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What is Diamond Fluorescence and How Does It Affect a Diamond?

If you’ve been researching all things diamond, one aspect of diamonds you may have come across in the course of your research is diamond fluorescence. This term and phenomenon is thrown around every now and again by members of the diamond trade and they more often than not have clients believing that fluorescence in diamonds raises a big red flag.

Is that really the case though? Is diamond fluorescence to be shunned at every turn? Not quite.

Today we’ll explain why fluorescence in a diamond really isn’t the end of the world and in fact may be a welcome part of your diamond after all.

diamond with fluorescence in normal light

Two diamonds in normal light; the presence of Strong Blue fluorescence in the diamond on the right cannot be visibly detected.

Diamond Fluorescence In a Nutshell

Simply put, diamond fluorescence occurs when a diamond is subjected to ultraviolet (UV) light and gives off a visible colored light while in the presence of the UV light. GIA determines the presence of fluorescence in a diamond on how strongly the diamond reacts to long-wave UV light, which is typically present in daylight. A diamond that has fluorescence will fluoresce the entire time it is in the presence of UV light. The types of UV light commonly encountered are daylight and black light, like those found in night clubs.

Diamond fluorescence is entirely natural and normally cannot be seen in normal lighting by the naked eye.

Fluorescence in diamonds is not all that uncommon. Nearly one-third of diamonds have fluorescence.

The most common color of fluorescence in diamonds is blue. In white diamonds of a lower color (usually J onwards), blue fluorescence is usually more beneficial than not as it will give the yellowish diamond a whiter color appearance.

Other colors of diamond fluorescence, though less common, include yellow, white, green and orange.

diamond fluorescence

The same two diamonds from above now exposed to UV light; as seen here, the diamond on the right has turned a bright blue color due to the presence of fluorescence under UV light.

On the other hand, fluorescence in diamonds isn’t always favorable 100 percent of the time.

However, the times when diamond fluorescence provides a disadvantage is more often the exception than the rule as it is not very common. Diamonds that have very strong fluorescence can sometimes (but again not typically) produce stones that look milky, hazy or oily to the eyes.

Fluorescence in diamonds are as structurally sound as diamonds without fluorescence. Therefore, a diamond’s fluorescence will not adversely affect its structural integrity and makeup.

Under normal indoor light, to the naked eye, diamonds with fluorescence cannot typically be told apart from diamonds without fluorescence. If you’re in the process of shopping for a diamond and want reassurance that a particular diamond with fluorescence does not actually result in a diamond with a hazy, milky or oily appearance, we can only recommend that you view the diamond in person with your own eyes to be certain.

If anything, though, consider a diamond with fluorescence more unique and special than one without. A non-fluorescent diamond won’t ever have the ability to glow a magical color in the darkness of black light at the night club you frequent!

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