Diamond Fire – What You Need to Know

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Diamond fire is a term that may sound mystical to those outside of the industry. However, it is a very real phenomenon and one that needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing a diamond. Diamond fire is one of the key characteristics of cut quality and adds to the beauty of a diamond. Let’s delve right into it and see what it is all about.

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What Is Diamond Fire?

Diamond fire refers to the colorful flashes of light that a diamond will disperse under lights. It’s the result of the diamond’s prism-like ability to break white light into its separate light spectrum colors. Simply put, diamond fire is the captivating little rainbows that diamonds create when shone with white light.

Diamond fire in action
Diamond fire in action. Source.

It’s often called by its more technical name light dispersion as it accurately describes how these flashes of colorful light are formed – through the dispersion of the white light.

Most diamonds display fire, but this isn’t to say that diamond fire is something that occurs equally in all diamonds. The diamond’s cut, clarity, color, and overall quality are crucial for how much light dispersion the stone will be able to display.

How Does Diamond Cut Affect Diamond Fire

The quality of a diamond’s cut is arguably the most important factor for whether the stone will have a noticeable fire. That’s because the cut determines how exactly the light that enters the stone will be broken into it and reflected back to us.

The exact proportions and dimensions of a diamond have a direct bearing on its light performance. For example, the depth of a diamond is as crucial for the adequate dispersion of light as it is for the reflection of white light. If the diamond is too deep or too shallow both of these effects will be greatly diminished.

In fact, diamond fire is such a clear indicator of a diamond’s cut quality that the GIA Cut Grading System for brilliant diamonds has listed diamond fire as one of seven key components to rate the quality of its cut. Diamond fire, along with brightness and scintillation, describe the overall face-up appearance of the stone.

In other words, diamond fire is not just a beautiful effect that a diamond might have but is also a clear indicator of its cut’s quality.

Diamond Fire vs. Clarity

Diamond fire is an optical effect of diamonds while diamond clarity is part of the physical property of the stone that makes diamond fire possible.

ROund shape diamond with low clarity
A Low Clarity Diamond.

A diamond with low clarity will have lots of imperfections within the stone that affects its appearance and light performance. These flaws will make the passing of light through the diamond much harder which, in turn, will reduce the stone’s brilliance, scintillation, and fire, turning it into a much more unappealing one.

While the diamond fire is mostly used as an indicator of the diamond’s cut quality, it also is an indicator of its clarity.

Diamond Fire vs. Brilliance

The difference between diamond fire and diamond brilliance is that while diamond fire is the dispersal of white light into all the colors of the rainbow, brilliance refers to that same white light coming out of the diamond undispersed.

To make this clear, take a look at the video of this diamond ring. Notice how the stone has flashes of color and brilliance as it moves and is viewed from different angles.

Diamond Fire vs. Scintillation

Also referred to as sparkle, diamond scintillation is the combined effect of brilliance and fire on the stone. When the diamond moves, the scintillation is immediately noticeable. This is the sparkle that reflects off the body of the diamond and gives the stone life.

brilliant diamond engagement ring
Notice the sparkle, brilliance, and fire of this stone. See more diamonds with fire here.

Diamond Fire and Light Sources

Diamond fire is also affected by some external sources such as the quality and type of light that’s falling on the stone. For example, LED light is much more beneficial for the forming of diamond fire than fluorescent light. Fluorescent light, on the other hand, enhances a diamond’s brilliance.

That’s why most physical diamond and jewelry stores will have very specific lighting designed to accent their merchandise in the best possible way. That’s also why you should always make sure to view and inspect a stone under a few different light sources and from all angles before committing to a purchase.

If purchasing online, ensure that you view clear images of the actual diamond as well as 360-degree video of the stone. It’s also important to check out the returns policy of the retailer prior to purchase in case you aren’t satisfied with your diamond and wish to return it.

How to Maintain Diamond Fire

As diamond fire relies on light getting in, passing through, and coming back out of a diamond unobstructed, the external cleanliness of the stone is just as important as its internal clarity. To that end, it’s advisable to both protect your diamond from any external damage or contaminations, as well as to clean it as well and as safely as possible.

halo and baguette diamond ring
Keeping your diamond clean will help keep its fire alive. See this ring here.

Protecting your diamond from external damage and dirt is a simple enough task. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to clean your diamond to maintain its fire.

  • If you are cleaning it over a sink, make sure that there is a stopper inside the sink so that you don’t lose your diamond or ring.
  • Use a safe cleaning solution. There are professional diamond cleaning solutions sold in jewelry shops or you can also simply use a mild liquid soap. Whatever you use, just make sure that it’s not too strong and is safe to use on a precious stone. If the diamond is in a setting, make sure that the cleaning solution is safe for the entire piece too, and not just the stone.
  • After soaking the stone in a bowl with the cleaning solution for a couple of minutes, take it out and use a soft toothbrush to clean it of any remaining dirt.
  • Soak and rinse the stone thoroughly, after which you can dry it up with a soft towel.
  • If you are worried that all this is too risky and you might mess things up, jewelry shops typically offer jewelry cleaning surfaces at affordable prices too.

Maintaining the cleanliness of a diamond as well as its structural integrity is a vital step in maximizing its diamond fire, overall beauty, as well as its longevity.

Where to Buy High-Quality Diamonds

A diamond is a big purchase and not one to be undertaken lightly. By taking your search online, you’ll be able to access competitive prices and have a wide range of options to source from. However, it is imperative to choose a trustworthy and reliable vendor, known for the quality of their products and services. We recommend the following retailers when it comes to shopping for a diamond online:

1. James Allen

James Allen allows you to view each diamond carefully from all angles using its ground-breaking Diamond Display Technology. They also have Diamond Experts on hand to help you through the process and are among the best customer service in the business.

2. Blue Nile

Blue Nile has the largest online inventory of diamonds at competitive prices. Their massive range means that you can be sure to find a stone that meets your specifications. While they don’t yet have videos for all their diamonds, this is changing as they’re updating their diamond information on a daily basis.

3. Brian Gavin

Brian Gavin’s diamonds are famous for their cut quality and for their continuous innovation in perfecting their cut quality. Their Diamonds Collections feature some of the very best diamonds. As we’ve mentioned, cut is important for fire so you’ll be able to find some fiery diamonds here.

4. Whiteflash

Whiteflash is known for its innovative and ground-breaking cut quality. If you’re looking for a brilliant stone, you shouldn’t skip Whiteflash. Their diamonds have excellent light performance and are among the very best diamonds in the world.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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