You certainly don’t need to be a gemmologist to know what we’re talking about when we mention diamonds. The ultimate precious stone, the best-known gem even among the uninitiated. Whether it is mounted in a pendant or an engagement ring or if it is a present for an important birthday, almost everyone, during their lifetime, comes into contact with this stone sooner or later.
Not everyone, however, knows the different characteristics and properties that this marvellous gem has, which contribute to its incomparable mystique. Some of you might have been in a disco or sat under a tanning bed and seen your ring giving off a strange glow. It is nothing to be alarmed about, it isn’t a synthetic stone or imitation diamond, on the contrary, you are witnessing a natural phenomenon.
Fluorescence is a natural phenomenon that affects about a third of diamonds used in jewellery and is the visible light that the gemstone emits when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Depending on the intensity of the light given off, five levels of fluorescence can be determined using master stones with known degrees of fluorescence: none – faint – medium – strong – very strong. Even though the majority of fluorescent stones have a dark blue colour, which can vary from faint to intense, there are also diamonds with pink-red fluorescence.
So, even if it isn’t immediately noticeable, fluorescence is an important characteristic that determines the stone’s appearance and the way it looks to us. If, for example, we consider diamonds which are slightly yellowish in colour, a slight fluorescent blue might noticeably improve its colour and can therefore be considered as almost an additional benefit. In contrast, a very strong fluorescence can make even the whitest diamond appear milky and not very pleasant to look at.
Ultimately, we can consider fluorescence as a characteristic to bear in mind almost exclusively when buying a stone as an investment, whereas the majority of diamonds are sold to celebrate an event, or to capture a special moment in time and as such, to be worn and to make us happy!