How Does Light Affect How My Diamond Looks?
If you’ve ever wondered why your diamond looks different in sunlight versus candlelight or daylight versus office lights, it’s because the cut of your diamond responds differently depending on the light and the environment you are in. How – and where – you look at your diamond can greatly change its appearance.
Al Gilbertson, a GIA researcher, says 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.
“Often times, the dark parts of the pattern you see in a diamond are a reflection of your face, or the camera – if you’re looking at a photograph,” Gilbertson says. “You can test this 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.”
“This all means that in every different location you look at your diamond, this ‘series of mirrors’ is reflecting not only the environment, but also you. How close you hold it, and the environment you are in, affects the pattern you see.”