Diamond Fluorescence - All You Need to Know


When looking to expand ones diamond collection people in general are looking for the same thing. The goal is to buy the largest and best quality diamonds possible for the lowest overall cost.


Many characteristics such as the 4Cs play extremely important roles in the quality of the precious stones. However, what many don't consider are the features that are relatively blind to the untrained naked eye. Some of these features may slightly reduce the stones overall value, but because they are not easily seen they won't significantly decrease the quality of the diamonds themselves.


Diamond Fluorescence is a perfect example of a one of these features. It can slightly help reduce the cost of the diamond while not necessarily lowering the overall value of the stone. Those with years of professional experience can often distinguish the slight difference in appearance under regular lighting. However, to the untrained eye diamond fluorescence is not noticeable unless seen under ultra violet lighting.

What is Diamond Fluorescence


A pure colourless diamond actually has no compound elements of any kind. Only, to find such a prize is absolutely unheard of. The diamonds found are precious stones created with various compound elements absorbed over millions of years in the making. The different elements included in the composition are precisely what define the type of diamond it is. The additional elements that can be absorbed into the diamonds composition and cause fluorescence are nitrogen, boron, and aluminum.


Below you will see a strong white fluoresence

and a very strong green fluoresence

Diamond fluorescence is in essence the inclusion of these elements that cause this magnificent glow. Depending on the stones composition, in Fancy Colour Diamonds it can appear in a number of different shades or colours such as blue, yellow, white, orange, green, and pink. In colourless diamonds, fluorescence will generally appear only in a yellow or blue tint.


Since diamond fluorescence can glow at different levels the GIA developed a grading scale to measure the strength of the illumination.


• None

• Faint

• Medium

• Strong

• Very Strong

How it all Began


Diamonds were created millions of years ago deep below the surface of the earth. Over time, while forming these stones absorbed trace elements of various other minerals. The elements absorbed into the composition of the stones is what created the magnificent glow known today as diamond fluorescence.


Only about 35% of stones available today actually have diamond fluorescence and only about 10% of those have enough fluorescence to cause a change of appearance under ultraviolet light.


The Affects of Diamond Fluorescence


Now more than ever certain compound elements are admired for the effect caused on the precious stones. Many diamond retailers will tell you that diamond fluorescence is known as a negative trait in the industry. As a result the price of diamonds that contain diamond fluorescence are usually slightly lowered due to the 'reduced' quality of the stone. However, there are two points that must be considered about this truly amazing phenomenon:


• Diamond fluorescence can only be distinguished by the untrained eye under ultra violet lighting. Even a very strong fluorescence will appear extremely faint under direct sunlight.


• Depending on the colour of the stone and the colour of diamond fluorescence it can sometimes positively add to the colour of the stone.


Diamond fluorescence might be an excellent way to get your hands on a beautiful stone that is a little bit above your price range. As a result of the fluorescence the cost will most likely be reduced. Depending on the intensity of diamond fluorescence you might find a little more room for negotiation.


In most fancy coloured diamonds, diamond fluorescence won’t significantly reduce the intensity of the stone. The fluorescence glow together with the combination of the diamond colour can often complement each other. Under the right lighting, diamond fluorescence can actually help enhance the magic.


Finding a yellow diamond with fluorescence is actually quite common. However the illumination level is usually quite faint. When purchasing a yellow diamond, be sure to speak with the vendor and ask what type of effect the fluorescence has on the stone. In certain cases it might not be noticeable. In others it can give the stone a slight brownish tint or even a milky appearance. The benefit is that if the fluorescence is not visible, for a significantly reduced cost you can acquire a stone that looks no different from one without any fluorescence at all.


Pink coloured diamonds on the other hand are quite difficult to find without fluorescence. In fact since the addition is so common especially in Argyle pink diamonds, even a strong grade will generally not negatively impact the value of the stone.


In general a pure blue diamond will not have any fluorescence at all. In the event that fluorescence is found, which most likely means that the diamond is slightly combined with a greenish overtone, the fluorescence will usually not even be noticeable.


Certain diamond fluorescence are extremely rare and actually considered collector's items, for example a red fluorescence. Be sure to ask the jeweler for their recommendations on the stones.


Whether positive or negative to see the affect in reality is breathtaking. Have a look at the image below. Images like this are the reason diamond fluorescence is sometimes referred to as magnificent.

             The colours of the diamonds shown are above are from left to right:


Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow, Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange, Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange, Fancy Deep Grayish Yellowish Green/Chameleon, Fancy Dark Gray Yellowish Green/Chameleon, Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Pink, Fancy Greenish Yellow, Fancy Intense Green Yellow, Fancy Intense Green Yellow.


Most importantly, you should be happy with the diamonds you purchase. Make sure to speak to the retailer you are dealing with and find out all the information upfront. Have a look at the stone under different lighting and always look over the certificate.

BH & Co