why do diamonds look colorful when you take a picture of them?


why do diamonds look colorful when you take a picture of them?

In: Earth Science

A lot of the color you see in gemstones is actually a lot of different flares of color that come through at different angles as you move. When you take a picture, it’s not moving so you usually don’t get a lot of those flares.

Light refraction, the same way a prism works in the sunlight to show you the rainbow. Diamonds, and gemstones, are cut with “facets” to direct this light optimally to give them that sparkle you see.

A pure diamond will not look colourful. The internal structure of diamond is structured like a tetrahedral prism this also gives it its strength optical properties. With a pure diamond because of its structure when white light enter the diamond it is totally internally infracted (TIR) this means the same light that enters is the same light that leaves. White light enters white light leaves. Diamonds may look colourful as some diamonds are not pure or made of glass. What this means is as white light enters it changes direction based of what it comes it contact with (other impurities in the diamond) this change in direction cause the white light to refract (separate). This refraction occurs as the white light leaves the diamond and splits the white light into other colours of light. This makes the diamond look colourful but it is actually not colourful what you are seeing is the impurities refracting the white light into may different colours of light. This is also why water looks blue because white light is being refracted by the internal H2O molecules, however adding impurities (just like the diamond) will change the colour of water. For example dissolving mud will make it more of a brown.