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Diamond Fire

by Lucy Coleman
Last updated on August 21, 2023
4 carat diamond price

People don’t talk about diamond fire as much as the other main diamond factors, but it can still do a lot to impact the look and beauty of your diamond.

What Does Diamond Fire Mean?

someone inspecting diamond fire

Have you noticed that when you move a diamond around under direct light, you’ll see rainbow colors reflecting off of it?

This is the essence of diamond fire, which refers to the way diamonds reflect colorful light. The diamond will sparkle and shine with all colors of the rainbow.

Diamond Brilliance

Brilliance is a measure of the white sparkles and flashes of light that a diamond gives off under light, while fire refers to the colored light it reflects.

You want a diamond with lots of brilliance in order for it to be sparkly and shiny. A diamond with little brilliance will be dull and flat in comparison to a brilliant diamond.

Diamond Scintillation

Scintillation refers to the light and shadows within a diamond when the stone is moving. It is also related to the flashes of light from a diamond.

People often talk about scintillation alongside fire and brilliance because they all relate to the way diamonds reflect light.

The Basics of Light

light shining on diamond jewelry

Wavelengths make up light rays, and each wavelength on the visible spectrum of light corresponds to a color.

White light is actually made up of all wavelengths of light, so it contains all the colors. When white light hits a colorless surface, it will slow down and refract (or bend). This refraction will cause the different wavelengths of light to disperse and it will look like a rainbow.

This concept of light dispersion is how rainbows are created, and it’s also how diamonds have this property of fire. Diamonds reflect light rays, which is a cool property that gives them a beautiful appearance when you shine them in the light.

Diamonds will also look different in different lighting environments, so always look at your diamond in natural lighting as well as indoor lighting to really see how it will look when you wear it every day.

How Diamond Cut Affects Diamond Fire

princess cut diamond

The cut is the most important factor in determining a diamond’s beauty. This is because diamonds are designed to have the best light performance, meaning that they reflect the most light and be brilliant and shiny.

For a diamond to have the most fire, its facets must be cut at the right angles and the stone needs to be symmetrical. The diamond’s cut quality will be of utmost importance in creating a stunning diamond with lots of fire. Polishing the diamond is also an important part of the process that must be just right in order for the stone to have the most sparkle.

The Importance of Diamond Proportions

Proportions are also important in the cut and help determine how much fire a diamond will have.

Diamonds have physical facets, which are the flat edges of the diamond. They also have things called virtual facets, which are not the actual cuts of the diamond. Instead, these are the places where light is reflected off of physical facets.

How Is Diamond Fire Assessed?

Diamond fire is assessed along with cut, brilliance, and scintillation by the Gemological Institute of America.

There are special systems that can detect light leakage and produce fire maps of a diamond to help determine the stone’s fire.

All of these systems get complicated, so all you need to know is that diamond fire is a unique property and results in colorful light being reflected from your diamond.

Can Color or Clarity Affect a Diamond’s Fire?

diamond clarity chart

Both color and clarity can affect the fire of a diamond, but they have a limited effect on it compared to cut quality. For more info on the diamond clarity chart above, check out this post.

A diamond with more color will not reflect light as well as a colorless diamond. In addition, a diamond with more imperfections or internal flaws will have less light return than a flawless diamond.

So lower color and clarity grades do mean less fire in a diamond, but these effects are minimal. It’s best to choose the highest cut quality for your diamond ring in order to get the most reflective diamond.

Diamond Fire vs Moissanite Fire


Moissanite is a common diamond alternative that is cheaper than a real diamond. It has different properties than diamonds have, and one of these is fire.

Moissanite tends to have more brilliance and fire than real diamonds, which makes moissanite appear more colorful. Diamonds tend to reflect white light rather than colored light, but moissanite does the opposite.

Moissanite is a stone that looks more like a rainbow, while diamonds are more elegant and reflect white light.

Do Lab Grown Diamonds Have the Same Fire?

lab grown diamonds

Yes! Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds with the exact same properties as mined diamonds. This means they’ll have the same fire and brilliance as natural diamonds.

Since fire depends mostly on diamond cut, a lab grown diamond won’t inherently be any different than a mined diamond in terms of fire.

Where to Buy High Quality Diamonds

clean origin store

You can shop for the best diamonds at Clean Origin, where every lab grown diamond is 100% ethical and 100% stunning.

Clean Origin diamonds come in many different shapes to match your personality. and taste. Our diamonds are the perfect way to make your engagement ring stand out or just add some sparkle and fire to your jewelry collection.