You may not be familiar with the term ‘diamond fluorescence’ but it can play a part in assessing diamonds and it’s something you should at least be aware of when you’re next shopping for your latest shiny addition or engagement rings. Fluorescence refers to the strength, or intensity, of the reaction a diamond exhibits when subjected to long-wave ultra-violet light. UV light is a form of radiation which is invisible to the human eye. Its a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It’s also what makes your whites look whiter or the colours in your posters glow when observed with a black-light. When it comes to diamonds, ultra-violet light is what gives the stones a fluorescence. You won’t be able to see the UV light itself, but you will be able to see a soft-coloured glow given off by the diamond. This is caused by the reaction of trace minerals and their submicroscopic structure within the diamond itself. Between 25-30% of all diamonds will emit a glow when viewed under a UV light. The colour can vary between the diamonds themselves. It can range from yellow, green and orange, but blue is the most common colour you’ll see. It’s present in around 95% of all diamonds that do fluoresce. It’s important to note that fluorescence is an identifying characteristic, rather than a criteria on which diamonds are graded.
When it comes to a diamond’s fluorescence, it can be categorised by the intensity of the diamonds reaction to the light. These range from none, faint, medium, strong and very strong. If the stone exhibits a very strong fluorescence, the diamond can appear cloudy or hazy. The way fluorescence impacts on diamonds themselves has been subject of conjecture for many years. It has been perceived as both a positive and a negative aspect in the past, and experts are constantly at odds over whether it really affects the appearance or value of the stone itself. Many people think that a colourless update `wp_posts` set `post_content` = or near colourless) diamond that emits fluorescence will be worth less than one that is fluorescence free. However, for diamonds that appear lower down the colour scale, the price can actually increase on a like-for-like basis, as the blue fluorescence that will be visible will make the diamonds appear whiter. The only word of caution I would give is to be wary if you were buying a diamond with a strong fluorescence in the D-F colour diamonds scale, or one with ‘very strong’ fluorescence in the G-H colour range. These stones often do not possess enough body colour to offset the degree of fluorescence. At the end of the day, most people don’t buy diamonds based on their fluorescence. They buy them because they’re going to look incredible when worn by the person they care about. When you’re looking for a diamond, don’t worry too much about its fluorescence. Think about the way the person you’re giving it to will light up instead.
Find out more about diamond fluorescence and more diamond essentials here