What is Diamond Fluorescence?
The term “fluorescence” describes the property of a diamond to give off a soft colored glow when it is exposed to UV light, like a black light. Usually, blue is the visible color emitted by a diamond when it is put under the UV light source, while white and yellow colors are also emitted to a lesser degree. Not all diamonds fluoresce but some of them do to a certain grade depending upon the effect UV light has on the stone. The effect or the glow stays as long as it is exposed to the light source.
The impact fluorescence has on a diamond’s value is a subject of ongoing discussions. Sometime ago, it was the craze among diamond buyers since many of them thought it enhanced the color appearance of a diamond; particularly, if it had a yellowish hue in its body color.
Prior to the introduction of grading reports, there was a common penchant for diamonds with fluorescence, and it used to sell at a premium rate as opposed to non-fluorescing diamonds. Back then, blue-white diamonds, which were marketed as substitutes for the fancy blue diamonds, were in higher demand than the non-fluorescing ones.
When the Federal Trade Commission prohibited the use of the term “blue-white” and grading reports began to include fluorescence ratings, the perceptions of people started changing. Buyers wanted to avoid diamonds that had anything extra so to speak, be it fluorescence, color, or inclusions, and this began to have an effect on its value.
How Does the Diamond Fluorescence Affect Its Value?
In the gems and jewelry market, diamonds having fluorescence are sold at up to 15 percent discount. Yet since it can actually help to enhance the color appearances, diamonds with near-colorless grade such as G to J may sell at a little higher prices in case they have favorable fluoresce properties.
Nowadays, diamond buyers tend to take a biased view of its fluorescence. Whatever positive effect it has on a diamond seems to be of little importance as their perception is to stay away from those with it. In a market-driven world, this led to relatively lower prices. However, fluorescence is something that you can learn to benefit from on many counts.
For instance, when you lose a diamond with fluorescence, one of the obvious methods to find it is to make use of the black light to good effect. Several diamonds give off the colored luminescence when they are placed under the said type of light only. Usually, this is not visible, but when you put it under the light in a dark room, the effect will stand out. A diamond with strong blue fluorescence, for example, emanates a blue glow when it is exposed to the light, which makes it easier to pick out from the surrounding.
A Perception That Can Work for and against the Fluorescence
Sometimes, fluorescence can make a diamond look “waxy” or “foggy”, as people refer to it. Some people do not want the hazy-looking diamond that loses some of the fire, which is the colored sparkle produced by a diamond when it is exposed to natural light. However, only a small percent diamonds traded in the market are hazy. So, an argument in favor of it can be made here – why would anybody want to avoid a gorgeous diamond just because of such a minor possibility?
On the contrary, sometimes it can even enhance the color and fire of a diamond by improving it in the face-up view. If you wear a diamond ring on your hand, that is how it would be set and how you would be viewing it. Therefore, if you were not buying a loose diamond, getting a stone with fluorescence can actually work in your favor and enhance the overall appeal of your ring.
Fluorescence has no noticeable effect on the quality of the diamond. So, the answer to is diamond fluorescence good or bad is a yes and a relative no. Each diamond is distinct, and reacts distinctly when exposed to UV light. Apparently, it cannot be defined that fluorescence is always good or always bad.
Perceptions about Fluorescence from the Industry
Historically, trade names are given to certain types of diamonds based upon from the mine they come from. The name “Premier” refers to light yellow diamonds with blue fluorescence properties. The term is used since they often originate from the Premier Mine in South Africa. On the other hand, the name “Jager” describes colorless diamonds with blue fluorescence since they are excavated commonly from Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa.
Further, the industry experts say that other factors can also influence the color appearance of the diamond more strongly than its tendency to fluoresce, like how it has been cut, whether it is viewed in artificial or natural light, and even the diamond ring or jewelry you wear.