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Why is my diamond not very sparkly?

pumpkinpieness

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4
I had been wanting a certain style of ring and was ecstatic when my bf, now DF, got it for me. The diamond is not very big, though that isn't an issue. I'm just wondering why this diamond seems to lack a certain fire and sparkliness from the inside. The GIA cert says F, VVS1, triple E's. It's ideal cut. That's pretty good quality, and the ring is from a very old and respected jewelry house. It doesn't do anything at all in the sunlight. If I didn't have the certificate, I'd think I have some much lesser quality diamond. I think my couple hundred dollars promise ring sparkles more and that didn't even come with any certificate! Or if it did, I've lost it by now. I'm going to get it appraised just to double-check but I hardly think this jewelry house would dupe their customers. But you never know, so I'll check anyway.

Should I get it recleaned? Is it just my eyes? Is there a reason why it wouldn't be sparkly that I'm not thinking of?
 

HopeDream

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
2,146
Hi Pumpkinpieness,

Direct sunlight isn't the best lighting environment for excellently cut diamonds, though it can make average or poorly-cut diamonds look great.

If well-cut, your diamond will look best in a more diffused lighting environment such as under a tree on a sunny day, on a cloudy day, or in any other diffuse lighting environment. Jewellery store lighting and big box store lighting will also make your diamond sparkle like mad. Candle light can also be quite good for well cut stones.

for maximum sparkel, your diamond should be cleaned with dishsoap and a toothbrush daily. The slightest bit of grease/handcream/dirt on a diamond will change the way it reflects light and seriously dim it's sparkle.
 

pumpkinpieness

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4
Thanks HopeDream. What you said actually makes a lot of sense, because I was mentioning to my DF that it looked great when I had my hand in a non-sunlit area of the car, versus when I was standing outside a few minutes prior. Sometimes when I look right down into it, it looks a little dull, although I didn't see anything wrong with it when looking through the loupe. I guess I am too picky and should just let go of this and enjoy the ring!! =)
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
It's probably a combination of the "diamonds go dark in direct sunlight" phenomenon and a little dirt, as HopeDream mentioned. My diamond certainly looks much duller when I let grime build up on the pavilion. The other factor is that GIA's excellent cut grading allows for some diamonds that we call "steep/deep" - i.e. steep angles and high total depth. These can leak light more readily than ideally proportioned diamonds. If you really want to know if your diamond is one of those, you could post the crown/pavilion angles, table, and depth, and people can give you their thoughts on the numbers. Otherwise, give it a bath and look at it in more flattering lighting environments, and you may be pleasantly surprised!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,361
Dirty diamonds don't sparkle. Get it cleaned and see what you think.

Also, lighting is the biggest determinant of sparkle by far. And big diamonds respond differently to changes in lighting than do smaller stones (like in your promise ring). Smaller stones always sort of twinkle, maybe a little fire in the sunlight. I notice that larger stones show a lot more character and variance in their optics, and some people are not used to that. I have never thought direct sunlight is the best environment for diamonds -- to the wearer anyways. Other people see the fire off my ring but not me! Its the angle I think. I like my diamond best in the shadow of a tree on a sunlit day, in home depot, or on a cloudy day.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I agree that dirty diamonds lose a lot of their sparkle. When I first got my engagement ring, I loved watching it sparkle in so many different types of lighting environments. After just a few days, it didn't seem as impressive anymore, and I thought that I had just gotten used to it. Then, my fiance took it in to have the prongs tightened one day, and had the jeweler clean it while they had it. I didn't even think it was the same diamond at first! It sparkled so much more again, which I believe also made it look larger.

It is losing its sparkle again now, and I'm trying to decide how to best clean it. I soak it in diluted Windex, and sometimes in a solution of water and Dawn, but that doesn't seem to help much. I actually had it cleaned at another jewelry store today, but I got it back really quickly, and it didn't seem to gain as much of its sparkle back. My best guess is that something is gunking up maybe under the diamond, and it isn't very easy to get out?

Anyway, I agree that direct sunlight is not my favorite lighting source when looking at my diamond. I really prefer it under the lights at Wal-Mart (I haven't been to a Home Depot with it yet, so I'm not sure if they have the same type of lighting?), under some parking lot spotlighting, and in indirect sunlight (like in my house during the day).
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,725
It is true about the lighting and especially the cleaning. Some of the girls here have either a Jewel Jet steam cleaner or a small ultrasonic cleaner (which is not too good for pave) to do really good cleaning occasionally. But it really takes cleaning almost everyday to keep a diamond at it's best. If you have a loupe, look at your diamond after a couple of days and you'll be surprised at what it picks up!
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,346
The other part of cleaning is rinsing - you must get all the soap, windex, Mr. Clean, whatever - off. Using a baby toothbrush to get in between the prongs is very helpful as well as you clean the stone but make sure to hold it under running water for a minute or so to get all of the cleaning agent off.

It is sometimes disheartening that a diamond won't sparkle in every lighting condition. However, it is the play of light or the reflections of a stone that make it sparkle. All lighting, room and outdoor environments are not always optimal in producing that sparkle we all crave. We all regret that to a degree but when all things come together correctly - what a light show we are rewarded with!!

Dirty won't work either. Cleaning your stone everyday or so helps to keep it in tip top shape but even in wearing it during the day it can become dirty from the environment around us or the oil on our own hands. A simple trip to the bathroom or kitchen sink for a good hand washing with a clear soap will clean it right up until it's next soaking bath. Often times, to the detriment of my hands, I avoid hand lotion because I don't want my diamond dirty! I'm better with the lotion at night when my diamond is clean and in its resting place. Sad how far we sink to have that sparkle!
 

pumpkinpieness

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4
I wouldn't be surprised if it was a steep/deep cut diamond because when I first saw it, I thought it looked a little odd shaped. I'm almost afraid to have my fears confirmed, but I'll post the measurements.

It's .70 c, 5.69 - 5.71 - 3.51

total depth 61.6
table size 59%
crown angle 35 degrees
crown height 14.5%
pavilion angle 41.2 degrees
pavilion depth 43.5%
star length 50%
lower half 80%
girdle med faceted 3.5%
culet none
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
I'm not very well-versed in what makes a diamond steep/deep, so hopefully others will chime in. But based on the HCA, I *think* that may be a factor here.

HCA: https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

Light Return Very Good
Fire Good
Scintillation Good
Spread or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 4.0 - Good - Only if price is your main criterion

It's still within the parameters for GIA excellent cut, so I don't think anyone was trying to dupe you, but I think your diamond may be a steep/deep. This doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a beautiful stone. It does mean that the light return will be more affected by things like ambient light and cleanliness. Hope that helps!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,361
Well, if it is a GIA Ex then it is not a poorly cut stone, not matter what we may desire in terms of utter perfection of cut. The standards most PSers have for cut are very particular, only really applying to about 0.1% of diamonds that are cut. But there are another 10% probably that are still well cut by all normal standards, and I think yours falls into that broader category.

Just entering the numbers into the HCA, it does not fare well, but depending on rounding of the values it could be better. Also, the longer lgfs likely help.

The important part is whether it is pleasing to your eyes.

But I reiterate you have to have realistic expectatiosn about what diamonds look like in various lighting. You may look at yours and critique it, but if you and I got together and compared our two stones, they might actually look the same in a given lighting environment. As I said, I do not find bright sunlight to be a very good place to look at my diamond at all. Consumers often come on here expecting their diamond to shine, sparkle, and scintillate ALL the time, and that just is not how it looks.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,686
pumpkinpieness|1304278490|2909320 said:
I wouldn't be surprised if it was a steep/deep cut diamond because when I first saw it, I thought it looked a little odd shaped. I'm almost afraid to have my fears confirmed, but I'll post the measurements.

It's .70 c, 5.69 - 5.71 - 3.51

total depth 61.6
table size 59%
crown angle 35 degrees
crown height 14.5%
pavilion angle 41.2 degrees
pavilion depth 43.5%
star length 50%
lower half 80%
girdle med faceted 3.5%
culet none

No. It's not what many PSers would consider "ideal" but it's by no means poorly proportioned - certainly by those numbers you shouldn't be seeing the drastically inhibited light return you are describing, even assuming worst case GIA rounding. Ditto a thorough cleaning - baby toothbrush, canned air, the works!
 

Lula

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
4,543
Yssie|1304283666|2909388 said:
pumpkinpieness|1304278490|2909320 said:
I wouldn't be surprised if it was a steep/deep cut diamond because when I first saw it, I thought it looked a little odd shaped. I'm almost afraid to have my fears confirmed, but I'll post the measurements.

It's .70 c, 5.69 - 5.71 - 3.51

total depth 61.6
table size 59%
crown angle 35 degrees
crown height 14.5%
pavilion angle 41.2 degrees
pavilion depth 43.5%
star length 50%
lower half 80%
girdle med faceted 3.5%
culet none

No. It's not what many PSers would consider "ideal" but it's by no means poorly proportioned - certainly by those numbers you shouldn't be seeing the drastically inhibited light return you are describing, even assuming worst case GIA rounding. Ditto a thorough cleaning - baby toothbrush, canned air, the works!
Ditto this -- the lack of sparkle probably has more to do with it needing a cleaning than the cut. I live in area with very hard water and have to make sure I don't get a layer of mineral deposits on my ring from the water. Use some distilled water, a little dish-soap with a drop of ammonia, and rinse really well with distilled water. I use a little baking soda and water on my rings for a quick clean and that works well, too.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,686
Lula|1304292339|2909482 said:
Ditto this -- the lack of sparkle probably has more to do with it needing a cleaning than the cut. I live in area with very hard water and have to make sure I don't get a layer of mineral deposits on my ring from the water. Use some distilled water, a little dish-soap with a drop of ammonia, and rinse really well with distilled water. I use a little baking soda and water on my rings for a quick clean and that works well, too.

That's brilliant! I'll have to try that.

Pumpkin -word of warning from experience - don't do a home steaming using your kettle unless you're absolutely sure your kettle's innards are immaculate. I tried this, and I managed to seal a layer of grease onto my stone - that took literally a full day of soaking and scrubbing to get off. I was totally baffled - turns out I don't always wash off oil/spray before I grab it to refill when I'm cooking - I didn't even notice!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
Dreamer_D|1304280858|2909350 said:
I would not call this stone a "steep deep" by any stretch of the imagination.

Here is a discussion of a true steep/deep: https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/freaking-out-hca-came-back-as-fair.130388/
Thanks for the correction, Dreamer! So it's not steep/deep, and it's still well-cut, just not cut to proportions that AGS would consider ideal. Sounds like you have yourself a lovely diamond that just needs some cleaning!

ETA: I have this cleaner - cheap and it works pretty well. Be sure to use hot water in it, since that gets it much cleaner than room-temperature water:
http://www.amazon.com/CD-2800-Ultra...DAVW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304307646&sr=8-1
 

pumpkinpieness

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
4
Thanks everyone for all your replies =) I did clean it with the cleaning gel and brush it came with, and lo and behold, it shone! Still not as much as I was hoping but a very marked improvement. I'm happy again. I just have to remember to clean it before big events.
 
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