What makes diamond shine and sparkle?

Diamond is the star of jewellery. Being hardest substance it shines and sparkle. It has three dimensional arrangement of carbon atoms linked together by strong covalent bonds. In this article we will discuss why diamond shine and sparkle. Which property makes it shiny etc.
Created On: Oct 9, 2017 14:03 IST
Modified On: Oct 10, 2017 12:00 IST
Why diamond shine and sparkle
Why diamond shine and sparkle

Diamond is an allotrope of carbon, transparent and is one of the hardest materials known. It is crystalline in nature and has three dimensional arrangement of carbon atoms linked together by strong covalent bonds. But what makes these small rocks shine. This article deals with how diamonds shine. What makes them sparkle?

With the help of three phenomena’s diamonds get their brilliance namely total internal reflection, refraction and dispersion. But the question arises what they are, how they work and makes diamond shiny.
Reflection is when light hits the surface and return back gives an instant shine.  Only a portion of the light hitting a diamond is reflected; the rest travels through it.
As, we know that any transparent material has a refractive index and have a critical angle where light totally reflects internally on the surface. Because of this diamonds are cut accordingly with exact angles. After cutting diamond with the techniques it reflects light so that it appears to be shining.

What is Reflection of Light
The movement of the light through a diamond, sometimes scattered and fractured, creating diamonds to sparkle. This is nothing but because of refraction. It can be explained as follows: We know diamonds are tiny, complicated prisms in which light enters through the top and cut at an angle from inside and from the top through the surface. This creates a rainbow effect or dispersion and also makes shiny. Depending where the light hits the planes of the diamond, refraction and dispersion occur, creating natural light and some dark areas.

Shining in diamonds depends upon
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Do you know these dark areas add brilliance to the diamond or create magic? As, dark magnifies the intensity of light in the similar way as the flame of the candle appears brighter in a dark room than in the lighted room. Another important feature is the cut of the diamond. If the shape is too deep or too shallow, much of the light will get lost, never bounce back as it suppose to be. The angle for the refraction would let the light slip out of the diamond. So, we can say up to an extent shape of the diamond also determines shine. These cuts only enhance the brilliance of the diamond.

Refraction of Light
With the cuts in the diamond it is also important to maintain the symmetry, so that the optimum amount of shine remains in it. The shape of the diamond should remain even from all the ends and with all the facets. If the symmetry is not proper than the amount of light will not refract properly.
On the other hand clarity of the diamond also matters which affects the shining property of the diamond. Blemishes on the surface of the diamond limit the amount of light that can enter the diamond. Inclusions prevent the light from moving freely within the gem. If the imperfections will be less than diamond will be more brilliant or vice versa.
Last but not the least is if the diamond is cut and shaped properly, then we should check that it should be properly polished also. Polishing has a lasting effect on the brilliance of diamond. If any residue or some exterior imperfections left are removed due to polishing and makes diamond perfectly shining and sparkling.
So now we understood what makes diamond shiny and sparkling. It is the most beautiful gem in the jewellery. Intense light, cutting, polishing make it more brilliant.

Refraction of light through a glass prism

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