How does fluorescence affect diamond value?
The real impact that fluorescence has on the value of a diamond is still a subject of ongoing debate. Before the 1970s and the advent of grading reports, fluorescence was the whole craze among diamond buyers because it was thought to enhance a diamond’s appearance.
At that time, these “blue-white” diamonds (colorless stones with blue fluorescence) were marketed as alternatives to fancy blue diamonds and were in higher demand than non-fluorescing diamonds. Due to supply and demand, there was a huge price premium for these diamonds.
After the FTC banned the use of the term “blue-white” and grading reports started to include details like fluorescence ratings, the consumer’s perception changed. Buyers wanted to avoid diamonds that had anything ‘extra’ listed in the grading report; be it color, fluorescence or inclusions and this started to hurt the value of “blue-white” diamonds.
Today, diamond buyers have a negative stigma towards fluorescence due to widespread misinformation about it. In fact, most consumers automatically shun away from these diamonds without any reason.
In this article, we are going to find out how fluorescence affects diamond value and how you can take advantage of getting better pricing by knowing what to look out for. Let’s dive in!
Blue fluorescence can be found in 35% of naturally mined diamonds and it makes the stone glow under UV light. Outside of UV lighting environments, there are no visual differences between fluorescent and non-fluorescent diamonds.
However, there exists a big difference in pricing between these diamonds. In the industry, diamonds with fluorescence are usually traded at a 10-15% discount and can go as high as 25% for higher colored diamonds.
Here’s a table to give you a rough idea of the discounts of different colored diamonds and their respective fluorescence strength. At the time of writing, this data was collated by comparing diamonds with similar carat size and cut quality.
*Note that price discounts may be more pronounced with larger carat size and higher clarity.
In general, fluorescence diamonds are discounted and it doesn’t affect prices equally. When it comes to colorless (D-F) diamonds, the market “hates” fluorescence and that’s why you see the massive price differences in “Strong” and “Very Strong” levels.
While it is true that “Strong” and “Very Strong” fluorescence can cause diamonds to look hazy, it only happens to a minority of stones. Due to irrational fear, the market prices them as if fluorescence is going to make every single diamond appear cloudy.
For lower color grades, the price discounts are relatively flat across the different color brackets. Interestingly, the G and H color grades have smaller discounts for medium blue fluorescence. This is likely due to fluorescence being helpful in offsetting coloration present in near-colorless diamonds.
When it comes to super ideal cut diamonds that are cut for light performance, Brian Gavin is a vendor I highly recommend. Their signature Blue line consists of carefully curated ideal cut diamonds with blue fluorescence.
If you are interested in finding out more details, feel free to read our full review about them here…
To perform a real life price comparison, we will examine how Brian Gavin’s Blue stack up against their signature hearts and arrows diamonds (without fluorescence). Here, I do want to point out that both signature lines represent the pinnacle of precision cutting for optical performances. This means we are able to keep variances in cut quality, carat size, color and clarity to a minimum.
In the comparison between the 1ct G VS2 diamonds, the price difference between a medium blue and a negligible fluorescence diamond is about 4.8%. In the comparison between the 1.1ct I SI1 diamonds, the price difference is about 9.2%.
Even though the diamonds would look completely identical in a side by side comparison, the fluorescent diamonds are cheaper!
Let’s take a look at another set of diamonds with similar specifications. Again, you can see that diamonds with strong blue fluorescence cost a lot less than non-fluorescent diamonds.
Holding a cushion cut diamond ring in black light.
Personally speaking, I’m a huge fan of fluorescence and I think it is an extremely cool feature. Seeing a bluish glow in a diamond makes me geek out and this can probably be attributed to my previous job as a researcher.
The other reason to consider a diamond with fluorescence is for practical purposes. Not only do you get a better price point, but you can also get a whiter looking diamond with near colorless stones.
The caveat here is that you need to make sure that fluorescence doesn’t cause the diamond to look hazy.
So, where do you buy diamonds with fluorescence? The best place to shop for them is at Brian Gavin where each diamond in this Blue line is personally inspected and guaranteed to have no negative effects from fluorescence.
To sum up, fluorescence is not a big issue when shopping for diamonds if you know what to look out for. In fact, fluorescence is a fun feature because of the cool effect it has on the stone. At the end of the day, the choices you make will depend on your personal tastes.<< Prev Page