Lab Diamond Fluorescence

by Tom Thornbridge

Lab-grown diamonds have skyrocketed in popularity, mainly because they can be produced much faster than their natural counterparts. Just like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds possess unique properties that vary from stone to stone, affecting their shine and price. One fascinating aspect of these gems is their ability to fluoresce under UV light.

Fluorescence in diamonds has sparked quite a debate. Some people adore the unique colors it brings out, while others worry it might cause a slight haziness. Interestingly, about 30% of diamonds exhibit some level of fluorescence, ranging from none to very strong, according to major gemstone authorities like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). If you’re considering a diamond with fluorescent traits, it’s crucial to understand what this means for your stone.

Understanding Lab Diamond Fluorescence

Lab diamond fluorescence adds an intriguing aspect to these gemstones. Knowing how it works helps when choosing the perfect diamond.

What Is Fluorescence in Lab Diamonds?

Fluorescence in lab diamonds refers to their glow under UV light. This phenomenon makes diamonds emit visible light, often in colors like blue, green, or yellow. The intensity of fluorescence ranges from none to very strong, affecting the diamond’s visual appearance. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades fluorescence on a scale from “none” to “very strong,” based on how prominently a diamond glows.

Image displaying five diamonds under UV light, showcasing various levels of fluorescence: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong.

Levels of diamond fluorescence under UV light, ranging from None to Very Strong, illustrating the intensity of the blue glow as classified by gemological standards.

Causes of Fluorescence in Lab Diamonds

Fluorescence occurs due to the presence of specific trace elements. In lab diamonds, treatments like irradiation can induce this property. During the lab-grown process, controlled conditions allow scientists to tailor fluorescence, resulting in unique visual effects. The addition of elements like boron or nitrogen often leads to varying degrees of fluorescence, which can enhance or alter a diamond’s overall aesthetics.

Discover the Best Diamonds: Read my reviews on Whiteflash, James Allen, and Brilliant Earth.

Impact of Fluorescence on Lab Diamond Quality

Fluorescence in lab diamonds profoundly influences their overall quality. The degree and color of fluorescence can impact two key aspects of diamond quality: clarity and color.

Fluorescence and Diamond Clarity

Fluorescence can affect a lab diamond’s clarity. Strong or very strong fluorescence might create an oily or hazy appearance under certain lighting conditions. This haziness can obscure the stone’s natural brilliance, reducing its clarity grade. However, when fluorescence is faint or medium, its impact on clarity is minimal, leaving the diamond’s visual purity relatively untouched.

Fluorescence and Diamond Color

Fluorescence contributes significantly to a lab diamond’s color. Blue fluorescence, for instance, can enhance a diamond’s apparent color by neutralizing yellow or brown tints, making it appear whiter and brighter. On the flip side, strong fluorescence might impart a blue hue to already high-color-grade diamonds, which some buyers might consider undesirable. Additionally, fluorescence in other colors such as green or yellow, introduced through elements like boron or nitrogen, offers unique visual effects while potentially impacting the perceived color quality of the diamond.

A 1.01 ct D VVS1 Round Cut Precision Lab Grown Diamond from Whiteflash which displays no Fluorescence

Comparing Fluorescence: Lab Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Lab diamond fluorescence offers unique properties when compared to natural diamonds. Both types exhibit fluorescence under UV light, but their characteristics and effects differ in meaningful ways.

Key Differences in Fluorescence Effects

Lab diamonds, grown through Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), can display diverse fluorescence colors like pinkish-orange and vivid blue. Natural diamonds, on the other hand, usually show a blue fluorescence due to nitrogen impurities. This distinction arises because lab diamonds are tailored under controlled conditions, resulting in fluorescence that varies in intensity and hue.

In natural diamonds, fluorescence might sometimes cause a hazy appearance, especially in those with strong blue fluorescence. Lab diamonds, however, are engineered to minimize such effects, maintaining clarity even with significant fluorescence. This control allows lab diamonds to showcase vibrant colors without compromising visual quality.

A 1.02 Carat H-VS1 Excellent Cut Round Diamond from James Allen with Strong Fluorescence

Similarities in Fluorescence Characteristics

Both lab and natural diamonds share some fluorescence traits. Under high-intensity ultrashort wavelengths, they both can show strong UV-induced colors. In both cases, roughly 25-35% of diamonds exhibit fluorescence when tested with a standard UV lamp according to GIA research.

Neither type of diamond sees its structural integrity affected by fluorescence. The submicroscopic structures responsible for this feature don’t compromise the durability of the diamond in either case. As a result, fluorescence remains an identifying characteristic rather than a performance defect for both lab-grown and natural diamonds.

Dive Deeper: Understand the Differences Between CVD and HPHT Diamonds by Reading This Article.

Consumer Considerations for Fluorescent Lab Diamonds

Consumers exploring fluorescent lab diamonds often wonder about practical visibility and benefits. Understanding these aspects helps make an informed decision.

How Visible Is Fluorescence to the Naked Eye?

Fluorescence in lab diamonds isn’t easily seen unless specific conditions, such as UV or black light, are present. In everyday settings, these diamonds appear no different to the naked eye. For example, you won’t see fluorescence in typical indoor or daylight conditions.

Pros and Cons of Choosing Fluorescent Lab Diamonds

Choosing fluorescent lab diamonds comes with advantages and potential downsides.

  • Pros:
  • Enhanced Appearance: Fluorescence can improve the perceived color of lower-grade diamonds. Moderate-to-strong blue fluorescence often mitigates yellowish tints, making diamonds appear whiter.
  • Unique Aesthetic: Fluorescent diamonds can exhibit different hues under UV light, adding uniqueness to their appearance. Synthetic diamonds, especially those grown via chemical vapor deposition, show diverse fluorescence colors like pinkish-orange, blue, or violet.
  • Cost Efficiency: Diamonds with strong fluorescence may be priced lower than non-fluorescent ones, offering a cost-effective option without compromising on visual appeal in normal lighting.
  • Cons:
  • Potential Haze: High levels of fluorescence can cause a hazy or oily appearance in some diamonds, but lab-grown diamonds are engineered to minimize this effect.
  • Limited Appeal: Some consumers might prefer non-fluorescent diamonds due to traditional preferences or concerns about aesthetics under UV light.
  • Different Reactions: Unlike natural diamonds that typically have blue fluorescence due to nitrogen impurities, lab-grown diamonds can exhibit a broader range of colors. This variety may not align with everyone’s expectations of diamond appearance.

Considering these factors ensures consumers choose a lab diamond that matches their aesthetic preferences and budget while benefiting from the unique properties of fluorescence.


Lab diamond fluorescence offers a fascinating dimension to these gemstones, making them an attractive option for many consumers. The ability to control and enhance fluorescence in a lab setting ensures that each diamond can be uniquely tailored, providing both aesthetic and financial benefits. While there are some potential drawbacks, understanding the nuances of fluorescence can help buyers make informed decisions. With this knowledge, selecting a lab-grown diamond that perfectly matches one’s preferences and budget becomes a much more straightforward process.

Whiteflash is known for its exceptional quality lab diamonds. However, James Allen and Brilliant Earth are also reputable options worth considering.

A lab-grown diamond is a diamond produced in a laboratory under controlled conditions. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds.

Fluorescence in lab-grown diamonds can enhance their color and uniqueness. However, it can also cause a slight haze or cloudiness in some cases. The controlled lab conditions allow for tailored fluorescence effects to enhance the gemstone’s appearance.

It depends on personal preference. Some consumers appreciate the unique glow that fluorescence provides, while others may prefer non-fluorescent diamonds. Understanding both the benefits and drawbacks helps in making an informed decision.

Typically, fluorescence in lab-grown diamonds is not visible during everyday wear. It usually becomes noticeable under ultraviolet (UV) lighting, such as black lights.

Pros include enhanced appearance and potentially improved color. Additionally, fluorescent lab-grown diamonds can be more cost-efficient compared to non-fluorescent variants.

Cons may include a potential haze or cloudiness and limited appeal to some consumers who may perceive fluorescence as a defect.

Yes, the controlled lab environment allows for the ability to tailor fluorescence effects, providing more options for consumers to select according to their preference.

Yes, like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds with strong fluorescence may be priced lower due to the perceived defect by some buyers. However, they can also offer unique aesthetic benefits.

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