Shedding Light on Diamond Fluorescence

Between cut, color, carat, and other considerations that coalesce into the in-depth experience of hunting for the perfect diamond, it’s easy to get lost in the small details.

But whether you’re searching for an engagement ring, aiming to enhance your spouse’s wedding band, or simply indulging in the opportunity to treat yourself, there may be one more technical term leaving you with more questions than when you began: Fluorescence.

Thus, we are here to shed a little light on this property … 


What Is Fluorescence?

Fluorescence occurs when extraneous nitrogen is present inside of a diamond and glows when exposed to ultraviolet light or black light. This glow is emitted from within the diamond itself and is often blue in color, albeit the light can sometimes appear more white depending on the nitrogen compound present.

In more rare cases, some diamonds have even been known to fluoresce red, green, or yellow when inspected under ultraviolet light.

This property is found in approximately 25% to 35% of diamonds today and can render the face of the diamond cloudy or hazy when shown under normal (non-UV) lights. The higher the fluorescence, the milkier the diamond will appear.


How Does Fluorescence Affect Grading and Price?

As fluorescence directly affects the clarity of a diamond’s color, it will also affect the grading — and thus the price — of the gem. Specifically, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond fluorescence in five tiers: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong. 

The stronger the diamond’s reaction to UV light is, the higher the discount on the diamond will be. In short, fluorescence is typically viewed as a flaw or defect in a diamond, blemishing its face and downgrading its overall market worth.

A visual representation of the five tiers of diamond fluorescence.

So, Is Fluorescence Bad?

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and diamonds are no exception.

For one, it is up to the consumer to decide whether the presence of fluorescence is detrimental to a diamond or not. In fact, while the general market consensus is that a nitrogen-related glow is undesirable, others see fluorescence as a property that further enhances a diamond’s color, both in and out of black light.

Additionally, a study conducted by the GIA found that the presence of fluorescence in a diamond was mostly indiscernible to the consumer, meaning that the property in and of itself may not be as big a deal as some retailers have made it out to be.


Are you ready to commence the hunt for your newest diamond delicacy? Then stop by Hemming Jewelers, Jacksonville’s #1 independent custom jeweler! We’ve been proudly serving Jacksonville since 2003, so contact us today by calling (904) 354-5959 or visiting us at the corner of Monroe and Hogan!