Call for expert help (888) 724-8222

The Way Light affects your Diamond

We talk a lot here about “fire” and “brilliance” and “scintillation.” But it doesn’t mean much if the lighting isn’t complimenting your diamond. Consider it like a dance, where two partners (the light and the gem) work together to create the best performance possible.

A GIA researcher has this to say:

If you think of a diamond like “a series of mirrors reflecting its environment,” it can help you understand how light and location can change the way your diamond appears. When you look at your diamond, you are also seeing a reflection of the surrounding environment, including yourself.

You can test this theory yourself:

Hold the diamond at arm’s length and look at how bright it is and how the pattern of dark and light appears. Now, gradually bring it closer to your eye. By the time it gets very close, the area of dark pattern in the diamond has grown and is much more prominent.

So when purchasing a diamond, what’s the best way to test its overall appearance? We believe its best to look at it in the type of lighting where you’ll most typically wear it. Ultimately your choice of a diamond is a highly personal choice so there’s no definitive right or wrong. Check out the example below.


These diamonds display high, moderate and low brightness under fluorescent light. Photos by Eric Welch/GIA