02.11.2022 | Diamonds | Education

When shopping for diamonds, you may hear the terms brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Whilst these are highly important to understand when purchasing diamonds, oftentimes people are either confused by these terms, or completely unaware of them. In this post, we want to spell out what these terms mean so that you can be more informed when you’re looking to purchase diamonds.

Diamonds come in a wide array of colors and we at Dehres are proud to feature a spectacular range of fancy colored jewelry in our collection, including diamonds that are fancy pink, blue, green, yellow, and more. There are also colorless diamonds of course, which are more familiar to the world. How these diamonds reflect light back and sparkle will have an impact on their overall appeal and that is where fire, scintillation, and brilliance come in.


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0.80ct Radiant Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless Diamond (C299118)

Fire in a diamond refers to the dispersion of light. Essentially, when light enters a diamond, it splits into several other colors. If you were to visit a jewelry store and look at a diamond under the store’s lighting, you might see lots of beautiful rainbow colors looking back at you. That’s fire! It’s important to note that the size of the facets featured in diamonds will impact the size of the fire. Larger facets will mean larger fire. The cut of a diamond will also play a significant role in its fire, scintillation, and brilliance.


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5.10+ct Brilliant Round Diamond D VS2 (361001)

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2.00+ ct Radiant Fancy Vivid Orange S12 Diamond (C289035)

When you move a diamond in different directions, such as by rotating it, the fire will move (or ‘dance’) around. This movement is known as scintillation. If a diamond has a higher number of facets, it will usually mean higher scintillation. However, if there are more facets, the fire will be smaller as the facets themselves will be smaller.


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7.40+ct Pear-shape Fancy Intense VVS2 Pink Diamond (348706)

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2.10+ct Pear-shape Fancy Vivid Yellowish-Orange Diamond SI1 (323717)

Brilliance and fire can be a bit confusing to understand due to the similarities in viewing both. To see brilliance, however, you need to look at a diamond under white light to observe its levels of brightness and contrast. To put it very simply, fire refers to colored flashes, and brilliance refers to white flashes that are contrasted by the darker tones within a diamond. What are tones? Think of 3 colors: white, black, and grey. When you’re looking at a diamond’s brilliance, you may see tones of grey, for example. This is important! The intensity of tones within a diamond need to be balanced and well distributed, as this will help highlight a diamond’s brilliance more. If you only see grey or black tones, the stone is too dark. If you only see white, the stone will be unappealing and dull. Pattern scintillation is important to note as well, as brilliance needs to be judged when looking at a diamond from different angles, not just from the top. If you notice high brilliance whilst observing a diamond in various directions, it indicates good pattern scintillation.


This is where personal preference comes into play. Some people may prefer higher scintillation due to the attractiveness of the movement of color, whereas others might want fire featured in a diamond more because of the eye-catching nature of the colors on display. It’s always best to see diamonds in person so that you can determine for yourself what it is you find most appealing. You are more than welcome to visit us and learn more about fire, scintillation, and brilliance in a diamond, as well as to determine your preferences. Feel free to reach out to us and make an appointment. We would love to speak with you!




Fall for Fall Colored Jewelry


We count ourselves fortunate to have been on such an incredible journey sourcing, designing and creating the finest jewelry and working with some of the rarest loose gems in the world. We are also thrilled to keep moving forward, bringing you more exquisite pieces.

If your heart is set on a particular loose stone, you may consider the option of creating a bespoke custom piece. The Dehres Team is here to help guide you every step of the way.


Get in touch to arrange a private consultation and view some of the world’s finest jewels.



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