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A question on diamond fire

davidd

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
9
I'd appreciate if someone could refer me to n existing thread (which I'm sure already exist).

I'm trying to understand what I should really be expecting to see in terms of diamond fire.
Does it mean that all the time I should see a rainbow sparkle at me? is it just is specific conditions?
How much fire is reasonable to expect?

Thanks.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 23, 2005
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11,797
You will see fire when the lighting is right! Diamonds are like mirrors - you will not see a little sparkle in all lighting all the time. More intense light means more intense fire!
 

Girl505

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Aug 23, 2018
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71
Not to hijack this thread but I have also been really interested in diamond fire. While I have noticed that I can capture pictures of it with my phone, I think it is actually difficult to see in person. The only time I felt I really saw diamond fire was at the jewelers. Granted, I have only had my ring for 3 weeks. Is fire difficult to see?
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 31, 2014
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Not to hijack this thread but I have also been really interested in diamond fire. While I have noticed that I can capture pictures of it with my phone, I think it is actually difficult to see in person. The only time I felt I really saw diamond fire was at the jewelers. Granted, I have only had my ring for 3 weeks. Is fire difficult to see?
Not in well cut stones when they are in the right light. If it only looks firey under Jewelers lights then you might have gotten a poorly cut stone.
 

Karl_K

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Not in well cut stones when they are in the right light. If it only looks firey under Jewelers lights then you might have gotten a poorly cut stone.
With out knowing what lighting they are viewing the diamond under that is not very tactful.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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Not to hijack this thread but I have also been really interested in diamond fire. While I have noticed that I can capture pictures of it with my phone, I think it is actually difficult to see in person. The only time I felt I really saw diamond fire was at the jewelers. Granted, I have only had my ring for 3 weeks. Is fire difficult to see?
What lighting conditions have you been viewing it under and what are the specifics of the stone?
 

headlight

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 2, 2003
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1,686
Not to hijack this thread but I have also been really interested in diamond fire. While I have noticed that I can capture pictures of it with my phone, I think it is actually difficult to see in person. The only time I felt I really saw diamond fire was at the jewelers. Granted, I have only had my ring for 3 weeks. Is fire difficult to see?
I don't think you are hijacking this thread. The OP also wants to know what to expect when it comes to fire. First off, you have to have the lighting that is conducive to fire. I posted those 2 photos above, but my diamond doesn't always have that appearance. Sometimes it is just really bright. Sometimes it shows contrast. Sometimes it gets super dark with sparkles of white light, colored light, or both. Sometimes it is like a disco ball of fire (as opposed to the flashes seen in the photos above). Sometimes it really highlights the stone's small table. Outside on overcast days it is like a glowing white ball, as if it is lit from within. In direct sun it flashes pretty colors and blinding white flashes against a white background. AND, if the lighting is super yucky, in a totally "flat" beige surrounding and super drab environment, my diamond definitely doesn't look it's best. ALSO, very important: If the diamond isn't clean, it won't perform as well. That is just scientific as diamonds are grease magnets and grease has a higher refractive index than air which will affect the critical angle of the stone (what significantly gives it it's performance capabilities... hence the emphasis here on getting a stone with angles that work together well and the use of the HCA as a rejection tool right off the bat). If the critical angle is adversely affected, you will get light leakage, hence adverse performance. Some mountings are easier to clean than others. I have always had in the past open "basket" style mountings which made cleaning a breeze. Now I have a mounting that is harder to access underneath the stone which drives me crazy so I have my own ultrasonic and steamer and do it once a day so my diamond can look its best (my husband thinks I'm nuts but if it doesn't perform well, what was the point of spending all this money lol!). Also, what is the table size of your stone? Generally, this can determine if your stone would have a tendency to produce more colored light (fire) or more white light (although other factors can come into play so table size doesn't always equate with a small table yielding more fire). Also, the angles are critical (no pun intended lol!), hence the reason that is always the first thing that everyone here is looking at when someone wants input on finding a diamond. Disclaimer: When I refer to mine looking like a big white ball or a white background with sparkling colors, my stone is colorless so I believe that is what is providing the super white background. Also, the size of your flashes will depend on your lower half facets. My stone is 80% so I have thin/splintery flashes, whereas a stone in the 70% range for the lower half will have the thicker flashes (which I love, it just worked out that the stone I picked that had the most of the things I was looking for in a diamond has the thinner flashes).
 

headlight

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 2, 2003
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When you were at the jeweler selecting the stone, did you have an opportunity to view it under different lighting conditions (outside at varying times of the day), in the back office where they don't have the fancy lights, etc?
I would suggest you take it to the jeweler for a good, professional cleaning, and then before it gets exposure to anything on your ring (remember: diamonds = grease magnets!) take it back to some of the places you have viewed it outside of the jeweler and see if it performs better.
Also, are you wearing it when you cook, do dishes, bathe, shower, put on lotion, use bar soap or lotion soap to wash your hands, etc., etc? I do not do any of those things with my ring on. As you can tell from my other post, I'm obsessed with it being clean and I try to avoid doing all those things with my ring on if at all possible. When I am at home, I only wash my hands with Dawn dishwashing liquid, the same that is good for cleaning your diamond. (Obviously if I am out and about somewhere, I am relegated to using the soap provided!)
But, yes, please post the specs on your stone and also pictures so we can help you fall in love with your diamond again!
 

Girl505

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
71
My diamond is a cushion cut purchased from IDJ. It has a 67% table if I recall correctly. I have seen the fire in pictures and in videos. I think with my naked eye, though, it is more difficult to see the effect I’m capturing in videos and pics. I saw it recently be very fiery in direct sunlight. In my office lighting it sparkles beautifully too, with white light and some pastel /rainbow colors but nothing I would classify as direct fire like in the pictures headlight posted. 6113914B-D0B6-4E69-BC48-6FC083614019.jpeg D203B99B-55D4-4D75-B913-906B6B4ECB58.jpeg
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 7, 2004
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6,262
Rainbow colors are fire. Can be soft or intense. I see the most fire: under spot lighting such as in an elevator or in my kitchen (crazy fire!), or bright partially occluded situations like a sunny day under a tree. I know many people like to look at their diamonds in the car too (just don't while driving!) See if you can see fire in those situations.
 

Texas Leaguer

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3,098
Fire is arguably the most magical of diamond attributes.

The degree to which a diamond can disperse light into its component colors such that individual hues might be clipped by the pupil of an observer resulting in the perception of a colored sparkle depends on the attributes of the diamond, the attributes of the observer, and the attributes of the light source. It's complicated!

Lighting is critical. Just as a rainbow is not seen after every rain shower, fire is not seen all the time in even the most fiery diamonds. Cut quality with regard to fire is best thought of as potential. Without the designed-in potential, a diamond may never appear fiery, even when all other aspects line up perfectly.

More on fire here including some interesting video:
https://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/diamond-education/diamond-fire-1568.htm
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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My diamond is a cushion cut purchased from IDJ. It has a 67% table if I recall correctly. I have seen the fire in pictures and in videos. I think with my naked eye, though, it is more difficult to see the effect I’m capturing in videos and pics. I saw it recently be very fiery in direct sunlight. In my office lighting it sparkles beautifully too, with white light and some pastel /rainbow colors but nothing I would classify as direct fire like in the pictures headlight posted. 6113914B-D0B6-4E69-BC48-6FC083614019.jpeg D203B99B-55D4-4D75-B913-906B6B4ECB58.jpeg
oops, I totally forgot your other thread and mistakenly thought you were talking about an RB that doesn't show fire except under jeweler lights, which is why I thought it might just be not a great cut. Definitely non RB cuts are different in terms of what kinds of fire to expect. Didn't mean to be mean @Karl_K , I didn't remember OPs other thread, nor did I realize she wasn't talking about an RB. I think cushions don't have the same "flavor" of fire as RBs, so if you're looking for that kind of rolling fire that you see in outside videos of RBs you are much less likely to see it in cushions/radiants/asschers, etc.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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Yes different cuts show different fire.
But there is another variable, do you wear glasses?
Strong glasses effectively increase the effective size of the pupil making it harder to see fire except in highly conductive lighting for fire.
 

Texas Leaguer

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Yes different cuts show different fire.
But there is another variable, do you wear glasses?
Strong glasses effectively increase the effective size of the pupil making it harder to see fire except in highly conductive lighting for fire.
Interesting! I never thought about that, nor have I heard anyone mention it before. But it makes perfect sense.
Contact lenses would not have the same effect, or it would be far less I presume.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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Interesting! I never thought about that, nor have I heard anyone mention it before. But it makes perfect sense.
Contact lenses would not have the same effect, or it would be far less I presume.
No clue on contacts but it would make sense it would have less effect.
I have one eye that is way worse and has a mile thick lens(lol) than the other and I notice it myself.
 

Girl505

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
71
I do wear contact lenses. I have seen the fire, but it’s just not nearly as intense as it looks in the pictures or videos I have taken.
 

MikeBotha

Rough_Rock
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Jul 14, 2014
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8
I'd appreciate if someone could refer me to n existing thread (which I'm sure already exist).

I'm trying to understand what I should really be expecting to see in terms of diamond fire.
Does it mean that all the time I should see a rainbow sparkle at me? is it just is specific conditions?
How much fire is reasonable to expect?

Thanks.
 

Strawberries1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
120
Not to hijack this thread but I have also been really interested in diamond fire. While I have noticed that I can capture pictures of it with my phone, I think it is actually difficult to see in person. The only time I felt I really saw diamond fire was at the jewelers. Granted, I have only had my ring for 3 weeks. Is fire difficult to see?
This is one of the reasons why I decided to go with a moissanite. Diamonds sparkled at the jewellers but I'll ask to take it out into natural light and when the sun isn't bright the diamond isn't as captivating.
 

MikeBotha

Rough_Rock
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Jul 14, 2014
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Hello David,

Fire in a diamond is the dispersed light that gets reflected. As long as the diamond is in motion the color flashes can be seen, however as soon as we hold the diamond still, our optical system has time to recompose the dispersed light into white light. This is exactly how we as human beings process light. All light coming from a full spectrum source like sunlight is perceived as white light. Spectral light or fire coming from a stationary or slow moving diamond can be be observed when the light is absorbed by a surface onto which the spectral light shines. Fire in a diamond should not be confused with brilliance and scintillation.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Couple of points on lighting:
Diffused lighting suppresses fire. At the same time it can reveal brightness very nicely. Examples of diffused light are fluorescent tube lighting such as in offices, and outdoors on a cloudy day. Fire friendly lighting environments tend to feature small distinct points of light.

The distance from which you are observing the diamond has an effect. The dispersed 'fans' of individual colors spread out over distance increasing the chances that a single hue will be clipped by your eye. This is why you sometimes see a nice diamond throwing off colored sparkles from across the room in a restaurant.
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
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Hello @davidd and all.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. And my (nerdy) mind. It's a tossup as to which organ is more important to me, haha.

We have regularly been asked to address fire as we see it in our cutting proposition. This post from last year may be interesting. It uses graphics to define what "fire" is (vs dispersion), provides historical overview showing why "fire" was an optical fundamental prior to modern lighting, and outlines how the old rules can be transcended by modern approaches.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/cbi-fire.242606/#post-4388614

I hope it's interesting.
 
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