The Benefits of Fluorescence in Diamonds
Sometimes as human beings, we perpetuate half-truths and misconceptions just because that is what we have been told or perhaps we didn’t have the time to do the research ourselves. The same goes with diamonds. Over the last 27 years, I have spoken to countless people, most of whom good intentioned, who just don’t know the hard facts about diamonds. Let’s dive deep into one subject in particular today: the presence of fluorescence in diamonds. Years ago, diamonds with this quality actually sold at a premium in the diamond market. Then gradually and then overnight, due to certain demographic groups, suddenly fluorescence in diamonds became ugly, unwanted, and downright taboo. Why, do you ask, I have absolutely no clue! Classic case of she said, he said, she said, etc. While this tongue twister is confusing at best, it seems to be the norm about a lot of things in life. Rumors spread like wildfire and it is our duty as accountable humans to seek the truth. Also, it’s my moral obligation as a fourth generation jeweler, to give you the skinny on this subject without any biases or preconceived notions that distort the truth!
What exactly is diamond fluorescence and why is so hotly debated?
For quite some time now, the issue of fluorescence in some diamonds has been a hot topic. A lot of people say that it’s something you should avoid when purchasing any diamond, while others say fluorescence is a positive thing and can actually save the consumer money because it generally masks color making a K color diamond appear more like an H color. So what is really the main effect of fluorescence on diamonds, and why you include it in the factors for consideration when buying a diamond?
Diamond Fluorescence Definition:
As you may well know, the word “fluorescence” refers to an object’s ability to absorb light of short wavelengths and emit it at a higher wavelength, usually only visible with the help of special tools like x-rays or UV light. Some diamonds have this attribute, and fluorescence in diamonds can, in some cases and depending on how strong it is, affect the stone’s color quality. And color is one of the 4C’s of diamonds that can really affect its worth and value, as well as its beauty.
Now you might be wondering, how exactly does it affect the color of the diamond? Does it make it more beautiful or does it sort of ruin the diamond’s color?
Well, it depends. Diamond fluorescence is graded as follows: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong. In most cases, fluorescence can only be detected under a UV light. But the stronger a diamond’s fluorescence is, the more chance there is for it to visually affect a diamond even when not under a UV light. In rare cases (and usually in the D/E/F Color ranges (insert diamond buying guide hyperlink here), Fluorescence can make a diamond appear hazy, oily, or foggy. Take a D-color diamond. That’s the highest color quality a diamond can have. But if that D-color diamond has a strong fluorescence, instead of being completely colorless, it can in very few cases, appear a little oily and yellowish, and it won’t be as beautiful as it could have been. Its price value will also drop as a result. But this is a very rare occurrence.
Diamond Fluorescence and its effect on diamond color:
There are also cases in which fluorescence can enhance the diamond’s appearance. For instance, if you have a K-color diamond that has slight to medium fluorescence, the diamond’s slight yellowish color will be diminished by its fluorescence which has a slightly blue appearance, and that same stone will look like it has an F-color quality. Furthermore, fluorescence, because of illogical market conditions, causes the diamond’s price tag to drop a bit.
There are very few cases where fluorescence can make a diamond’s price tag go up. An example of this is when you have a fluorescent diamond with a color grade of I-M. These stones are usually sold at a premium because, despite their low color quality, the fluorescence actually enhances their appearance and makes them look whiter and less cloudy. It will therefore look like a higher-quality stone than it actually is.
But again, this is a very rare occurrence. Despite the fact that it’s mostly considered “taboo” in the diamond industry and seen as a flaw to a diamond’s quality, fluorescence is actually not necessarily a negative trait for a diamond to have. As sited in the examples above, it can make a diamond appear like it has a higher color quality than it actually does, its light blue appearance can complement a slightly colored diamond’s faint yellow color and make it appear whiter, and the price value of the fluorescent stone will, in most cases, be much lower compared to a similar-colored diamond with no fluorescence.
GIA’s take on Diamond Fluorescence:
As a matter of fact, the Gemological Institute of America or GIA, has a long-running study of diamond fluorescence. They are the leading gemological authority in the world, and this is what they have to say about diamond fluorescence and its effect on diamonds:
"GIA studies show that for the overwhelming majority of diamonds, the strength of fluorescence has no widely noticeable effect on appearance…the average person could not make a distinction between a diamond with fluorescence and a diamond without…observers prefer the appearance of diamonds that have medium to strong fluorescence. In rare cases, some diamonds with extremely strong fluorescence may appear hazy or oily; fewer than 0.2% of the fluorescent diamonds submitted to GIA exhibit this effect."
Lessons for the Diamond Buyer about Fluorescence:
Building upon from this information, as a savvy buyer and aspiring diamond expert, you can potentially save hundreds upon hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your next diamond purchase if you take fluorescence into consideration. Just remember that a faint-colored to light-colored diamond can appear like a near-colorless diamond when complemented with the right amount of fluorescence. Don’t forget, the diamond chooses you and it’s crucial to choose a good jeweler, one who empowers you with the right information so that you can make an informed decision.
If you need any help with choosing the right diamond, do not hesitate to contact a professional to help you. Call or text Pasquale Angelucci at 949-302-0155 now, or book a free 1-on-1 diamond consultation with us! We can also help you build and customize your own ring based on your very own design using our ring builder tool or build your perfect ring from scratch. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us toll free at 800-462-7118.
Delivery time from design approval to ring delivery is usually 3-4 weeks max! In a hurry, we have an expedited service as well. Let’s chat and make your dream of having the perfect ring a reality while not breaking the bank.