Fluorescence is a trait of diamond to glow in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light.
Diamonds can fluoresce in a variety of colors – blue, yellow, green, orange and white. It is estimated nearly 30% of all diamonds in market today may fluoresce to some degree. This light could be of different colors and varying strengths. The strength of fluorescence does not directly correlate to either color or clarity.
Why exactly does it happen? When the diamond is formed deep underground or grown in laboratories, some trace elements such as aluminum, boron, or nitrogen get absorbed during formation. These elements give off a fluorescent glow when exposed to UV light. According to Gemological Institute of America or GIA, there can be five levels of diamond fluorescence: none, faint, medium, strong and very strong. This fluorescence gives a hazy, milky, or cloudy appearance to diamonds.
Hence, it is possible for two diamonds with completely different clarity and color grades to exhibit exactly the same strength of fluorescence. In natural diamonds the color is almost always blue, however in lab grown diamonds the color is typically orange or yellow. Diamonds’ fluorescence, when in small quantities, won’t harm the diamond’s beauty or value.
The decision of whether to buy or not to buy a fluorescent diamond should be yours because it does not detract from the appearance of diamonds. It is just an identifying characteristic, not a performing feature. There are more important criteria like 4Cs (color, cut, clarity, and carat) to take into account.
IS THERE FLUORESCENCE IN LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Any diamond is crystallized carbon. As per GCAL, fluorescence in diamonds is caused by submicroscopic features in the atomic structure and because it’s a permanent identifying characteristic most labs like GCAL will include the diamond’s fluorescence on the certificate. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled laboratory recreating the environment which is similar to the conditions under which a diamond is grown in earth. CVD technology grown diamonds will generally do not show fluorescence owing to the absence of nitrogen in their chemical structure.
Diamonds will emit a soft glow under ultraviolet radiation, due to presence of boron or nitrogen. You may encounter this glow when wearing a diamond in a nightclub or lying on a tanning bed or even on a bright sunny day. Diamond fluorescence is not necessarily good or bad. In certain situations diamond fluorescence can elevate the lower color grade diamonds (like K color) by making those diamonds appear slightly whiter. It’s important for you to be happy with the diamond you purchase. And remember that a small amount of fluorescence may make a lower color grade diamond appear to have more “life”, meaning the diamonds will look “more sparkly”. So, that’s not a bad thing, right?