“Hi, I was thinking about purchasing an H&A diamond from Brian Gavin. But while researching H&A stones on (an online forum), I found out many owners of ideal cuts diamonds (including BGD's and other brands) noticed that their diamonds went dark under direct sunlight and/or indoor lights (at home/jewelry stores, etc.) as shown in several threads/images.”
“Could you please let me know if the above phenomenon is common in all Brian Gavin diamonds, or were the reports on the forum limited to only a few special cases mentioned on that site? Thank you for your time.”
How Lighting Conditions and Perception Affect Brilliance:
As a matter of fact, all diamonds are going to look dark when viewed in direct sunlight. However, it seems like people who are passionate about light performance tend to notice it more because they bought their diamond expecting it to sparkle more than any other.
In the first place, the majority of the people who spend their time on diamond forums probably spend more time looking at their diamonds than the average person. Secondly, they tend to do so with a more critical eye because they have a deeper appreciation for the sparkle factor that their super ideal cut diamond exhibits.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that they’re going to notice the subtle nuances of light performance more than the average person. As you might imagine, this practice is a double-edged sword because that means that you’re going to be aware of even the slightest differences in sparkle factor.
On the upside, that means that you’re going to appreciate the higher volume of light return and sparkle factor of your Black by Brian Gavin and Signature diamond more and more. However, it will also help you to know more about how diamonds perform under different lighting conditions.
The Light that Burns Twice as Bright:
There is an old Lao Tzu proverb about "The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long." It turned up in the movie Blade Runner (1982)
with a slight twist that used the word light instead of the flame because that is a more current reference I suppose.
But the thing to remember about the things that illuminate our lives is that the degree of brightness is going to relative to the environment and viewing conditions. That means that the perception of diamond sparkle and light performance is going to change depending on the lighting environment.
That is why this Black by Brian Gavin Diamond looks amazing outdoors. However, it’s important to realize that this picture was taken under very specific circumstances.
As a matter of fact, this photograph was not taken in direct sunlight because of the way that those lighting conditions would affect our perception of performance.
Under those circumstances, our eyes will adjust automatically in an effort to protect themselves from being damaged by the very bright light. In which case, the diamond will appear to be dark. However, the reality is exactly the opposite of that.
The More You Read, The More You’ll Know (about diamonds):
Imagine that you are sitting outside trying to read a book. As a matter of fact, it can be an eBook on your phone or an old fashioned paper book that you hold in your hands. But, for the sake of argument, let’s go with the old-fashioned physical book that you’re holding in your hands.
You’re sitting there in a comfortable chair or perhaps on a park bench under the shade of a tree and enjoying the book so much that you’re not really paying attention to the environment around you. Perhaps you can picture the scene and you might even remember the last time you did this and the name of the book.
Now imagine that the sun is moving and as it changes position up in the sky, the intensity of light reflecting off the bright white pages of the book is affected and that the pages suddenly become brighter and whiter because the sun is no longer filtered by the leaves of the tree.
That’s right, you’re trying to read the words on the page, but the pages of the book are so bright that it’s difficult for you to look at them without hurting your eyes. As a matter of fact, you might notice that you’re squinting as your eyes try to adjust (and protect themselves from damage).
At which point, you’re probably going to adjust your position or move over slightly, or you might even get up and walk over to another place where you can sit in the shade once more and get back to enjoying your book.
The Best Way to Photograph Your Diamond Outside:
Interestingly enough, when most people sit down to read a book outside, they probably don’t give much thought to the lighting conditions. That’s because they’re just sitting down to enjoy reading a book. In which case, they’re not likely to think about the temperature of light or the effect that the lighting will have upon their eyes.
As a matter of fact, most people will go about their day walking around in the sunlight without giving their ring a second thought. In fact, it’s only when we stop to think about the sparkle factor that we pay particular attention to how our diamonds perform in sunlight. And that’s when we are most likely to notice that all diamonds look dark in direct sunlight.
That’s right, all diamonds are going to look darker when viewed in direct sunlight because of the manner in which our eyes (and digital camera lenses) adjust to protect themselves (and their digital components) from being damaged by direct sunlight.
In which case, you’ll find that the best place to appreciate and photograph your Black by Brian Gavin and Signature Hearts & Arrows diamonds is outside under the partial shade of a leafy tree and it’s even more amazing if there is a slight breeze to move the leaves about.
Go ahead and give it a try and please share your favorite pics with us and tag us on @BrianGavinDiamonds when you post them on social media.