7 Debunked Myths About Diamond Fluorescence
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
A famous quote first coined by author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. This is another way of saying beauty is subjective. This theory applies to many things in life. For example, who you choose to fall in love with, the home you decide to purchase, the material items you own. As humans, we all have different tastes, styles and preferences. This is especially important to remember when purchasing a diamond or buying jewelry in general.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about diamonds, one of them being whether diamond fluorescence is good or bad and how it affects the price. This is where the quote mentioned above comes into play. Diamonds with fluorescence are neither good nor bad. It’s entirely up to the buyer and how they perceive the diamond.
Let’s debunk some myths about diamonds with fluorescence so you can make an informed and confident decision when purchasing a diamond.
1. All diamonds have fluorescence. FALSE!
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) conducted a survey of more than 26,000 diamonds. It found that only 25% to 35% of diamonds have some degree of fluorescence. Out of that percentage, only 10% have enough fluorescence to actually affect the appearance or the brilliance of the diamond.
It’s also important to know that even a non-real diamond can have fluorescence and has nothing to do with the authenticity of the stone. Just because a stone has fluorescence does not ensure it is a genuine natural diamond! Always have a professional evaluate the stone to prove its authenticity.
2. The fluorescence is visible under any sort of light. FALSE!
The fluorescence is only visible under UV light. Although the sun emanates some UV rays, it is usually not enough to detect Faint to Strong fluorescence in a diamond. Diamonds with VERY STRONG fluorescence will appear somewhat blue under DIRECT sunlight. If you’re a regular at the tanning salon, dance club, nail salon or other places where UV light is often used, you may notice it more often. But rest assured, your diamond will look perfectly fine in the majority of light and isn’t visible most of the time.
3. The amount of fluorescence a diamond has affects its color grade. FALSE!
If you’re unfamiliar with the diamond grading scale, it’s an important tool to utilize when purchasing a diamond. The scale grades each diamond based on the color of the diamond, or lack of. The scale, which ranges from D-Z, is separated into five different categories. A completely colorless diamond (the most expensive) ranges from D-F. Near colorless, G-J, is mostly colorless. Faint, K-M, shows some color but is still very hard to make out with an untrained eye. Very light yellow, N-R, a yellowish hue, can be visible in large stones. The last category, Light, S-Z, a distinct yellow or brown, is visible in most stones.
Now that you’re familiar with the grading system, it’s important to know that diamond fluorescence does not directly affect its color grade on the certificate. However; if a diamond with a color grade I to N has some degree of blue fluorescence, it helps the diamond appear more WHITE. This is why our diamond guides at Diamond Mansion recommend our customers to choose a diamond with fluorescence if they are buying an I-J-K Color or a lower color diamond.
What about the other color grades on the scale? If your diamond ranges from D-F on the color scale, some say the fluorescence makes the stone appear milky or oily, bringing down the value of the diamond. Based on our experience at Diamond Mansion, this is case by case. We have seen many D color stones with strong fluorescence or even very strong fluorescence that are 100% brilliant, full of fire and luster. We have also seen many stones with fluorescence or without fluorescence that are milky or hazy.
At Diamond Mansion, we decided from the very beginning of our business that we will NEVER offer to sell a stone that has any degree of haziness or is milky in any way. We believe people buy diamonds because they are rare, they are brilliant and because they sparkle. Therefore, we only stock and sell diamonds that are 100% full of shine and sparkle. Even if we sell a stone that has strong fluorescence, we make sure that the fluorescence is not affecting the brilliance of the diamond in any way.
4. The amount of fluorescence in a diamond doesn’t have a scale, making it impossible to know just how fluorescent your diamond really is. FALSE!
The buyer can easily detect how fluorescent a diamond is based on the scale made by the GIA. The GIA is very thorough when it comes to their grading scales. The scale has five degrees of intensity; None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong. The amount of fluorescence a diamond has will be listed in the GIA report so there will be no mystery or surprise when purchasing a diamond.
5. Diamonds with fluorescence only show a blue color. FALSE!
While diamonds with fluorescence usually show a blue color, it can also be a variety of colors ranging from yellow to red. According to the GIA, this phenomenon is caused by variations in the atomic structure, such as the number of nitrogen atoms present.
6. The fluorescence in a diamond makes it less sparkly. FALSE!
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about diamonds with fluorescence and one of the leading reasons most buyers don’t want to purchase one. The fluorescence of the diamond has nothing to do with the shine and sparkle of a diamond. The cut of a diamond, made uniquely by the jeweler, influences the way light hits the diamond and makes it sparkle. This has nothing to do with it being fluorescent or not.
7. The fluorescence of a diamond greatly affects the price of the diamond. IT DEPENDS!
This has been an ongoing argument between experienced jewelers for decades. The cost of a diamond is usually decided based on color, cut, clarity and carat. However, some jewelers believe that diamonds that fall within the D-Z color scale range, are worth less when they are fluorescent because the diamond can sometimes appear milky or cloudy. Some traders will pay more for a diamond with fluorescence that appears yellow because natural light often washes out the yellow tint, making it look more similar to the higher priced and color grade diamonds. Despite these two factors, diamonds with or without fluorescence do not differ greatly in price.
To sum it up, in terms for someone who doesn’t know much about diamonds, a diamond with fluorescence is a rare phenomenon where the diamond “glows” under UV light. It is not visible under natural light and does not affect the sparkle of the diamond. Whether or not a buyer wants to purchase a diamond with fluorescence is entirely up to their perception of the phenomenon. Don’t let decade old myths or a “think they know it all” friend, try to persuade you in one direction over the other. Trust the professionals and our decades worth of experience in the industry and make the decision you feel most comfortable with. You’ll have this diamond for a lifetime, make sure it’s one you love.