I'm trying to express that it's easy to tell when something is high quality. What would be a word, or better yet, a quote from literature, that expresses this?

2 Answers 2


"Qualities shine from afar, defects from up close." (Victor Hugo)

  • Thank you, what novel would that be from? Dec 17, 2018 at 14:05
  • This quote is from Victor Hugo's "Post-Scriptum de Ma Vie" ("A Postscript to My Life"). Here's the original quote in French: "On voit les qualités de loin et les défauts de près."
    – BeatsMe
    Dec 17, 2018 at 14:36

There is an old expression,

The cream rises to the top.

While it is literally true that cream will float over milk in a raw dairy product, it can also be used figuratively to mean that excellence is easily recognized among the normal or substandard.

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