Diamond fluorescence is a very interesting property….. and it can be a lot of fun to actually see it!
All diamonds will fluoresce to x-rays. During the mining process, fluorescence is actually used in separating the diamond rough from the tons of ore. As the crushed ore comes down a conveyor belt, it’s exposed to x-rays, the diamonds will fluoresce and then get blasted by a jet of compressed air which blows them onto another conveyor belt for further processing.
Some diamonds will fluoresce to UV light (blacklight), which is present in daylight, and the fluorescence may or may not be visible. Diamond fluorescence comes in many different colors, but it is most commonly blue. I once had a chance to see the “Butterfly of Peace” which was a collection of natural fancy color diamonds that also fluoresced in many different colors. It took a NYC diamond dealer, from Aurora Gems, 12 years to build this collection and it is truly amazing to see!!!
Here is a real simple definition of fluorescence –
Fluorescence is a luminescence that is mostly found as an optical phenomenon in cold bodies, in which the molecular absorption of a photon triggers the emission of another photon with a longer wavelength.
The energy difference between the absorbed and emitted photons ends up as molecular vibrations or heat. Usually the absorbed photon is in the ultraviolet range, and the emitted light is in the visible range, but this depends on the absorbance curve and Stokes shift of the particular fluorophore.
Fluorescence was coined by George Gabriel Stokes in his 1852 paper, the name was given as a description of the essence of the mineral fluorite, composed of calcium fluoride, which gave a visible emission when illuminated with “invisible radiation” UV radiation.
Pretty simple, huh!
Reference content: http://beyond4cs.com/grading/fluorescence/
Other Things to Take Not of In Fluorescence
#1 – Please, please, please! Don’t put a lot of importance on diamond fluorescence!!!! It is one small aspect of a diamond’s characteristic. I’ve dealt with customers that have passed up on some beautiful diamonds that were being offered at a great price just because the fluorescence was graded as medium.
#2 – A jeweler should be able to show you the fluorescence of a diamond that has strong fluorescence and you will be able to decide if it’s a good thing or not. Strong or very strong diamond fluorescence might show up in daylight, under some fluorescent office lighting, and some lighting in an indoor sports arena.
#3 – If you are considering a diamond that is online and it has strong or very strong fluorescence, it could be a tough call as to how it will look. I’m sure that most online diamond retailers will give you a chance to return the stone if you don’t like it. The most important thing is how it will look under different lighting conditions.
#4- Stronger blue fluorescence could actually help a lower color diamond (I-J-K) look a bit better by neutralizing some of it’s yellowish body color. Some strong blue fluorescence in a diamond can actually command a premium.