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Reflections From Ring


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#1 mandv

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:39 PM

As you all know, I just received my e-ring but I have a concern. I was driving one day and noticed that when my ring is under the sun, the little reflections (from the tiny stones in the micropave setting) that I see in the car are rainbow colors. I read in some sites that real diamonds reflects shades of gray and that simulated or fake diamonds reflects a rainbow of colors. It may also be a poor cutting of the diamond as well. I'm a bit puzzled as we got the ring at Harry Winston and I do not think they would do one or the other. Can someone be kind enough to explain this to me? Thanks in advance!

#2 davidelevi

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 12:37 AM

Super congratulations on your engagement - and of course on the ring!

Whoever told you / wrote that diamonds reflect shades of grey is does not know the least thing about diamonds and optics. Ignore them, and continue to enjoy your beautiful diamond ring. If you could post a photo of it here, we would all appreciate it - we love diamonds and jewellery!

Here is a diamond clip by Mellerio, ca. 1925-1930, prior to the introduction of CZ and most other "realistic" simulants. And as you can see, it's not shy with colours.

Posted Image

same clip, showing greenish/yellow and blue flashes

Posted Image

Technical note: the amount of fire (or refracted light) depends on the Dispersion Index, a physical constant of the material through which the light passes. The higher the DI, the more light coming through the gem is refracted into rainbow-like sparkles.

Diamond has a relatively high dispersion among gems, at 0.044; for comparison, glass or quartz is somewhere around 0.010-0.015 and lead crystal (Svarowski) is somewhere around 0.041. Some simulants introduced in the 1950s/1960s (strontium titanate, synthetic rutile) have much higher DI, at 0.190 and 0.280 respectively - and they positively burst with fire, to the point that they can be immediately identified as "fakes", whereas CZ (DI 0.066) requires more careful study. However, it is incorrect to say that diamond will only reflect shades of grey!

Edited by davidelevi, 17 May 2011 - 12:40 AM.

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#3 LaurieH

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 05:16 AM

What you're seeing is a reflection of the Fire. Diamond will break light up into its component prismatic colors and you'll see red, yellow and blue through the facets. CZs, you'll see rainbows on the surface, not within the diamond. That said, I see teensy tiny flashes of white and/or rainbows all over my car when the light hits my ring just right (I wear an antique ring on my right hand with about a .20-.25 center and 20 1-pointers around it) It's actually a good thing, as it's a factor of light performance. What you see in a stone when you hold it still under normal light conditions is that white/shades of grey, is called Brilliance which is a factor of how it's cut and how the light bounces around without "leaking" out of the stone. So your advisor was half right. When you hold it still, for the most part, you're not going to see color--you see the Fire and Scintillation (sparkle) when you move the stone in the light, and different light is more likely to produce one or the other. You'll often see both under most light that's bright enough, but you'll see more of one than the other. You'll also see more of one than the other depending on how the diamond is cut. So add that to what Davide said... hopefully ya should feel better. If you're still in any doubt, bring your ring and the paperwork you got on that diamond to a trustworthy local jeweler and/or appraiser and have it looked up to make sure everything matches and if you want to--put it to an electronic diamond tester. All of that should put your mind totally at ease that you got what you were supposed to have gotten :D
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#4 mandv

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:10 AM

Thank you both for your reply! I will post some pics shortly. I have one last question though. The reflections that I'm referring to are little tiny dots that bounce off my ring into rainbow dots on the ceiling of my car and not rainbows within the stones itself. I remember just seeing glitters of white from my previous jewelries. Does that sound normal? :) Thanks again! I really appreciate all the explanations as when it comes to diamonds I'm still a beginner.

#5 mandv

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:18 AM

Also, if it reflects dots of rainbow colors, are the diamonds well cut?

#6 davidelevi

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:47 AM

That effect is absolutely normal with small diamonds; it is a consequence of the way light gets diffracted (it needs a "size" larger than the stone, which is why you see the rainbow reflected on the walls/roof, and not "within" the diamond).
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#7 mandv

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for all the help! I was just a tad bit concerned. Posted Image

So here is the ring finally on my finger after several months of e-ring shopping.

Harry Winston Micropave Ring with Emerald Diamond

Emerald Diamond: 2.5 ct, E VVS2
80 Round Diamonds : .55 ct
Total is 3.05 ct

Today is gloomy so when the sun comes back out, I'll take a photo of the reflections that I'm referring too.

Thanks for the replies and for letting me share my beautiful ring

Attached Thumbnails

  • E-ring.jpg


#8 davidelevi

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 11:26 AM

That looks very nice - and perfectly proportioned to your hand. If you don't mind me asking, what size ring do you wear?
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#9 mandv

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

Thank you! I love the ring. My ring size is 4.25. :)

#10 deebellany

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

All -

I came across this forum because I too am worried about my diamonds reflection!

I am newly engaged as of May 3rd, and have always wanted a radiant cut diamond, which is what i receieved! I am in love with it, and was told it is a VVS2 .94 G

Lately though, as of today anyway, I noticed rainbow facets within the sides of diamond, meaning when you're looking at it on my finger, the right and left sides (which are cut more clean and different than the top and bottom) give off ROYGBIV if you know what i mean, basically every color of the rainbow. This is only true with the sides, and the top and bottom part of the diamond give off shades of grey.

If i DONT move my diamond around and just stare at it, it just looks like a normal diamond.

However, i googled images of radiant cut diamonds, and none have the significant cut on the right and left side like mine does, it basically looks like a > cut on the left, and a < cut on the right. I'll attach a photo but its hard to tell with my blackberry.

Let me know what you think? My jeweler is my dads good friend, who is a gemologist, but we did not get it certified...

I want to also add that we have really bright lights in my office, so i went to the ladies room and the colors werent so prevelant. If i put my hand over the diamond to "shield" it from light, theres no color either, which i guess is a given.

the 1st pic is on vacation the day after i got engaged in florida.
2nd is here at the office...its to the side purposely to show you.
3rd is looking inside from the bottom. though it only captures the purpleish color...and is fuzzy do to my poor camera quality

IMG01919-20110504-1037.jpg IMG01965-20110520-1116.jpg
IMG01966-20110520-1117.jpg



Thank you all!!!!!!!

#11 LaurieH

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:21 AM

If this is what you're seeing when you are looking THROUGH the diamond, reflected more inside than on the surface (although it's a bit of an optical illusion, the way our eyes are, so look for a bit, b/c you might think it's on the outside, if it's a shallower facet, like towards the edges where things taper). And you're not actually seeing a full rainbow--generally you're only going to see flashes of red, yellow and blue if it's a real diamond. IF it's a CZ, those are things that you'll see really only on the surface, and it's a little more rainbow-y. If you have any doubt it's a natural diamond, take it to another jeweler and have them poke at it a bit with their diamond tester. Most jewelers are going to have one at this point. Another thing--since your diamond is high clarity AND under a carat, if it's GIA certified, chances are it was issued a dossier (a half-cert w/ no plot) instead of the full cert and is, instead, INSCRIBED. this would be very handy, b/c then all you need is a higher magnification loupe to look for the inscription and match it up or, again, take to a jeweler who's got one and can find it more easily under a loupe or a microscope. Pretty ring, both ya gals! :) Thanks for showing them off, even if it was in the course of investigation :D
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#12 deebellany

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:28 AM

Thank you! Actually what i'm seeing in those side facets are a full rainbow, or atleast red yellow, blue green, all in one line blending in together, not really a
"flash". The facets on the sides are long and clean, therefore making it hard for it to be a flash, like the smaller facets on the top and bottom, which are more "flashy" and tiny. The sides are long facets kind of like an ascher cut or emerald cut, very clean...so hard to explain..but i think that might be why im seeing a full color scale in my diamond.



If this is what you're seeing when you are looking THROUGH the diamond, reflected more inside than on the surface (although it's a bit of an optical illusion, the way our eyes are, so look for a bit, b/c you might think it's on the outside, if it's a shallower facet, like towards the edges where things taper). And you're not actually seeing a full rainbow--generally you're only going to see flashes of red, yellow and blue if it's a real diamond. IF it's a CZ, those are things that you'll see really only on the surface, and it's a little more rainbow-y. If you have any doubt it's a natural diamond, take it to another jeweler and have them poke at it a bit with their diamond tester. Most jewelers are going to have one at this point. Another thing--since your diamond is high clarity AND under a carat, if it's GIA certified, chances are it was issued a dossier (a half-cert w/ no plot) instead of the full cert and is, instead, INSCRIBED. this would be very handy, b/c then all you need is a higher magnification loupe to look for the inscription and match it up or, again, take to a jeweler who's got one and can find it more easily under a loupe or a microscope. Pretty ring, both ya gals! :) Thanks for showing them off, even if it was in the course of investigation :D



#13 mandv

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:07 AM

These are the reflections that I get from my ring. :) I also get reflections from the micropave diamonds similar to the photos that davidelevi posted. Thanks for the awesome help and compliments!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Reflections.jpg


#14 deebellany

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:30 AM

These are the reflections that I get from my ring. :) I also get reflections from the micropave diamonds similar to the photos that davidelevi posted. Thanks for the awesome help and compliments!



That rainbow stripe on your reflection is what I see in my facets deep in my stone. but the only way to see the whole rainbow like that is to move my diamond slowly to its side in unnatural light. sunlight doesnt show it.

#15 deebellany

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:31 AM


These are the reflections that I get from my ring. :) I also get reflections from the micropave diamonds similar to the photos that davidelevi posted. Thanks for the awesome help and compliments!



That rainbow stripe on your reflection is what I see in my facets deep in my stone. but the only way to see the whole rainbow like that is to move my diamond slowly to its side in unnatural light. sunlight doesnt show it.



by the way, my reflections give off a white sparkle in my car, not rainbow.

#16 boonki

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:00 PM

These are the reflections that I get from my ring. Posted Image I also get reflections from the micropave diamonds similar to the photos that davidelevi posted. Thanks for the awesome help and compliments!


I've seen a enhanced diamond do that same thing. I would re-check to see if the diamond is a clarity enhanced diamond. Either way, it is a beautiful ring!

#17 davidelevi

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:22 PM

Clarity enhancement has nothing to do with the effects above. The glass compound used for CE treatment has virtually the same RI and dispersion constants as diamond, which is why it works in the first place. If you used ordinary glass, the presence of the filling would be much more noticeable.
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#18 boonki

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:03 AM

Clarity enhancement has nothing to do with the effects above. The glass compound used for CE treatment has virtually the same RI and dispersion constants as diamond, which is why it works in the first place. If you used ordinary glass, the presence of the filling would be much more noticeable.


where does that spectral effect come from? Some diamonds have that effect and some don't. I am assured that they are both genuine stones. Could it be the cut of the stones, or the difference in the quality?

#19 denverappraiser

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:20 AM

These are the reflections that I get from my ring. Posted Image I also get reflections from the micropave diamonds similar to the photos that davidelevi posted. Thanks for the awesome help and compliments!

Those are called spectra and it comes from the prismatic nature of diamonds. They are slightly different from one stone to the next in terms of the division of the colors and if you're REALLY good, you can actually use this as a way of identifying stones.
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#20 davidelevi

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 12:39 PM

where does that spectral effect come from? Some diamonds have that effect and some don't. I am assured that they are both genuine stones. Could it be the cut of the stones, or the difference in the quality?


It is purely in the cut. The attached diagram (from Glenn Klein, Faceting History, 2005) may help to explain:

IMG.jpg

The refractive index (think of it as the amount by which an incoming light ray is "bent" by the diamond) is the same for all diamonds. However, blue/violet (short-wave) light is "bent" more than red/orange (long-wave) light, as shown in the diagram. This means that when light exits the diamond, blue/violet light exits in a different place than red/orange light - this is the phenomenon known as "fire" or "spectral light" or "rainbows" depending on which lingo you like most.

If you play with the dimensions/proportions of the stone it is easy to see that some colours may be visible "in the stone" while others may be totally absent for light entering the stone in one particular point at a particular angle. This is why - as Neil says - you may be able to distinguish stones just from observing their spectral light patterns: they depend on the stone's faceting and proportions, and of course they vary from one stone to the next.

I hope this makes sense. If you need me to get into more detail, ask!
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