonds. His calculations established the ideal proportions and facet arrangement for a diamond cut to achieve the most brilliance and fire.

While the round brilliant is the sparkliest diamond cut, other diamond cuts offer unique aesthetics and appeal:

  • An oval is a modified version of the round cut giving you a similar sparkle with a shape that elongates fingers and can give the illusion of a larger stone. 
  • A princess is known for its geometric elegance, fire and brilliance, but doesn’t quite match the round cut.
  • Pear cuts are brilliant, elongate fingers and make light dance similar to round cut diamonds.
  • A cushion cut is very good at reflecting light, giving it a high level of brilliance and fire. 
  • The radiant cut was developed to combine the best aspects of round and emerald cuts, giving it an ability to reflect light and create a beautiful sparkle.
  • The marquise has a similar pattern to the round cut, giving it excellent brilliance. 
  • An emerald cut exudes a vintage charm with a distinctive hall-of-mirrors effect, but with a more subdued sparkle.

For extra diamond sparkle you’ll need to also consider the setting. A halo setting features a loop of smaller diamonds that surround the center stone, boosting the perceived size of the center diamond and giving the ring extra presence. Pavé settings use a line of small diamonds that wrap around the band, adding a tasteful amount of extra sparkle to complement the center stone. 

If you need help finding the perfect brilliant diamond or creating a custom ring, give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment.