The defining feature of a diamond is its sparkle. It instantly signals to your fiancé-to-be that you are wearing something that is truly unique and special. In fact, these precious stones are famous for their sparkle, or brilliance. While every diamond has a unique sparkle in certain lighting conditions, there are certain cuts or shapes that are more likely to have a very noticeable sparkle over others.
So, let us attempt to explain which diamond cuts sparkle the most. While technically round diamonds will have the most sparkle, other factors can make a diamond shine. You might also enjoy some expert advice on how to choose your stone that reflects as much light as possible, producing the most impressive sparkle, brilliance, and fire.
What accounts for a sparkle?
A diamond’s ability to take in the light will dictate its sparkle. The more light that it reflects upon taking it in, the more light will be reflected from the facets of the diamond. Ultimately, this tends to lead to a more fiery and sparkly look. To do this, diamonds are cut into shapes made up of numerous facets. Each facet acts similarly to a mirror, reflecting light from one part of the stone to another, then bouncing it back out of the diamond to create a beautiful sparkle.
It is important to understand what “sparkle” means in this sense of the word. Since a well-cut stone can reflect different types of light, we refer to this ability to reflect that light as “brilliance” and “fire.”
Brilliance refers to a diamond’s ability to reflect white light. The more white light a diamond can reflect off its table to your eyes, the more brilliant it is. This is the factor that makes a diamond sparkle and looks particularly impressive and beautiful. Fire refers to the ability to disperse colored light. A diamond with great fire might give off a colored reflection, giving it a unique character and beauty. Fire can take the form of any of the spectral colors, from red to orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
In nearly all cases, diamonds with more facets are more brilliant than cuts that have fewer facets.
Which diamond cuts sparkle the most?
Round Brilliant Cut
The most brilliant, or sparkliest, diamond cut is the round brilliant cut. Round brilliant stones are cut to have 58 facets (including the culet), allowing light to enter the diamond and reflect off of every facet to create a beautiful sparkle. On the technical side of things, the round brilliant was actually designed and engineered specifically to have the strongest possible sparkle.
In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky, an engineer and diamond cutter, published a new mathematical formula for achieving optimal diamond brilliance as his Ph.D. thesis. The formula resulted in the creation of the round brilliant cut, now by far the world’s most popular diamond shape. So, if you’re searching for the sparkliest, most brilliant diamond possible, the round brilliant cut is the shape you’ll typically want to choose.
Princess, Radiant and Cushion cuts
These cuts are all well-known for their beautiful sparkle. They are great alternatives that offer a similar level of brilliance and fire at a lower cost per carat than a round brilliant cut diamond. So if your search for the perfect center-stone is budget-driven, focus on these beauties.
The princess cut has a great ability to chop up and reflect light. In a high cut quality, the princess cut can have an absolutely stunning sparkle.
The radiant cut was developed specifically to combine the best aspects of the round brilliant cut and the emerald cut, with 70 facets giving it a great ability to reflect light and create a beautiful sparkle.
The cushion cut is very good at reflecting light, giving it a high level of brilliance and fire. While it doesn’t quite match the round brilliant cut, it offers a strong sparkle at a significantly lower price per carat.
Pear, Oval, Heart, and Marquise
Several other diamond cuts share characteristics with the round brilliant cut, including a pattern of facets that are designed to reflect as much light as possible. These include the oval, marquise, and pear cuts.
Like the marquise and oval cuts, the pear cut (or, more commonly, the pear shape) has a similar facet pattern to the round brilliant cut. If fact, just like the round brilliant cut, a typical pear shape diamond has 58 facets, allowing it to take in and reflect an excellent amount of light. Unfortunately, many pear shapes are cut poorly, resulting in a weak sparkle. If you’re looking for a pear-shaped diamond and want to avoid buying one with poor brilliance, feel free to contact us for assistance.
Oval stones are, to point out the obvious, cut in an oval shape. They have a similar facet pattern to the round brilliant cut. Similar to the marquise cut, this elongated shape means that the oval cut wears slightly larger than differently cut diamonds of the same carat weight.
There are 56 facets on an oval diamond, allowing this cut to show off gorgeous brilliance and fire when it’s cut well.
The marquise cut was developed in the 18th century when King Louis XV of France asked for a diamond cut into the shape of the lips of his mistress, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.
With 56 facets, the marquise cut has a similar facet pattern to the round brilliant cut. This gives it excellent brilliance, meaning a well-cut marquise will offer plenty of sparkles that you may be seeking. In addition to its impressive sparkle, the marquise cut tends to look slightly larger than differently cut stones of the same carat weight. This makes it an option worth considering if you want a diamond that combines a beautiful sparkle with an impressive presence.
Emerald and Asscher Cuts
While beautiful in their own right, the Asscher and Emerald cuts aren’t well known for their brilliance. Due to their design and facet pattern, these shapes generally aren’t as bright and sparkly as those with a shape based on the brilliant-cut. Many people, however, recognize these cuts for their luster and clarity. If cut well, in a high clarity grade, a high-quality Asscher or Emerald cut can have a unique and elegance appearance.
There is more to a diamond’s sparkle than the shape
As a general rule, and speaking in the most generic terms, diamonds with a large number of facets such as those listed above will sparkle more than those with fewer facets. However, the shape of a diamond is just one factor out of many that can determine how strong its sparkle is. Other factors, such as its cut quality, length to width ratio, and depth-to-table ratio all affect a diamond’s brilliance, fire, and overall ability to sparkle.
Choose an Ideal Cut Diamond
You can visit our guide to the 4 Cs of diamonds, which will help you understand a diamond’s beauty is represented by four components: its cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Of these four components, the cut quality has the largest impact on a diamond’s brilliance and fire. Simply put, a well-cut diamond will reflect far more light than a badly cut one, resulting in a much stronger, more visible sparkle.
You can also visit our guide to diamond cut and shape. We highly recommend limiting your search to diamonds with a high-quality cut grade. YES, we can help you! You can visit in our store our schedule a virtual consultation.
Choose a Setting That Lets in Light
The setting you choose for your diamond can have a surprisingly large impact on how much it sparkles. While doing your homework, and ultimately choosing your center diamond, go for optimal brilliance. Choosing a prong setting that allows a lot of light to enter into the diamond from every angle will maximize its fire.
Bezel settings, which cover part of the surface of the diamond, are best avoided, as they can block light from entering into the diamond and reflecting off of its facets.
Keep Your Diamond Clean and Properly Cared For
Over time, it’s common for a diamond to pick up dirt, oil, and residue. Even touching a diamond can be enough to transfer the natural oil from your fingers onto its surface, dulling its shine and reducing its brilliance. Think of it like a historic piece at your favorite museum – hands off!
For optimal sparkle, make sure you properly care for your engagement ring. Keeping a diamond clean will help it shine brightly and maximize its brilliance and fire. Also, even though you’ll want to wear your engagement ring every day, you should avoid wearing your ring in various situations in order to keep it in good shape for many years.
Contact Gittelson Jewelers
If you’re looking for the sparkliest diamond you can find, you’ll want to stick to the round brilliant cut. This cut was specifically designed in the early 20th century to sparkle as much as possible, giving a well-cut round brilliant diamond unbeatable brilliance and fire. Other diamond shapes that reflect a lot of light, such as the marquise, oval, pear and heart cuts, can also sparkle beautifully. The princess, radiant, and cushion cuts also look fantastic when cut to a high standard and are all great choices.
Schedule an appointment
Our love, passion, and focus as a small, family-owned jeweler are helping you select the perfect diamond for your style and budget. From there you can choose a ready-to-wear ring or bring your ideas to us on paper and well help you custom design the piece of your dreams. Schedule an appointment below to chat in person or virtually about your purchase.