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Diamond Fluorescence

How Fluorescence Can Change Diamond Color

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What Is Diamond Fluorescence?

A diamond factory employee examines a diamond.

Paul O'Driscoll / Getty Images

What is Diamond Fluorescence?

Fluorescence is a characteristic that makes some diamonds appear to change color when they are exposed to the ultraviolet light that surrounds us every day in sunlight and in the light produced by fluorescent light bulbs.

Do All Diamonds Fluoresce?

Diamond grading reports reveal whether or not a diamond fluoresces, and if it does, how much -- faintly, weakly, moderately, strongly or very strongly.

What Color is Visible in Diamond Fluorescence?

Diamond grading reports also disclose the color produced by a diamond's fluorescence -- it's usually blue, yellow or white.

How Does Diamond Fluorescence Affect the Diamond

If a yellowish diamond fluoresces blue, the effect could be strong enough to mask the yellowish tint when viewed under a jewelry store's fluorescent bulbs. You might be surprised by the diamond's true yellowish appearance when you look at it at home under different lighting.

The reverse is true for diamonds that fluoresce yellow. They can appear more white under incandescent lights, but acquire a yellowish tint in ultraviolet light.

Fluorescence in Jewelry with Multiple Diamonds

Most fluorescence is subtle. You probably will not see it as a true color change, just a slight shift in tone. However, the difference could make a diamond ring or other jewelry with multiple stones seem out of balance if some of the stones fluoresce and others do not, or if they fluoresce different colors.

Pricing for Diamonds that Fluoresce

A strong yellow fluorescence bring diamond prices down, sometimes quite a bit, since yellowish tinted diamonds are generally less desirable than whiter stones.

A blue fluorescence can help increase the prices of diamonds with yellowish tones.

It's important for you to be happy with the diamonds you buy. Ask your jeweler to show you examples of fluorescence and try to look at diamonds in many types of light before you make a decision, especially if you are considering diamonds with no grading documentation.

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