When it comes to shopping for diamonds, most consumers are familiar with the 4 C’s; color, clarity, cut and carat weight. However, the 4 C’s are not the only characteristics of a diamond that influence its’ appearance and value. Depending on the diamond, fluorescence can also play a role in your diamond choice.
What is Fluorescence?
Fluorescence in diamonds refers to a soft light that can be emitted from the stone when exposed to UV (ultraviolet) lights. Fluorescence can occur in different intensities; this is graded by gem laboratories, such as the GIA, on a scale from none to very strong. It is important to note that fluorescence has no impact on the structural integrity of the diamond; a diamond with no fluorescence will be just as strong as a diamond with very strong fluorescence. Most often, fluorescence in diamonds appears as blue light, however it can also be seen as white, yellow, or other colors.
How can Fluorescence Change a Diamond’s Appearance
In a study by the GIA, it was found that for the majority of diamonds, the strength of fluorescence does not have a widely noticeable effect on the appearance of a diamond. Often times, diamonds with the presence of fluorescence can appear slightly better in color to observers; this is most noticeable in diamonds I – M in color. This often leads those shopping for the right diamond to prefer the appearance of diamonds with some fluorescence. Only in rare cases can diamonds with extremely strong fluorescence appear hazy, limiting the light that will be reflected by the diamond.
While shopping for a diamond, its fluorescence should not be a main factor when making your decision, as its effects are quite subtle. However, knowing whether or not your diamond has fluorescence can be helpful if you are choosing between diamonds of similar specifications.