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Shine vs. Reflect: Understanding the Contrast

Shine vs. Reflect: Understanding the Contrast

The diamonds are becoming rare due to their every-year decreasing supply. The alarming situation is that there are a large number of lab-made diamonds that are hard to distinguish from the original ones. 

Many people don’t know whether diamonds shine or reflect as this is one of the ways you can make sure of their originality. By shine, you can refer to the sun or stars because they’re the source of light. Anything that is a source of light can only shine. Keep in mind diamond isn’t a source of light, therefore it doesn’t shine. 

So, you may think it must reflect the light. However, it does neither shine nor reflect. We call it reflecting when the surface bounces back the light. 

With diamonds, light enters the stone and bounces back at different angles. This process is known as refraction. In simple words, diamonds refract the light. 

This article might be an informative resource if you want to learn some interesting facts about diamonds. I’ll also do a side-by-side comparison of shine and reflection. 

Let’s dive into it…

Difference Between Shine And Reflect?

Most individuals aren’t able to make a difference between shine and reflect. 

DefinitionOnly those things shine that are a source of light. They pour out the light from inside. Keep in mind that light isn’t produced by reflection independently. When the light hits a surface, it bounces back which we refer to as reflection. The ray that hits the surface is the incident ray, while the ray that bounces back is the reflected ray. It’s worth mentioning that the object, in this case, doesn’t have its light. Also, every object reflects light differently. 
ExamplesStars, candle flame, and sunMirror or paper
Shine VS. Reflect

It’s a misconception that diamonds reflect or shine. They don’t have independent light, so they don’t shine as flame or sun do. Diamonds also don’t reflect light as their surface can’t bounce off it. 

Can A Diamond Lose Its Sparkle? 

Can A Diamond Lose Its Sparkle?
Sparkling diamond

The reason why diamonds are so rare and pricey is that they maintain their sparkle. A diamond is given special cuts to make it more luminous. The geometrical pattern on a diamond represents facets.

  • The average number of facets on a diamond is 57 or 58.
  • Various shapes of facets are found on diamonds, including bezels and stars.
  • These facets are the reason why a diamond refracts light at different angles.
  • Diamonds with fewer facets are likely to be less sparkling.

Other than that, the clarity and purity of the diamonds have a huge role in bouncing the light. When you look at a colored diamond, you will notice it is less luminous than a white diamond. The colorful diamonds don’t refract white light. 

It’s important to note that diamonds have different shapes with varying facets. 

Diamond Cut ShapesFacets
Round brilliant58
Oval57 or 58
Heart56 to 58
Cushion58 to 64
Princess50 to 58
Number of facets in different diamond shapes

Can Diamonds Sparkle In the Dark?

Can A Diamond Sparkle In Dark?
Colored Diamond

The diamonds don’t have independent light. Therefore, they can’t sparkle when no light enters them. Many believe diamonds shine because they’ve their light, which isn’t the case. 

For instance, if you put a candle in the darkness, it is more likely to shine than in the light. It means that objects having independent light can only shine in the dark. 

You might have noticed that the jewelry stores have great lighting because diamonds only sparkle in the light. Great lighting and facets make a diamond more beautiful and desirable.  

How To Clean Your Diamond? 

Not many women take off their rings while cooking, cleaning, or taking a shower. It’s more likely that the diamonds in your ring will get dirty because they’re at the mercy of the environment. 

You must keep them clean to avoid the dirt layers, even though the sparkle of the diamond doesn’t fade away. Getting your diamond professionally cleaned can be a costly proposition. Therefore, here are some ways to keep your diamond ring safe and clean.

Don’t Wear It In The Gym

You shouldn’t ever go to the gym wearing your wedding ring. The metal of your ring may bend, and the diamond also gets some scratches. 

Take Soap And Water

It’s better to clean your ring once a month by soaking it in water and soap. If necessary, you can rub the crevices with a soft brush. 

Don’t Wear It Under Water

Can you wear diamonds under water?
A Lady Doing Dishes

Many jewelers suggest taking off the ring before washing the dishes, taking a shower, or swimming. Whether it affects the diamond, it can slip away. 


  • Diamonds neither shine nor reflect light as they are not sources of light themselves.
  • Instead, diamonds refract light. It means light enters the stone and bounces back at different angles.
  • The number of facets on a diamond and their shapes influence how it refracts light. This, in turn, affects the diamond’s sparkle. 
  • Diamonds with fewer facets may be less sparkling.
  •  Diamonds cannot sparkle in the dark. They do not emit light and require external light to shine. 
  • Keeping diamonds clean is essential to maintain their appearance. However, their sparkle doesn’t fade with dirt. 
  • To clean your diamond, soak it in soapy water and gently scrub it if needed. Avoid wearing it during activities that can damage it. 
  •  In summary, diamonds reflect light due to their cuts but do not shine independently. They do not reflect light like mirrors. 

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