“Hi Todd, I’ve been reading your site for a while now. Thank you for putting together such a great resource! I read your article Something Borrowed, Something Blue and really like the way the blue fluorescent diamond looks in the photograph.”
“I’m looking at this 1.547 carat, G color, VS-2 clarity diamond from the Brian Gavin Blue line, but am concerned about the very strong blue fluorescence. Should I buy a G color diamond with very strong blue fluorescence? Is there another diamond that you would recommend?”
“I’m also curious about why diamonds in the Brian Gavin Blue Collection cost less than the Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds. Any insight you can provide is appreciated. — Carl K.”
Effect of Blue Fluorescence on Diamonds:
For the record Carl, I’m a big fan of diamonds with blue fluorescence and believe that in most instances, very strong blue fluorescence is not going to have a negative impact upon the beauty of a diamond. This is especially true with diamonds from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection because Brian personally oversees the selection process to ensure that the fluorescence is a positive factor.
According to a study conducted by the Gemological Institute of America, fluorescence negatively affects less than 2% of gem-quality diamonds, given the amount of attention that Brian Gavin dedicates to his selection process, I don’t think that you have anything to worry about. Just the same, I gave Brian Gavin a call and asked him to pull the diamond and take a look at if for me and he tells me that it is gorgeous!
The funny thing about fluorescence is that it tends to be something that the average person would never notice if they weren’t told about it by somebody in the trade… Blue Fluorescence generally has a positive effect upon the beauty of a diamond, making it appear a little brighter and crisper looking than diamonds without fluorescence.
Up until around 1938, diamonds with strong blue and very strong blue fluorescence were described as “blue-white” and actually commanded a premium. Diamonds with blue fluorescence were not questioned or discounted until the 1970’s when investment bankers who were trading the diamonds “off paper” created skepticism about diamonds with fluorescence as possibly looking “over blue” (the dreaded 2% described previously) and who avoided them because they were buying diamonds sight unseen.
The reputation of diamonds with blue fluorescence was further tarnished in 1993 when a television station in South Korea featured an exposé that reported that diamonds with fluorescence were worth less than diamonds without fluorescence, which is only somewhat accurate… the end result was that the sale of diamonds with fluorescence in Asia plummeted, they are difficult to sell there to this day.
Herein lies the explanation as to why diamonds from the Brian Gavin Blue Collection tend to cost less than comparable diamonds from the Brian Gavin Signature Collection. While there is no readily visible difference between diamonds between the two lines of Brian Gavin Diamonds, market conditions command a discount for diamonds with fluorescence in the higher colors.
It should be noted however that fluorescence can demand a premium for diamonds in the lower color ranges because of the positive impact that it can have upon the appearance of the diamond, this is because trade members know what to look for and can see the positive effects which fluorescence has upon a diamond.
Brian Gavin Blue vs. Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds:
This is a diamond which I would definitely purchase for myself, the proportions are in the center range of the spectrum for the zero ideal cut proportions rating and the ASET image provided on the lab report looks spectacular!
The diamond has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the Proprietary Light Performance grading platform of the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) and it simply doesn’t get any better than that! And the inclusions look great, you’ve just got a couple of diamond crystals, a feather, and some pinpoint size diamond crystals, nothing to worry about.
As you noticed, comparable diamonds in the Brian Gavin Signature Collection which do not exhibit blue fluorescence, cost considerably more than diamonds with the same characteristics featured in the Brian Gavin Blue Collection. For instance, this 1.517 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Round Brilliant Cut Diamond is selling for about $3,136.00 less than the 1.547 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue that we’ve been discussing.
Needless to say, I don’t think that you’d see a difference between the two diamonds if you were looking at them side-by-side under normal lighting circumstances… Obviously, the 1.547 carat puppy with very strong fluorescence is going to glow bright neon blue like a neon sign if it is exposed to blacklight, it will look really cool in a nightclub! And if you’re really paying attention, you might be able to detect a slight hint of lavender-blue in the diamond if you look at it closely in direct sunlight because intense ultra-violet light can activate the fluorescent molecules, but beyond that, they’re going to look the same.