We all pretty much know diamonds sparkle and shine. The fire from the brilliance really catches the eye, but what if a diamond caught your attention in the dark? Is that even possible? Can diamonds glow in the dark, and if yes what does that mean?! Does it mean your diamond is haunted? Wait! Before you chuck it across the room and call ghost hunters, there’s actually a scientific explanation with no spirits involved.
There’s a fascinating characteristic in diamonds that doesn’t get much attention called fluorescence. When you think of fluorescence, you may envision a dark room with ultra-violet light, also known as black light, illuminating big neon posters on the wall with Bob Marley blasting in the background, or dancing at a rave and being hypnotized by the glow sticks. Well, that’s what I imagined before I learned what fluorescence was in the diamond world!
It’s a blue glow that’s seen only under ultra-violet light. It’s actually a natural feature found in approximately 30 percent of diamonds that can potentially affect the cost of the stone depending on the level it fluoresces. That’s good news because the blue glow is a natural feature and doesn’t mean your diamond is radioactive! No ghosts and no radioactivity...you get to keep all of your fingers! Yay! Generally speaking, diamond fluorescence is blue, but once in a while, you see a diamond fluoresce another color such as yellow. I was surprised to learn that the Hope Diamond fluoresces red! But honestly, is it something you really need to care about when purchasing a rock?
Without getting too technical and lost in translation- a simple way to explain it is that there are different intensities of fluorescence: None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong. This is how it would be described on a certification such as a GIA Diamond Report. How does this affect you in real life? In natural daylight, blue fluorescence will make a yellowish diamond look whiter, or more colorless which is great because you have a whiter looking stone. On the other hand, and this is quite rare, a diamond can have such strong fluorescence that even under normal light it looks very cloudy. This is a very strange phenomenon. Rare diamonds like these look like they need a good ole cleaning. It’s just the very strong fluorescence causing this weird effect. This very cloudy look can decrease the price just as it decreases the beauty of it.
The only time a diamond has the potential to look like a glow stick on your hand is if it has strong or very strong fluorescence and is under a black light, then let the glow begin! It’s actually fun to look at. But really, how many functions are you attending where you’ll be under that kind of light? Maybe at a dive bar or at one of those heart-attack-inducing haunted houses that pop up around Halloween. On the bright side, if you dare enter one of those terrifying haunted places and your diamond glows, rest assured you’ll be the first one out from the pitch-black maze!
But honestly, the best way to approach fluorescence when you are choosing your diamond is the same way you approach other diamond characteristics such as shape. Take time to look at it under different types of lighting, including natural daylight, and compare it to diamonds of the same size and color. Do you notice a difference? Most people don’t, and it’s a natural feature so it’s not something to stress about.
At Green Hills Diamond Brokers, we are happy to show you diamonds with or without that spooktacular glow from fluorescence with our special ultra-violet tool. We carry a large selection of premium cut GIA certified diamonds with specialization in diamonds that are 1 carat and up. This October, don’t be tricked by paying too much! What we do for our clients is a real treat, and our prices won’t put you in an early grave! Whether it’s an anniversary gift or an engagement ring, come see me at Green Hills Diamond Brokers!