Today we’re hearing from third generation jeweler and principal owner Jonathan Siegal on the controversial topic of diamond fluorescence.
Is it good? Is it bad? Does it impact diamond value? Find out the answers to these questions and more!
What is Diamond Fluorescence?
Firstly, what does diamond fluorescence even mean? According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), “Fluorescence is the visible light that a diamond emits when it is exposed to UV rays.” This light is usually blue in color.
The GIA has found that only a small percentage of diamonds carry some degree of fluorescence. Some industry experts and trade professionals suggest fluorescence may enhance a diamonds appearance, specifically yellow tinted hues.
Here’s how that works. Blue complements yellow, which could cause yellow-ish colored diamonds to appear white or colorless. Translated, fluorescence can make diamonds with a lower color grade appear one grade whiter, which adds value to that diamond.
Related: Glossary of Diamond Terms
Recent Marketing for Fluorescent Diamonds
I recently saw an advertisement for fluorescent diamonds by a major
diamond manufacturer. A synopsis of the ad reads:
Female empowerment and female entrepreneurship on the rise,
and women are no longer waiting for a wedding engagement to own a diamond.
The diamond manufacturer is celebrating these women with a new collection that showcases an unsung niche: fluorescence. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that causes a fraction of diamonds to emit a beautiful blue glow when illuminated by an ultraviolet.
Fluorescence symbolizes the inner light and energy that drive her success. Fluorescence is a natural birthmark of a diamond that adds curiosity and wonder. Collectors sometimes buy diamonds because of their unusual colors or unusual clarity characteristics.
Likewise, very strong fluorescence is extremely rare and would appeal to anybody who appreciates the mystique and beauty of a billion-year-old diamond being formed in just the right condition.
In addition, in times of global economic uncertainty, precious gems have historically been a safe and tangible investment. Similarly, diamonds are meaningful objects of great natural beauty that can be passed down through the family.
Where Does Diamond Fluorescence Come From and How Does it Impact Value?
The ad goes on to discuss the how fluorescence is created and how it may impact diamond value.
The combination of landscape, climate, mineral composition and
topography contribute to a diamond’s fluorescence. This is a phenomenon that occurs when traces of nitrogen aggregate during formation, creating an optical center that gives the diamond a natural blue tint.
A recent scientific study concluded that diamond fluorescence has a positive impact on the appearance of a diamond. As a result, it can improve its perceived color grading.
This is because any yellowish tones in a fluorescent diamond
are neutralized by the blue tints emitted when it is exposed to UV
light. Therefore, the stone appears brighter.
These diamonds are absolutely beautiful and have one of the rarest natural features. Invisible in ordinary lighting, fluorescence is activated under the UV rays of natural sunlight.
It is so exceptional that only 15 percent of all diamonds assessed at the American Gem Society’s AGS Laboratories have observable fluorescence. Further, under 6 percent of those have medium to very strong fluorescence. Likewise, even fewer than 0.5 percent possess the highest grade– very strong.
Jonathan’s Final Thoughts on Diamond Fluorescence
Previously (around 30 years ago), diamonds with medium or strong blue florescence were more expensive than diamonds without fluorescence. However, today these same diamonds are deeply discounted due to the negative press that fluorescence has received on the internet.
The bad press theory suggests fluorescent diamonds could have
a hint of haziness when exposed to the ultraviolet wavelengths in
sunlight. These deep discounts mean great value for consumers at the moment, in my opinion.
Diamond fluorescence can’t be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, customers can’t differentiate between diamonds with or without fluorescence. In short, fluorescent diamonds are a budget friendly option.
Finally, I will close with the final statement in a recent study of diamond fluorescence by the GIA laboratory:
“One interesting aspect of this study was that the nontrade observers
could not make meaningful distinctions. For this group, which would be
considered most representative of the jewelry-buying public,
fluorescence had no overall effect on color appearance or
Would you purchase a fluorescent diamond?
Are you in the market for a diamond ring? Contact Sergio@jfjco.com to schedule an appointment and find the perfect diamond today.
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