“Is it good to have diamond fluorescence… actually, I don’t know what it really means.” This is the most frequently asked question we get when we discuss diamonds. There is just too much confusion among consumers and jewellers alike. The reason is that this is a largely misunderstood topic.
About 35% of all gem-quality diamonds fluoresce. Some jewellers feel that it is a bad gemological characteristic and advise to stay away from them. Others feel that it can improve the ‘colour’ of a near colourless diamond (GIA Colour grade G-I). Let us find out what Diamond Fluorescence really mean.
How Does Fluorescence Come About?
Fluorescence occurs when there are trace elements such as boron, nitrogen, or aluminum. Diamond Fluorescence is the discharge of light by a diamond after being exposed to electromagnetic radiation like the ultraviolet light. These are commonly found in black lighting from nightclubs and natural sunlight.
Blue fluorescence is the most common colour. Depending on the chemical composition and structure, a diamond may also fluoresce in yellow, greenish yellow, green, or pink.
The Study on Diamond Fluorescence by GIA
In a study performed by GIA in 1997, there were 2 key takeaways. First, diamond fluorescence enhances the appearances of diamonds with a lower colour rating. Second, there is a rare chance (less than 3%) that a medium-to-very strong blue fluorescence will make the diamond look hazy or cloudy. These are also called “overblues” and are what we should avoid.
GIA has different grade scale for Diamond Fluorescence: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong.
Some jewellers disagree with the study by GIA as they feel that the occurrence of a hazy appearance is more common than what was stated in the study. It is especially so for diamonds with D-F colour grades and medium-to-very strong fluorescence.
See more: What does Diamond Colour really mean?
The Relationship between Diamond Fluorescence and Price
It is important to note that diamond fluorescence impacts the price of a diamond (depending on the colour grade). The price difference can go up to 10-15%! A diamond with fluorescence in the D-F colour grades range is generally cheaper than the non-fluorescence diamonds.
However, for diamonds with G colour grade and below, it is the opposite. The blue fluorescence is thought to be able to help compensate and reduce the yellow tint.
With so many conflicting advice, it is hard to make a choice. To fluoresce or not to fluoresce, that is the question. The first question to answer is whether you like the diamond to fluoresce? We have some who finds the blue fluoresce cool, especially when they go to a club.
In Draco, when dealing with medium-to-very strong diamond fluorescence, we magnify and scrutinize the diamonds in different light conditions. These non-hazy pieces are handpicked and are potentially cheaper than the ones with no fluorescence. This works well with people who have tight budgets. In our experience, diamond fluorescence’s effect on the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond is negligible when chosen correctly.
See more: The Diamond 4Cs
However, it is tricky if you intend to purchase the diamond online. For online shoppers, we recommend requesting for high resolution 360° videos of the diamond. Also, do check their refund and return policies just in case!