Ilovebutter/Flickr Diamonds reflect light in an unusual way: The diamond will shine gray and white inside the stone (known as "brilliance"), while it will reflect rainbow hues onto other surfaces outside of the gem (this dispersed light is known as "fire"). They definitely glimmer, but it's a gray sparkle. The color of the diamond depends on how well it was grown.
When light hits the surface of a diamond, it is reflected back out to the viewer after some of it is absorbed by the diamond. The more absorption that occurs, the darker the diamond will appear. Light also penetrates some diamonds, particularly larger ones, causing them to glow from within.
Diamonds are made up of carbon atoms which form a tetrahedron structure when they are bound together. When light falls on a molecule, it can be reflected away from its surface or transmitted through it. If it is reflected away, no effect will occur; if it is transmitted through, then it will reach another particle in the chain and so on until it reaches the end where it is lost. This means that only certain wavelengths of light are able to penetrate the crystal and be emitted from the other side as bright colors. The rest is absorbed.
Color in diamonds comes from traces of nitrogen within the carbon lattice. Nitrogen has three electrons in its outer shell, which leaves one hole for the electron cloud to fill. This creates two different energy levels, one filled and one empty.
Diamonds reflect light in an unusual way: A high-quality diamond will dazzle gray and white inside the stone (known as brilliance) and emit bursts of color known as fire. Knowing this makes distinguishing a diamond from less valuable stones simple. However, since all diamonds are transparent to some degree, they all allow some amount of light to pass through them.
Because diamonds are made up of carbon atoms which are arranged in a regular pattern, they can be reflected back toward their source. This occurs when light hits a surface area of the diamond that is not aligned with the other parts of the diamond, and instead reflects off that surface. For example, if a viewer were to look into a diamond face down on a table top, they would see its own image because it is impossible for all of the surface area of a diamond to be aligned vertically.
Reflection also happens when light strikes an interface between two materials with different indices of refraction; e.g., air vs. glass. Because each atom in the material has an electric dipole moment, they can absorb light of certain frequencies. And since each atom does this at a different frequency, the entire material absorbs a broad range of frequencies rather than just the visible part of the spectrum. For example, if we looked into a piece of glass, we would see our own image because it is impossible to avoid reflecting some light away from its original path.
Diamonds reflect light in a distinctive manner: the inner of a genuine diamond should dazzle gray and white, while the exterior should reflect a rainbow of colors onto other surfaces. A false diamond, on the other hand, will have rainbow hues visible inside the diamond. This is because the interior surface has no real diamond; it's made up of carbon atoms in a solid matrix. The exterior, however, does reflect light because it's coated with a thin layer of metal (usually gold or silver). This coating gives the stone its color.
The reflection of colors from within the stone is called "intrinsic" color. It's possible to create these effects by laser cutting the interior of the stone (this removes the need for a metal coating), or by adding substances during the manufacturing process that give it color (e.g., red pigment for ruby, yellow for sapphire).
The reflection of colors from outside the stone is called "extrinsic" color. This occurs when the diamond is mounted on a ring and illuminated from the side opposite to the viewer. The metal used for mounting the stone affects how it reflects light, so each style of ring will have a different appearance when worn.
Genuine diamonds are unique. No two stones are exactly alike, and they can only be distinguished by laboratory tests. In contrast, manufactured diamonds can be identical in every way except for their price tag!