Diamond Fluorescence is a topic that is both interesting and surrounded by many misconceptions. Some people believe that you should avoid fluorescent diamonds at all costs. Some people have also never have of diamond fluorescence previously.
So, is diamond fluorescence a good or bad thing?
The correct answer is: It depends.
Read on for a further and more detailed explanation.
What Is Diamond Fluorescence?
Diamond fluorescence refers to the response of a diamond to ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is usually found in sunlight, night clubs, and fluorescent bulbs.
Diamonds contain various elements including boron, aluminum, and nitrogen. Upon exposure to UV light, these elements absorb that energy and jump to a higher state on energy. These elements have to emit all the excess energy for them to remain in a physically stable state. They achieve this by emitting light that is perceived as fluorescence.
The commonest fluorescence color diamonds emit is blue and it applies to about 98 percent of all fluorescent diamonds. However, some diamonds have pink, green, yellow, or white fluorescence. Ultimately, the color of the fluorescence is determined by the physical make-up of the internal atomic structure of the diamond.
When Is Fluorescence Good Or Bad?
Fluorescence can be beneficial for several reasons. First, fluorescent diamonds are about 10 to 15 percent cheaper. In addition, they also face up whiter and under UV light, the fluorescent effect can be quite impressive and can make the diamond appear very special.
In the same breath, fluorescence can be also negative since it causes haziness in diamonds sometimes. This haziness translates into milky spots that are visible to the naked eye in the diamond. These diamonds are also known as overblue diamonds.
This is why diamond fluorescence being a good or bad thing is highly relative. If the fluorescence doesn’t cause haziness then the fluorescence would be beneficial.
The truth is that diamonds that have blue fluorescence have a somewhat bad reputation and due to this, they are usually cheaper. However, this bad reputation is totally unfounded.
The problem started a few decades back when the blue fluorescence diamonds known as ‘blue white’ diamonds were sold in the market at a premium price. While it originally referred to high quality diamonds, salespersons used this to market blue fluorescence diamonds of inferior quality. The result was the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banning the descriptive ‘blue white’ label. Ever since this happened, blue fluorescence diamonds have had a bad reputation.
Are Fluorescent Diamonds Hazy, Milky, or Oily?
Fluorescence is of many grades namely, very strong, strong, medium, faint, and none.
Very strong/strong blue fluorescent diamonds are usually hazy
Medium blue fluorescent diamonds are not usually hazy
Faint blue fluorescent diamonds are usually never hazy
What is means is that you can always take a diamond that has faint fluorescence since it makes no difference to the diamond. In addition, you will get to save some money on the diamond.
For K, J, I, or H color graded diamonds you need to consider medium blue fluorescence. This has the effect of making the diamond seem whiter. When you submit the diamond to sunlight the effect will be particularly pronounced. From the ranges D to F there is no such effect of the color of the diamond appearing whiter.
Considering that very strong or strong blue fluorescence normally makes the diamond appear hazy, it is not advisable to buy such a diamond unless you first inspect it. Diamonds within the D to F range are particularly prone to appearing hazy especially when combined with very strong or strong fluorescence.
Why Is There Much Confusion Surrounding Fluorescence?
A study performed in 1997 by GIA is the main source for the confusion on diamond fluorescence. The study concluded that fluorescence has no overall effect on transparency or color appearance.
However, the same study noted that its observations exhibited a clear trend for faintly fluorescent diamonds to be regarded as being more transparent than the strongly fluorescent stones.
In addition, the study does not hide the fact that half of study participants noticed a difference in terms of transparency between fluorescent and non-fluorescent diamonds.
The study is clearly full of contradictions and not at all representative. Therefore, if somebody tells you that GIA has proven that fluorescence has no negative effect, you should think twice.
Benefits Of Blue Fluorescent Diamonds
One of the major benefits of blue fluorescent diamonds is that they are usually cheaper than comparable diamonds without the fluorescence.
What’s more, you will get to have diamonds that exhibit blue fluorescence. Under normal lighting conditions, you might not be able to tell the difference. However, once the diamond is exposed to some fluorescent lighting, it will start to shine in an icy blue way.
The question on whether diamond fluorescence is a good or bad thing is quite a complex one. In the end, it all comes down to a matter of preference whether you prefer a diamond with blue fluorescence or simply a regular once. Both types of diamonds are good enough.
The blue fluorescence of diamonds can definitely sprinkle some soul into the diamond to make it stand out even more. It will be entirely up to you whether you buy a diamond with blue fluorescence or not. Go here for some more information on the issue.
If you follow the guidelines provided in this article, you will surely have a diamond that you will get to enjoy for a long time.