search
  • Sign In
    Sign Up
  • English speaking customer support only

    Toll Free - USA & Canada only:
    1-800-464-1640

    International:
    +66-39609697

  • Change Language
  • USD

Gemstones that Sparkle – Which ones have the most dazzle?

Gemstones that Sparkle
Gemstones that Sparkle

We use a lot of different words when talking about gemstones. Some such as sparkle, dazzle and shine are just personal opinions while brilliance, fire and luster are technical terms that can be measured scientifically.

Some gemstones have much higher levels of brilliance, fire and luster than others and not only can this give them a quite spectacular appearance but can also be used to identify particular stones.

What do these technical terms mean? With the simplest possible explanation:

  • Brilliance – how the light bends and bounces inside the gemstone
  • Fire – when white light enters the gemstone, it scatters and breaks up into the colors of the rainbow
  • Luster – refers to the surface of the gemstones and how much light is reflected back. It can be described as adamantine as in a diamond or waxy as in turquoise with various stages in between.

So, using the above scientific properties, as well as our own eyes, to examine some stunning stones, we have come up with the top 8 gemstones that have the most sparkle or dazzle.

There are a few candidates that are at the top of our list of the most dazzling gemstones but I want to lay out a few rules first.

I really only want to include gemstones that are readily available – no point in including ones that are so rare and expensive that they belong in museums not at jewelers.

Some gemstones may have all the chemical and scientific properties – refractive index, dispersion and so on – needed to be ‘dazzling’ but are simply too dark to show any gleam or glimmer. We have selected gems that come in bright colors, light enough to glitter as well as sufficient clarity for all that light to get in and out.

Then we have cut. A gemstone with the right properties, excellent clarity and gorgeous color can be as dull as dish water without perfectly placed facets and, generally speaking, the more facets, the merrier.

A final point before we get onto the gemstones.

If you are going to get your bright and shiny gemstone made into jewelry, all the sparkle in the world can be ruined by a poorly set piece. Make sure your stone is in a setting that allows in light.

Diamond

Diamonds are probably the most famous of the sparkling gemstones with many of the famous facet cuts designed especially to show off its ‘scintillation’ – the classic Round Brilliant cut for example with its 58 facets. All other gemstones are compared with diamonds when discussing their brilliance.

Shop Diamond Gemstones
Natural Diamond Gemstones

Zircon

Zircon has such intense fire and bright luster that they are often compared to diamonds and make a great substitute for them. Zircon can be easily distinguished from a diamond in a laboratory as it has strong double refraction – where rays enter the gemstone and then splits into two separate rays.

Shop Zircon Gemstones
Buy Zircon Gemstones

Demantoid Garnet

Demantoid Garnet is a truly amazing gemstone with a green color that can rival or even beat that of an emerald and a fire that defeats diamonds. They are exceedingly rare and usually found in small carat sizes. The general preference is for deep green colors but for the fire to really blaze, the color needs to be slightly lighter, either way a stunning stone.

Shop Demantoid Garnet Gemstones
Buy Demantoid Garnet Gemstones

Sapphire

Sapphires are famously blue but can be found in just about any color you can imagine – except a particular red then they become rubies. The deep blue sapphires with an almost velvety appearance do not have much of a sparkle but lighter blues along with the yellow, orange and pink gemstones can really blaze and dazzle.

Shop Sapphire Gemstones
Buy Sapphire Gemstones

Sphene

Sphene is a gemstone that you may not be familiar with as it is rarely found in jewelry stores but it has much more fire than a diamond. Sphene has one of the highest dispersion rates of any gemstone and this high number means it flashes yellow, gold, orange and red against its green background in a very impressive display of colors.

Shop Sphene Gemstones
Buy Sphene Gemstones

Sphalerite

Even less known than sphene is the very rare Sphalerite gemstones which can sparkle at three time the rate of a diamond! Add to this the intense color, outstanding luster, very high refraction and we should have one of the most famous gemstones on the planet but unfortunately it is a relatively soft stone so is more one for the collectors than the jewelers. Its rarity means it should not make our list but I just had to include it.

Shop Sphalerite Gemstones
Buy Sphalerite Gemstones

Spessartite Garnet

Spessartite is another member of the versatile and colorful Garnet family. This one is usually a bright orange color with such a beautiful brilliance that they could be the best value gemstone on our list. Available in decent sizes with excellent clarity and an array of cuts and shapes, spessartite garnet presents great value for such a gorgeous gemstone.

Shop Spessartite Garnet Gemstones
Buy Spessartite Garnet Gemstones

Tanzanite

Tanzanite was forged by the volcanic activity that created Mt Kilimanjaro and brought to man’s attention by wildfires that turned dull brown rocks into what the President of Tiffany’s described as the most beautiful gemstone to be discovered in 2000 years. Vivid blue colors flash with red, violet and purple as this amazing gemstones is moved from angle to angle.

Shop Tanzanite Gemstones
Buy Tanzanite Gemstones

For more technical information on dispersion, refraction and luster please click here

Our Informal Gemstone Sparkle Rating

Rank Gemstone Colors

1

Sphalerite

Yellow, orange, red, green, colorless

2

Diamond

Colorless, yellow, brown, green, blue, red, orange, gray, black

3

Sphene

Yellow, brown, green, reddish

4

Demantoid Garnet

Yellow-green, green to emerald green

5

Zircon

Colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, blue, green

6

Spessartite Garnet

Orange, orangey-yellow, red-brown

7

Tanzanite

Blue, violet

8

Sapphire

Blue, colorless, pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, black

  • First Published: June-24-2021
  • Last Updated: June-24-2021
STAY IN TOUCH
*You're signing up to receive GemSelect promotional email.

Privacy Notice © 2005-2022 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.

Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.

8670

More Shapes
Popular Gemstones
  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Aquamarine
  • Zircon
  • Opal
  • Topaz
  • Tourmaline
  • Garnet
  • Amethyst
  • Citrine
  • Tanzanite
All Gemstones (136)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V Z
  • Actinolite Cat's Eye
  • Agate
  • Agate Geode
  • Almandine Garnet
  • Amazonite
  • Amethyst
  • Amethyst Geode
  • Ametrine
  • Ammolite
  • Andalusite
  • Andesine Labradorite
  • Apatite
  • Aquamarine
  • Aventurine
  • Black Opal
  • Bloodstone
  • Boulder Opal
  • Carnelian
  • Cat's Eye Apatite
  • Cat's Eye Aquamarine
  • Cat's Eye Gemstones
  • Cat's Eye Moonstone
  • Cat's Eye Opal
  • Cat's Eye Scapolite
  • Chalcedony
  • Charoite
  • Chocolate Opal
  • Chrome Diopside
  • Chrysoberyl
  • Chrysocolla
  • Chrysoprase
  • Citrine
  • Color Change Gemstones
  • Color-Change Diaspore
  • Color-Change Fluorite
  • Color-Change Garnet
  • Color-Change Sapphire
  • Coral
  • Demantoid Garnet
  • Dendritic Agate
  • Diamond
  • Druzy Amethyst
  • Druzy Azurite
  • Druzy Variscite
  • Emerald
  • Enstatite
  • Fire Agate
  • Fire Opal
  • Fluorite
  • Fossil Coral
  • Garnet
  • Golden Beryl
  • Grandidierite
  • Grossularite Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Hemimorphite
  • Hemimorphite Druzy
  • Hessonite Garnet
  • Howlite
  • Idocrase
  • Imperial Topaz
  • Iolite
  • Jade Gemstones
  • Jadeite
  • Jasper
  • Kornerupine
  • Kunzite
  • Kyanite
  • Labradorite
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Larimar
  • Malachite
  • Malaya Garnet
  • Mali Garnet
  • Maw-Sit-Sit
  • Moonstone
  • Morganite
  • Mother Of Pearl
  • Mystic Topaz
  • Nuummite
  • Obsidian
  • Opal
  • Opal Doublet
  • Opal In Matrix
  • Pearl
  • Peridot
  • Pietersite
  • Prehnite
  • Pyrite
  • Pyrope Garnet
  • Quartz
  • Quartz Cat's Eye
  • Quartz With Hedenbergite
  • Quartz With Marcasite
  • Rainbow Moonstone
  • Rainbow Pyrite
  • Rhodochrosite
  • Rhodolite Garnet
  • Rose Quartz
  • Rubellite Tourmaline
  • Ruby
  • Ruby In Fuchsite
  • Ruby-Zoisite
  • Rutile Quartz
  • Sapphire
  • Scapolite
  • Scolecite
  • Seraphinite
  • Sillimanite
  • Sillimanite Cat's Eye
  • Smithsonite
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Snowflake Obsidian
  • Sodalite
  • Spectrolite
  • Spessartite Garnet
  • Sphene
  • Spinel
  • Star Diopside
  • Star Garnet
  • Star Gemstones
  • Star Moonstone
  • Star Rose Quartz
  • Star Ruby
  • Star Sapphire
  • Strawberry Quartz
  • Sunstone
  • Tanzanite
  • Tiger's Eye
  • Tiger's Eye Matrix
  • Topaz
  • Tourmaline
  • Tsavorite Garnet
  • Turquoise
  • Variscite
  • Zircon
Main Categories
  • New Arrivals
  • Gemstone Lots
  • Calibrated Gemstones
  • Gemstones By Piece
  • Top Grade Gems
  • Matching Pairs
  • Cabochon Gemstones
  • Drilled Gems, Briolettes and Beads
  • Birthstones
  • Gemstone Carvings
  • Fancy Gemstones
  • Star Gemstones
  • Unheated Sapphire
English speaking customer support only

Toll Free - USA & Canada only:
1-800-464-1640

International:
+66-39609697

Save Money
No shipping Fees for Additional Items!
$8.90 Worldwide Shipping

Update Translation
 
Current Value
New Value
GemSelect Gemstones
X Close Window
Colored Gemstones
X Close Window
Colored Gemstones
X Close Window
Colored Gemstones
Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart