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Consumers in the market for loose diamonds of high quality, pre-made diamond settings typically know a few things about the importance of the 4Cs. After all, color, cut, clarity and carat weight can greatly impact the appearance and price of a diamond. While those four features should be carefully considered when making a purchase, other diamond characteristics shouldn’t be overlooked. One such characteristic found in many diamonds that consumers may not be aware of is known as fluorescence.

Fluorescence refers to the effect ultraviolet (UV) light has on a diamond’s appearance. While many loose diamonds do not exhibit fluorescence, some do. The effect essentially creates a glow when a diamond is viewed under UV lighting. This characteristic is one of the many considered when gemological laboratories, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) create diamond certificates. These certificates are reports that are issued on individual loose diamonds that are studied, reviewed and cataloged by gem labs. A certification report enables a buyer to understand the distinct characteristics a particular loose diamond displays.

When looking at fluorescence, GIA grades diamond fluorescence based on the intensity or strength of the glow presented. Diamonds that display a glow when exposed to UV rays may, for example, receive a grade of medium, strong or very strong. Stones that present with no glow when exposed to UV rays are given a “none” rating in the fluorescence department.

How Common is Fluorescence?

This trait, which typically makes stones appear blue under the right lighting conditions, isn’t exactly rare. Most diamonds, however, do not have the characteristic. GIA, for example, estimates that less than 35 percent of the stones its gemologists have personally graded over the past decade have displayed a degree of fluorescence.

Does it Affect Appearance?

GIA’s experts have studied the appearance of fluorescence in diamonds extensively. Generally, this property does not affect the overall appearance of a diamond since the visible glowing color is blue, which is considered complementary to yellow; the most common tint in diamonds. What’s more, most people cannot discern the presence of fluorescence with the naked eye even when a gemologist has noted it.

What Causes It?

Fluorescence is caused by tiny shifts in the structure of a diamond. The effect has no impact on the structural integrity of a diamond, which means buyers who actually prefer a stone with fluorescence have no reason to fear their loose diamond will be any more or less durable than another stone.

Is it OK to Buy Loose Diamonds with Fluorescence?

Since fluorescence only very rarely impacts a diamond’s appearance negatively, the choice to buy a stone that displays this trait is a personal one, gemologists suggest. Although noted on diamond certificates, fluorescence is only one facet of a diamond’s overall appearance. The 4Cs are ultimately more important when speaking to quality.

At Israel-Diamonds.com, our customers will find that all of our diamonds weighing 0.50cts or higher come complete with certification reports that list the noted level of fluorescence along with other important characteristics unique to a specific stone.

Certification reports issued by GIA and other gemological laboratories are only provided after gemologists carefully examine an individual diamond. These reports serve as a blueprint that describes the characteristics of a unique diamond. These reports certify the overall quality of a diamond, taking into account such factors as polish, symmetry and clarity. They do not offer information on potential valuation. That requires a separate appraisal.

Fluorescence is just one of the many characteristics diamond buyers should consider when making a purchase of loose diamonds or finished settings. Color, cut, clarity, shape and personal preference should also be considered, among other factors.

If you’re looking for loose diamonds, we invite you to explore Israel-Diamonds’ extensive collection online. We also offer an expansive selection of finished jewelry pieces featuring diamonds in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Should you want to create your own unique piece, just use our online tools to select a loose diamond and craft a one-of-kind engagement ring or other setting. As always, the master jewelers at Israel-Diamonds.com are standing by to answer any questions about gems, jewelry and custom designs our customers may have.