Diamond Fluorescence refers to the visible light that diamonds occasionally emit when they get exposed to ultraviolet light. Fluorescence is fairly common in diamonds. GIA reports that approximately 25-35% of all diamonds they evaluate exhibit at least some fluorescence. Relatively few of these diamonds (10%) have enough fluorescence to impact the appearance of the stone. Almost all fluorescent diamonds show a blue color, although it has also been seen as a yellow or white reaction.
While diamond fluorescence is not covered under color or any of the other 4 C’s, GIA Grading reports include measures of fluorescence. The intensity that is included in the report is described as medium, strong, or very strong. Fluorescence is important to measure when evaluating diamonds because UV light exists in normal sunlight. This means the effect can be seen to some degree quite often.
What Impact Does Fluorescence Have on a Diamond?
Studies have found that for the majority of diamonds, the strength of fluorescence does not have a highly noticeable effect on the diamond’s appearance. In rare occurrences, extremely strong fluorescence can make a diamond look hazy, however this has been seen in less than 1% of diamonds and can be seen without training. Many people will actually prefer diamonds with medium fluorescence, as it adds a unique element and only a tint of extra color.
Remember that fluorescence is not necessarily good or bad. The most important part of a diamond is your own opinion of its beauty. Some people prefer fluorescent diamonds, and some don’t. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What causes diamond fluorescence?
Fluorescence in diamonds occurs when the stone contains one of three elements: Aluminum, boron, or nitrogen. The existence of these elements does not make the diamond any less pure. All natural diamonds will contain trace amounts of compound elements because they get absorbed during the long formation process. This means that diamonds mined in some locations are more likely to be fluorescent.
If you need help determining how fluorescence could affect your diamond in different lights and settings, RH Bockstruck can help. For more information regarding the science and research of fluorescent diamonds, see GIA’s research.