Light Performance: The coveted parameter
All we know about diamonds is the 4Cs or the four characteristics which help us select good diamonds. The cut, clarity, colour and cut are the four main parameters which are responsible for the diamond’s quality and pricing. So, when we go shopping for solitaire jewellery, it is just the cut, colour, clarity and cut we tend to focus on. However, there is one parameter that you, as a consumer, should know well. It is the light performance of a diamond.
Of course, these attributes are the most important ones to gauge the quality and pricing of any diamond. But there are other parameters which are just as important as these. For the average consumer, it is difficult to understand all the other attributes.
The term itself is simple and one can easily make out what it means. To understand the light performance of a diamond, you need to know what affects the physical appearance of the stone. The extent of a diamond’s interaction with light is the light performance. And so, this parameter brings three other parameters to our attention: a diamond’s fire, brilliance and sparkle.
What affects the light performance of a diamond?
Each of these parameters, individually and collectively, give a diamond its beautiful appearance. The white light that the diamond displays is called its brilliance. The cut of the diamond directly affects its brilliance.
If you observe a diamond against the light, you will see the flashes of colour. The colours of the spectrum add more beauty to the diamond and are a result of the light play. This is a diamond’s fire.
The sparkle is the light that the diamond reflects. When a diamond is clear and colourless, it has a better sparkle. This does not mean that diamonds with colour have no sparkle at all. However, it is considerably less as compared to a colourless one.
The combination of these three characteristics influences the light performance of a diamond. So the next you walk into a diamond jewellery store, it’s no longer just the 4Cs for you!
Do the 4Cs play an important role?
Even though it is a diamond’s fire, brilliance and sparkle that creates the light performance, the 4Cs are also closely connected. However, it is mainly the cut that affects light performance. Without a good cut, your diamond jewellery wouldn’t look brilliant.
So, if the diamond has poor cut then it will lose its fire, brilliance and sparkle all at once. As you may know, various cut grades help improve a diamond’s appearance. Hence, the more brilliant the cut, the better the light performance.
In some way or the other, all of a diamond’s parameters are interrelated. This means that colour and clarity, too, are equally important. If you take an Included diamond, there will be plenty of dark spots in it, which makes it difficult for any light to pass through.
Most jewellers may not tell you much about a diamond’s light performance. But in reality, it is one of the most important parameters that makes a diamond beautiful.