Until relatively recently, fluorescence in a diamond was something that only gemologists and geologists paid attention to. For most of the jewellery buying public, the traditional 4C’s, as defined by the GIA (cut, colour, clarity and carat) were enough to decide whether a diamond was of an acceptable quality or not. In 1997, the GIA conducted a comprehensive study on diamond fluorescence and the associated effects on appearance and colour.
In the current information era we live in, it’s easier than ever to “research” topics on the internet, but as is the case in most instances, a little information can be dangerous. Fluorescence is perhaps the most misunderstood diamond property and many diamond shoppers express concern about fluorescence, without necessarily knowing why, or stopping to consider if their concerns are valid or not.
As you probably know by now, Katannuta Diamonds are big proponents of diamond education, so in this post we’ll be giving you all you need to know about diamond fluorescence. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Does it make your diamond less valuable?
What causes fluorescence in diamonds?
Fluorescence occurs when a diamond contains a trace amount of an element that reacts under UV light. Whilst diamonds are single element gemstones, made of virtually exclusively of carbon, minute traces of aluminium, boron and nitrogen may exist within a diamond. These parts per million (ppm) and parts per billion (ppb) concentrations cause diamonds to fluoresce. It’s also worth noting that rare blue diamonds are a result of boron imperfections and the yellow colour in diamonds is a result of nitrogen.