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Diamond Fluorescence

Diamond Fluorescence, refers to the diamonds tendency to emit a soft colored glow when subjected to ultraviolet light (such as a "black light").

The simple existence or absence of fluorescence should not influence your decision to purchase a diamond unless it is for auspicious reasons.

Diamond Fluorescence is a hotly debated topic in the diamond industry, but a 1997 study by the GIA suggests fluorescence makes very little difference to the appearance of the diamond.

Fluorescence is the effect ultraviolet (UV) light has on a diamond, is an important consideration when selecting a diamond. When UV light strikes a diamond with fluorescent properties, the stone emits a glow that is usually blue, but can also reflect shades of green, yellow, white, pink, orange, and red. The sources of fluorescence, boron and nitrogen, are the same mineral properties that lend color to a diamond.

Fluorescence can occur in different intensities. Gemological laboratories rate the fluorescence of each diamond on a scale from "None" to "Very Strong".


None, Nil, Negligible :

  • No fluorescence, no influence on color

Faint, Slight :

  • Weak fluorescence, not a significant influence on color (barely perceptible)

It is common to find that diamonds with colorless grades (D-E-F) or near colorless grades (G-H-I-J) are lower in price when they exhibit fluorescence and faint yellow grades (K-L-M) are higher in price when exhibiting fluorescence.

For this reason, I-M diamonds tend to sell at a slight premium when they possess Medium to Very Strong fluorescence.

Medium :

  • Average fluorescence, small influence.

Strong, Extremely Strong :

  • Strong influence, substantial color influence

The Fluorescence Effect :

  • Fluorescence can enhance or detract from the beauty of a diamond. The bluish tint can improve a lower-color diamond (J-M color rated) by cancelling out the faint yellow, resulting in a colorless appearance. However, in a very high-color diamond (D-F color rated), fluorescence may have the opposite effect.
  • In a small number of diamonds, the presence of strong fluorescence creates a hazy, milky, oily, or cloudy appearance. For this reason, very fluorescent diamonds can be valued lower than similar diamonds with fluorescent ratings of "None," "Faint," or "Medium."

How Fluorescence affects price (Source: GIA)

 

V. STRONG

STRONG

MEDIUM

FAINT

D - F

IF - VVS2

-10 to -15%

-7 to -10%

-3 to -7%

-1%

VS1 - VS2

-6 to -10%

-3 to -5%

-1 to -2%

0%

SI1 - I3

0 to -3%

0 to -1%

0%

0%

G - H

IF - VVS2

-7 to -10%

-5 to -7%

 

 

-1 to -3%

-1%

VS1 - VS2

-3 to -5%

-2 to -3%

 

 

0 to -2%

0%

SI1 - I3

0%

0%

0%

0%

I - M

IF - I3

0 to +2%

 

 

0 to +2%

 

 

0 to +2%

0%

 

However, because of industry debate and prejudice (which appears unfounded), you may find colorless or near-colorless diamonds that exhibit fluorescence have slightly lower prices than those that do not. We believe you can go with avail the lower price due to fluorescence if the diamond is not for investment purposes.

A GIA study of diamond fluorescence:

A study performed in 1997 by the GIA found that the level of fluorescence has no widely perceptible effect on the color appearance or transparency of diamonds when viewed table down (upside down). In the table up position, diamonds of Strong or Very Strong fluorescence appeared to have better color than less fluorescent stones. The effect was most noticeable in the I-K colors.

 

 

 (Source : GIA)
Top Row: Diamonds with 5 degrees of fluorescence randomly ordered.
Bottom Row: Same diamonds under UV light, ordered from Very Strong to No fluoro.