What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?

What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?

Diamonds are one of the most preferred gemstones in engagement rings, but 80% of diamonds are not suitable for use in jewelry. This is because diamonds must undergo a thorough refining process in order to meet strict grading and quality criteria. This is all a part of what makes a diamond sparkle.
When choosing diamonds, it is important to understand the different diamond shapes and diamond cuts that classify an expensive diamond from a less expensive variation. Especially if you're looking for sparkling diamonds while shopping for an engagement ring.

Want to know more about what makes a diamond sparkle?

Keep reading this blog post for more information.
What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?
A diamond's sparkle is due largely in part to its facets. Facets are the surfaces on a diamond that reflect the light back and create a sparkly diamond, known as a diamond's brilliance. The more facets a diamond has, the shinier it will be.
A diamond gets its facets based on the way it is cut and the shape of the diamond. A diamond must also have a good coloring and be free of inclusions, such as any visible marks, to have a sparkly diamond appearance.

The 4 C's of Diamond Grading

Diamonds are always held to the standards of The 4 C's of diamond grading. By following 4 main criteria, you can determine a diamond's value and its overall quality.


Diamonds come in many different colors besides the standard white or clear diamond. But under the 4C's, a diamond's color refers to the amount of yellow or brown coloring it may contain on a lettered scale from D-Z. Ideal diamond colors rate at a D-F with colorless assets, while G-J diamonds are near colorless.
Diamonds with a yellow or brown coloring aren't as desirable or as expensive, and they don't sparkle the way that a white or clear-colored diamond does. The more pure a diamond's coloring is, the brighter its diamond sparkle will be.


Clarity relates to the number and size of blemishes on a diamond's surface. These blemishes are known as inclusions. The more inclusions a diamond has, the less diamond sparkle it will have since less light can pass through or reflect back.
The ideal shiny diamond will be Flawless or Nearly Flawless, meaning it has no inclusions or ones that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. This will drive up its price, but it will ensure the most sparkly diamond.
Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) and Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) contain inclusions that cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be seen under 10x magnification by a skilled jeweler.


Diamonds are measured and sold in carats. This influences the total size and weight of a diamond. The larger a diamond is, the greater the diamond sparkle it will have. However, diamonds with a larger size and carat weight will cost more.


Diamonds are often cut into different shapes. These diamond shapes affect the size and the facets on a diamond's surface. Certain cuts of diamonds will allow for more light to pass through and reflect, increasing its diamond sparkle or brilliance.

Most Common Diamond Shapes

Many individuals will sometimes use diamond cuts and diamond shapes interchangeably. Diamond cuts may determine a diamond's basic shape, but diamond shapes are still an entirely different category of what makes a diamond sparkle.
Different diamond shapes determine a diamond's brilliance, or, how much light the diamond will reflect. A round-cut diamond is always the most brilliant because of its ability to reflect the light from multiple facets. 75% of all diamonds sold are round cut diamonds.

Most Common Diamond Cuts

While the diamond cuts can influence the diamond shapes, the cut of a diamond relates to the way that a diamond's facets reflect and interact with the light. It also focuses on the dimensions and the symmetrical qualities of a diamond. This, in turn, is also what makes a diamond sparkle.
The most common diamond cuts are:

-Brilliant Cut
-Mixed Cut


A step-cut diamond utilizes fewer facets that are wider and geometrically symmetrical on all sides. A step cut is most frequently used for rectangular diamond shapes such as the Emerald, Baguette, and Asscher. The result is a flatter table-top surface at the crown, with the cuts on the outer edge descending downward into the diamond's core like a staircase with mirrorlike larger reflecting facets.

Brilliant Cut

Brilliant diamond cuts are so named because of their multiple brilliant facets that are cut specifically to be the most sparkly diamond cut. With 58 facets, it creates a spectacularly shiny diamond that reflects the light from numerous angles and increases a diamond's brilliance. The Brilliant Cut is used for Round, Oval, and Princess diamond shapes.

Mixed Cut

Mixed cut diamonds are a combination of Brilliant and Step Diamond Cuts. These diamond cuts may have a Brilliant Cut at the diamond's crown with step cuts leading to the bottom, pavilion portion of the diamond, or step cuts at the crown with Brilliant Cuts leading down into the core. Utilizing mixed cuts for Emerald diamond shapes creates a beautiful, multi-faceted effect.

Fire and Scintillation

Two other factors also influence what makes a diamond shine. They are fire and scintillation. Fire is the way the light breaks down into rainbow light patterns, while scintillation is the way flashes of color and white light interact with one another.

Grading Diamond Cuts

The way a diamond is cut can greatly impact its diamond sparkle. A five-point grading scale is used to determine the quality of a diamond's cut based on seven different categories. These are:


These areas then determine whether a diamond cut receives a rating of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. These 7 categories rely heavily on determining where a diamond cut will rate.
It is possible to have a diamond with Very Good symmetry and polish qualities graded as an Excellent Cut. Of course, an Excellent Cut graded diamond is preferable, though it will be the most expensive.

Find Sparkling Diamonds at Masina Diamonds

Choosing the right diamonds for engagement rings is one of the most important tasks. Knowing what makes a diamond sparkle can make the difference in price, durability, cut, shape, and so much more. Masina Diamonds can help you navigate this process.

Our Diamond Catalog provides a 360º view of our diamonds in stock, so you can see the diamond sparkle for yourself in real-time. Search by carat size, cut, clarity, color, shape, and price. Our diamonds come accompanied by a GIA diamond grading report.
Contact Us today to book an appointment on Zoom or in-store to shop for your engagement rings.