There is no short answer for this question because we have to understand a little about the nature of light. Think of light as this pulsing electromagnetic field that travels at this enormous speed. It travels unimpeded unless it encounters some kind of an obstacle…in this case, a diamond. The windows of the diamond are waiting at their perfect angle to receive this light and three things happen simultaneously.
Light strikes the surface and is absorbed by the diamond. Physics teaches us that the same amount of light that is absorbed is also reflected. It is the absorbed light that gives the diamond its colorfulness…and here’s how. When light passes from one medium to another it is forced to slow down so rapidly that the photon or light wave splits into the seven colors of the rainbow – we call this the visible spectrum or dispersion. This colored mass of light and energy then travels to the pavilion and is reflected back through the crown facets and returned to the observer’s eye.
When combined with light that strikes the lines and facet junctions the other half of the photon is scattered and defused without being absorbed. This gives the diamond its sparkle or scintillation and is most evident when the diamond is in motion.
The last part of the equation is brilliance. In order for light to be absorbed or reflected it has to strike the surface of the diamond at an angle other than 90 degrees. If light strikes the diamond at exactly 90 degrees, it goes in white and comes out white with no loss of velocity. We call this brightness or brilliance, which is directly related to the size of the table.
We now know a little about the propagation and transmission of light in a diamond. So does polish affect the ability of a diamond to absorb, refract and reflect…in essence, can polish inhibit the ability of the diamond to "work?" The answer is "Yes!" Most diamonds pass the polish litmus test to meet the minimum industry standard of 10x magnification. Physics dictates that more highly polished translucent surfaces simply absorb, refract and reflect more light. That’s why at Hearts On Fire we polish at 100x magnification, and also for proportion and symmetry.
A word on the light source – the purveyors of all those beautiful diamonds, gems and jewelry use light sources (e.g. LED pinpoint) that show their products in the best light possible. It becomes somewhat of a mitigating factor because all diamonds look pretty good under these intense lighting conditions, regardless of how well or how badly they are cut. But take them into a low ambient light, like a restaurant – that’s when a Hearts On Fire diamond really outperforms other diamonds, with an ability to inhale more light and exhale fire, sparkle and brightness like no other. This has given Hearts On Fire the renowned name of "ten table diamonds."