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Jewellery Insurance

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Diamond Fluorescence: What Buyers Should Know

Q Report Team
Updated on November 11, 2022
3 min read



It’s easy to assume the term ‘diamond fluorescence’ simply refers to the colour of the stone, however in reality, it’s more complicated than that. In this article, we outline why diamond fluorescence is one of the more complex and misunderstood terms you’ll encounter while engagement ring shopping.


What is Diamond Fluorescence?


When jewellers talk about 'diamond fluorescence’, they’re referring to the colour emitted by the stone when seen under ultraviolet light. In rare cases, this light (or fluorescence) has been found to impact how the diamond appears in natural light, and can be measured on a scale outlined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).


The GIA outline five classifications of diamond fluorescence, which are defined by the intensity of the light emitted by the stone:


  • None
  • Faint
  • Medium
  • Strong
  • Very Strong


The GIA also measure fluorescence according to a colour grade, ranging from D to Z. Stones in the ‘D’ category are often considered ‘colourless’ and are rare. On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Z’ diamonds are seen to emit a yellow-tinged fluorescence. 



How Does Fluorescence Affect the Diamond Colour?


According to the GIA, roughly 30% of all diamonds fluoresce to some level. Most stones emit a blue fluorescence to varying degrees, but yellow, ‘white’, green and red tones have also been seen on occasion.


But remember, these colours are observed when the stone is subjected to ultraviolet light - rarely in natural settings. A 1997 study by the GIA found that trained diamond graders, trade professionals and average observers struggled to find any visual effect of fluorescence on diamonds when viewed in natural light. According to the study:


“The results revealed that strongly blue fluorescent diamonds were perceived to have a better colour appearance when viewed table-up, with no discernible trend table-down. Most observers saw no relationship between fluorescence and transparency."


So if fluorescence has a negligible effect on a diamond’s appearance in natural light, why is it important to buyers?


Diamond Fluorescence Example


How Diamond Fluorescence Affects Price


Diamond fluorescence is a murky subject, and can often be used as a marketing tool to lure unwary buyers. Some gemologists believe that diamonds with a Very Strong Blue fluorescence rating can appear hazy in natural light. Others say that diamonds with a ‘None’ fluorescent rating are highly prized; charging a high premium based on this fact alone.


It’s important to remember that fluorescence is just one of many factors that affect the price of your stone. And given the contrasting opinions of gemologists and inconclusive evidence of its effect on appearance, it’s safe to say that fluorescence isn’t worth losing sleep over.


As always, we recommend you find a trusted jeweller to work alongside when finding your perfect stone. You can find a Q Certified Jeweller in your area on this page.



Protecting Your Jewellery Investment


As you can see, buying an engagement ring is a research-heavy process and one that involves much more than brushing up on the 4Cs (cut, colour, clarity and carat). However, finding that perfect stone is well worth the time, effort and money you invest. But protecting your investment is also well worth it when disaster strikes.


With Q Report jewellery insurance, you can enjoy your stone as it was intended - not locked away in a safe or wrapped in cotton wool. Protecting your engagement ring with specialised jewellery insurance gives you the confidence that it’s covered for damage and loss. And with Q Report, you even have the option to return to your original jeweller for replacement.


See how little it can cost you to protect the things you love - get an instant jewellery insurance quote today.


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