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Question about "most sparkly" colored gemstones

elzmelz

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
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2
Hi, all. This is obviously going to be a newbie question, but I think y'all are the people who can help me out with it.

I was talking with a friend of mine about a ring she wants to get. She wants to get one with a colored stone but said that she wants one that is as "sparkly" as a diamond...or as "sparkly" as she can get. By that, I think she means the fire or sparkle of diamonds (how they catch the light when they move), not their overall brilliance. She's not set on any color yet, only that she wants a stone that can be worn every day and that has as much sparkle or fire as possible.

She showed me some stones that she was thinking of getting online, but frankly, it seems like all stones can look super sparkly with the right lighting and a good photographer. Neither of us are gem experts, so we didn't really know which would be the sparkliest in person.

So, this got me thinking: what colored gemstones are the most sparkly - that glitter and catch the light in a way similar to diamonds (or similar as they can)?

If you could list what you think are the 2-3 "sparkliest" colored gemstones, that would be helpful - I can forward the info to her (and look at some stones for myself lol). I know that the cut/shape/size of the stone can impact this, so any specific info on that would be helpful, as well.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The most sparkly or fiery to rival a diamond are too soft to even be set in a ring, such as sphene, demantoid, sphalerite, and a few others. Coloured stones is all about colour, so for most people, that is the main focus. However, that doesn't mean a dull stone is acceptable. We tend to gravitate toward stones with a high refractive index, birefringence and very good cutting. The unfortunate thing is that the deeper the colour, the less fiery the stone will be as colour masks the fire of the stone. I suppose there is good reason why she isn't shopping for a diamond?
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
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So one of the key elements in sparkliness, if I can make up a word, is the way in which it refracts the light back - how it splits the light and how we perceive it as light is returned to our eyes. Diamond is so loved because its refractive index is very high and is therefore sparkly. My picks for other stones with high RIs are sphalerite, demantoid garnet, sphene and zircon. But sphene and sphalerite are too soft to set as a ring, and even demantoid and zircon are dicey as every day rings.

Your best bet for most sparkly colored gemstones that can be set and worn as an every day ring would be colored diamonds.
 

elzmelz

Rough_Rock
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Dec 14, 2015
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@Chrono: She will be wearing this ring with her wedding band. When she was married the first time, she had a diamond ring and band set, and she feels weird about wearing something similar in her second marriage, hence the colored stone. I'm not sure how she feels about colored diamonds; they didn't come up when we were looking online

In general, would a lighter colored stone be sparklier? So, for example, would a pale blue sapphire look more glittery/sparkly than a vivid blue one?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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A medium light toned well saturated blue sapphire will appear more sparkly than a medium dark well saturated blue sapphire but it still doesn't come anywhere close to a colourless diamond. There is a fine line where if the saturation drops too much, the stone ends up looking gray/brownish, which also affects how sparkly it looks.

If she wants both colour and sparkle, then like Minou, I'd suggest going for a coloured diamond. It has colour, it has sparkle and it is durable.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I agree with Minou and Chrono here that you both will likely be disappointed in terms of "sparkle" of a CS if you are comparing it to a diamond. I think a colored diamond would be perfect and would give the sparkle without it looking too similar to her first stone.

I really love the sparkle of zircon, but agree that it's likely too brittle/soft for an every day e-ring stone.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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I've had some pretty sparkly spinels, usually on the lighter side (e.g. light pink, silver). In fact, when I was out with another PSer with a grey diamond, and we compared it to my light grey spinel, I can't say I noticed too much difference, if any, but I'm not sure if grey counts as a CS, in your opinion. ;-)

I've had some pretty flashy garnets, too, but they're softer. Does your friend have colour preferences? Does she like big or small? Any particular shapes more than others? Would her budget suit a coloured diamond, or is she hoping to cut costs a bit?
 

nojs

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 22, 2014
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338
Of the stones I have, my light lemon lime colored mali garnet rivals the sparkle of my diamond and is, in my opinion, the most diamond like. I have another Mali, which is a more typical stronger color, but that is far less diamond like. Apart from that, zircons, demantoids and sphenes are sparkly, but Mali garnets are the most suited for rings out of this group. I also have a silver spinel that is sparkly, but it is quite grey.
 

abbit

Rough_Rock
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I got a lovely red zircon which has a high refractive index. They come in all colors too
 

Vesper

Shiny_Rock
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I would look at danburite and zircon.
 

indigoblue

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What about a chrysoberyl? They are 8.5 on the Mohs scale and sparkly too.
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
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My blue spinel sparkles quite a bit, though it does "black out" in direct sunlight. It's so beautiful in other light settings though that I don't mind. I would also vote for a colored diamond if durability+max sparkle was the goal. I am a sucker for champagne diamonds, and there are some real beauties out there. My OMC champagne diamond throws off some incredible sparkle and killer colorful chunky flashes, even though it's cut is less than ideal. I wouldn't rule out a traditional diamond though just because she had one before. There are so many different cuts and settings to make it special in its own right.

If she is firmly set on a colored stone, I might suggest trying to see as many options in person as possible ... or at a minimum pull up different stones on YouTube ... to get a general idea of how different colored stones perform/behave. Just realize that cut will play a big factor in this also, and no two will be alike. So just because you see a phenomenal sapphire in one video doesn't mean they all will look/behave the same. Others might be able to suggest some good sources of stones to check out in that regard, or search out stone vendors on the pinned suggestion list at the top of this forum to see some good examples.

Good luck! :wavey:
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 18, 2009
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For ring stones, diamond, chrysoberyl, and light colored spinel are sparkly. They must be well cut, and free of inclusions that obscure light. I think other sparkly stones are too soft for everyday ring wear.
 
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