Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Why your diamond goes dark or blue in direct sunlight

Wewechew

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
1,981
Thank you, though I’m kind of torn because I really like how contrasty the diamonds in my three-stone look when they move around whereas the soli diamond is just all brightness/white. (I emphasize ‘just’ because I think that’s what most people want to see - a bright diamond; but I’m an oddball that wants more contrast with the arrows & facets). It kinda makes me wonder if I shouldn’t have at least semi-bezeled it (vs the 4 tab/prongs). I love bezels/semi-bezels, but I think I’ll try to get a little more mileage out of this setting before I do anything drastic, as I’ve only had it for about 6 months now. And by drastic, I mean maybe see about finding a match for the center diamond of the 3-stone, and using all the diamonds to make a 5-stone. :shifty:
Lol I guess we always want what we don't have- I have already been planning my next ring to be like yours.

And oh my goodness, that five stone would be AMAZING!!!!!!
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,441
Loving this thread. Haven't tried shooting pics of fiancee's ring since several months back. I'm getting motivated to try again.

I don't have fancy cameras. Last time I tried, I had a tired iPhone 6+. This time around I have a few different choices:
  • Work phone = Galaxy S9
  • Personal phone = LG V40 ThinQ
  • Fiancee's phone = Galaxy S8
Kudos to those making it look easy. I had a bear of a time trying to photo her diamond, which is why I haven't tried much since then, lol.
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
6,202
So I finally managed to capture the two diamonds/rings I posted earlier in the thread in some sunlight. I wish I’d gone with a different cell phone cover/case, as this one really reflects (IMO) negatively in diamonds and almost makes it look gray/hazy, which it’s not. Nevertheless ... the soli has MBF, the 3-stone has no fluoro.

 

FearlessSmile

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
67
I too received my partners ring an ACA form whiteflash and was worried when it went dark in the second video. However I’m guessing this is normal?


 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,638
I too received my partners ring an ACA form whiteflash and was worried when it went dark in the second video. However I’m guessing this is normal?


The short answer is Yes.

The longer answer is as Garry mentioned in the first post on this thread:

Note in direct sunlight the ideal-cut round diamond is showing blue from the sky and dark because the light from the sun is only lighting up a few facets. The sun is a very small point light source.
The other fancy shapes all have crushed ice effects because there are many small virtual facets and those stones are glowing with various reflected light bouncing all around in the stones.
...
So looking at a really top cut diamond in direct sunlight is not a judge of anything.
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
@FearlessSmile that's great information on physiology.

Here are some graphics showing how human eyes perceive "fire" - relative to the info above.
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...parkle-more-in-dim-light.122718/#post-2144375

And a supporting post from a prior thread.

It's also worth remembering that the sun sub-tends light at about one-half a degree. This means that, in the entire 180-degree hemisphere, the sun is one tiny point light source occupying only 1/360 of the total area a diamond "looks" for light... So while you see the (very) bright sparkles that this single point source creates, the accommodation by our eyes (per the linked thread) makes the surrounding areas effectively dark.

If you walked into a jewelry store and killed all of the lights in the ceiling except for one you'd get the same result, only the diamond would be even more dark since no jeweler's spotlight can rival our sun in intensity or ambiance...so powerful it makes Superman strong.

Conversely, if we had 20 suns in the sky it would be like standing in the most amazing jeweler's showroom ever - but we probably wouldn't notice how groovy our diamond looked because we'd be hopping on the melted-slag of the sidewalks. :eek2:

A good reminder for diamond-lovers when the sun comes out to play: One of the best viewing conditions for diamonds is under a leafy tree on a sunny day. The leaves above break the sun's single half-degree point source into many point sources, causing terrific brilliance as well as fire. Be careful though - you can stand there hypnotized by your finger-blinger for hours.

Original post:
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...l-cut-diamonds-revisited.150108/#post-2720418

@Garry H (Cut Nut) Great that you bring fluorescence into the dialogue.

Finally: A note about taking photos with phone cameras. Some have white balance settings you can manage. Others use AWB (auto). In most cases the default is set to incandescent/tungsten, which is great for indoor photos. But it will create blue in your outdoor shots.
 

FearlessSmile

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
67
@FearlessSmile that's great information on physiology.

Here are some graphics showing how human eyes perceive "fire" - relative to the info above.
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...parkle-more-in-dim-light.122718/#post-2144375

And a supporting post from a prior thread.

It's also worth remembering that the sun sub-tends light at about one-half a degree. This means that, in the entire 180-degree hemisphere, the sun is one tiny point light source occupying only 1/360 of the total area a diamond "looks" for light... So while you see the (very) bright sparkles that this single point source creates, the accommodation by our eyes (per the linked thread) makes the surrounding areas effectively dark.

If you walked into a jewelry store and killed all of the lights in the ceiling except for one you'd get the same result, only the diamond would be even more dark since no jeweler's spotlight can rival our sun in intensity or ambiance...so powerful it makes Superman strong.

Conversely, if we had 20 suns in the sky it would be like standing in the most amazing jeweler's showroom ever - but we probably wouldn't notice how groovy our diamond looked because we'd be hopping on the melted-slag of the sidewalks. :eek2:

A good reminder for diamond-lovers when the sun comes out to play: One of the best viewing conditions for diamonds is under a leafy tree on a sunny day. The leaves above break the sun's single half-degree point source into many point sources, causing terrific brilliance as well as fire. Be careful though - you can stand there hypnotized by your finger-blinger for hours.

Original post:
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...l-cut-diamonds-revisited.150108/#post-2720418

@Garry H (Cut Nut) Great that you bring fluorescence into the dialogue.

Finally: A note about taking photos with phone cameras. Some have white balance settings you can manage. Others use AWB (auto). In most cases the default is set to incandescent/tungsten, which is great for indoor photos. But it will create blue in your outdoor shots.
Thanks for the explanation John :) I think I just freaked out when the diamond went dark even though the fire sparkle was crazy! (Also I was viewing it arms length so it would probably appear not as dark to someone standing further away observing?)

My previous diamond I returned 58 table 34.5 crown 41.4 pavilion (triple gia excellent) didn’t seem to go dark like this, seemed bright white all the time, but it also didn’t sparkle that much until it was in the sun (not very good indoors/other lighting compared to my new one)
 

EncikG

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
105
@John Pollard slightly off tracked but it is my understanding that fluorescent only negatively impacts a small percentage of stones. If so, why does CBI not consider cutting stones with flouro?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,420
The leafy tree effect is actually a little different. The light coming through the spaces in the leaves creates the effect of thousands of pin point lights and the result can be stunning!
This is even more effective when the day is cloudy so that every bit of light is white (not blue on a sunny day).
9.02.jpg
And a photo captures only half of the fire and sparkle what we can see with 2 eyes!
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
743
The leafy tree effect is actually a little different. The light coming through the spaces in the leaves creates the effect of thousands of pin point lights and the result can be stunning!
This is even more effective when the day is cloudy so that every bit of light is white (not blue on a sunny day).
9.02.jpg
And a photo captures only half of the fire and sparkle what we can see with 2 eyes!
Gorgeous stone!! 55 table? I’d love to see angle details.
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
@John Pollard slightly off tracked but it is my understanding that fluorescent only negatively impacts a small percentage of stones. If so, why does CBI not consider cutting stones with flouro?
Hi @EncikG - Thank you for asking. The problem actually isn’t chemical or mineral. It’s the absence of a crystal ball.
:read:

Here’s what I mean. We all know diamonds with fluorescence trade at lower values. We also know the level of devaluation loosely rises with the strength of the fluorescence. But the actual amount is inconsistent. Grading controversies and globalization haven’t helped this volatility. For right or for wrong, certain high-street traders and markets have decided to reject fluorescence entirely.

Other diamond factories don't worry about this. They're cutting and selling in the moment, end of story. No returns. No backsies. Future volatility or devaluation will be someone else’s problem.

We have always chosen to back our brand with long-term assurances to our retail partners. Doing this requires predicting long-term value for each diamond we craft. The value-volatility with which the industry treats high fluorescence makes those predictions impossible. This is why they're not included in our normal branded output.
 
Last edited:

EncikG

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
105
@Karl_K @John Pollard thanks for both the long and short answer

I haven’t been in this forum that long but based on recent threads, fluorescent negatively affecting a stone might be over-hype and there seems to be a general liking to it here.

On the issue of risk and volatility, these can often be mitigated by offering an alternate buyback or upgrade policy. Some might also view stones as a zero sum game already. Yet the fact is that the market trades it at a discount, what you view as a problem might actually be someone else’s solution as they chase a bigger caret and top cut.

No doubt the PS community might only be a small percentage of the market, but market changes, not having a crystal ball myself perhaps blue might be the new black some day as I contemplate making pendent with a center blue (cut being priority of course)
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,638
No doubt the PS community might only be a small percentage of the market, but market changes, not having a crystal ball myself perhaps blue might be the new black some day as I contemplate making pendent with a center blue (cut being priority of course)
BGD are already covering off that eventuality, I would say ;-) lol

CBI don't actively seek fluor but AGS Negligible does cover some stones with slight fluor - there was a thread quite recently on here IIRC, I think @Dancing Fire posted to say he'd love a CBI with fluor, but if you want one, it is the luck of the draw as to whether you get one, it seems! :D
 

EncikG

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
105
@OoohShiny yup thanks, I think I read that thread. Great outcome.
I had previously bought from BGD so was aware of their blue range. But it’s always nice to try another vendor :D
 

kmoro

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
1,076
BGD are already covering off that eventuality, I would say ;-) lol

CBI don't actively seek fluor but AGS Negligible does cover some stones with slight fluor - there was a thread quite recently on here IIRC, I think @Dancing Fire posted to say he'd love a CBI with fluor, but if you want one, it is the luck of the draw as to whether you get one, it seems! :D
Sometimes the vendor screens separately to make sure the fluorescence really is “none” ... @John Pollard, does CBI do this or do they accept the lab grade of “negligible” where there’s a chance of fluorescence to just under medium ... is there a chance that any of the CBI diamonds do have some fluorescence?
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
Sometimes the vendor screens separately to make sure the fluorescence really is “none” ... @John Pollard, does CBI do this or do they accept the lab grade of “negligible” where there’s a chance of fluorescence to just under medium ... is there a chance that any of the CBI diamonds do have some fluorescence?
Sure. Our goal is identical brightness, fire and sparkle. We don't mind a little fluo as long as the crystal is perfect for our goal.

It's always an interesting topic, lab grading. These are rocks. From the ground. A lot of “none” will fluoresce to some degree if you increase strength of UV or bring the diamond closer to the source. It's like "flawless" diamonds having inclusions when you zoom beyond 10X magnification. Nature made every diamond snowflake differently. The only part we can control is the crafting.
 
Last edited:

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,420
Sure. Our goal is identical brightness, fire and sparkle. We don't mind a little fluo as long as the crystal is perfect for our goal.

It's always an interesting topic, lab grading. These are rocks. From the ground. A lot of “none” will fluoresce to some degree if you increase strength of UV or bring the diamond closer to the source. It's like "flawless" diamonds having inclusions when you zoom beyond 10X magnification. Nature made every diamond snowflake differently. The only part we can control is the crafting.
Plus many of you have noticed a stronger fluoro reaction to the cheap UV pen lights. Taht is because the labs use the wrong too low frequency. Not the ones that really count. The ones that pass thru windows and give the beneficial effect of improving color.
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
Plus many of you have noticed a stronger fluoro reaction to the cheap UV pen lights. Taht is because the labs use the wrong too low frequency. Not the ones that really count. The ones that pass thru windows and give the beneficial effect of improving color.
Just so, Garry.

For anyone bored or just weirdly interested ;-) here's catch-up material.
https://accreditedgemologists.org/lightingtaskforce/OvergradingColorMichaelCowing.pdf

And this.
https://www.pricescope.com/articles/blue-fluorescent-diamonds-color-grading-issues

And if you have enough popcorn... 22 pages. Yes. You read that correctly.
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...f-blue-fluorescent-diamonds-revisited.219341/
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,222
It's not well known because GIA does not emphasize the fact that "None" does not always mean none. One place that they do message it is on their report check site as you mouse over Fluorescence. GIA none disclaimer.png
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,222
As the number and variety of inexpensive UV emmiting devices have become commonplace, the AGS decision to depart from GIA reporting has proven itself to be a more rational and less confusing way to report on flurorescence. (The main confusion comes from the fact that the two labs report differently and the term 'negligible' is commonly ascribed an inaccurate definition). UV sources in the market stimulate WIDELY varying fluorescent observations.

Fluoro was always considered by GIA to be an identification characteristic, not a performance characteristic. To whatever degree fluoro may possibly be a performance characteristic (color whitening or transparency degrading) it only achieves these effects in strengths of medium or stronger. Therefore, it can rightly be said that fluoro less than medium is of 'negligible' consequence.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,222
Here's an image of a range of fluorescence in the Neglible range. You may not be able to make out the stone on the far left that is essentially inert. But note the GIA 'None' with very faint fluoro (second from right).
fluoro compare negligible none.jpg
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
6,202
@Garry H (Cut Nut) Resurrecting this thread to ask: any idea why this darkening effect might only happen in direct sunlight indoors vs. outdoors?

I tagged you on Page 3 of this thread with examples of what I was seeing ... that two diamonds (one with MBF) did not go dark outside in direct sunlight, but only indoors in direct sunlight. :confused:

So that the examples can be related to this topic, I’m posting them below as well:

Outside in direct sunlight:

Indoors in direct sunlight:
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,638
@Garry H (Cut Nut) Resurrecting this thread to ask: any idea why this darkening effect might only happen in direct sunlight indoors vs. outdoors?

I tagged you on Page 3 of this thread with examples of what I was seeing ... that two diamonds (one with MBF) did not go dark outside in direct sunlight, but only indoors in direct sunlight. :confused:

So that the examples can be related to this topic, I’m posting them below as well:

Outside in direct sunlight:

Indoors in direct sunlight:
Could it be that indoors, the surroundings are much darker than the sunlight, therefore the sunlight is the dominant light source, but outside, the surrounding environment is still pretty bright (much brighter than a room) and therefore does light up the other facets pretty well, reducing the contrast ratio between sunlight facets and environment facets? (if that makes sense? lol)
 

John Pollard

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
The answer is both environmental and physiological / cameralogical. @OoohShiny 's comments hinted at both.

Environmental (from an earlier post, near the top of this page): Remember that the sun sub-tends light at about one-half a degree. This means that, in the entire 180-degree hemisphere, the sun is one tiny point light source occupying only 1/360 of the total area a diamond "looks" for light... So while you see the (very) bright sparkles that this single point source creates, the accommodation by our eyes makes the surrounding areas effectively dark.

If you walked into a jewelry store and killed all of the lights in the ceiling except for one you'd get the same result, only the diamond would be even more dark since no jeweler's spotlight can rival our sun in intensity or ambiance...so powerful it makes Superman strong.

So: When you took the game inside you removed the majority of brightness in the hemisphere. You still had that very bright source, but it occupied only 1/2 a degree of space. You "turned off" much of the rest. The diamond was looking for light everywhere, and still finding the sun, but not the ambient light it had everywhere else, outside. Well-cut diamonds give back what they receive.

Physiological: Outside the brightness made your pupils constrict. When you went inside they adapted to the darker environment by dilating, to allow you to see more detail in the dark. This why we wait for our eyes to adjust, so we don't trip over furniture, etc. Once you went inside you started seeing the environmental details I have explained more clearly. Cameras adjust for brightness and darkness in a similar way, but without nearly the depth or sophistication of the human eye.
 

moneymeister

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
1,595
Oh thank you for this post, Garry. I was one of the culprits on the other thread. I stand corrected :)
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    August Birthstones: Peridot And Sardonyx
    August Birthstones: Peridot And Sardonyx
    The Original: Princess Raiyah Of Jordan
    The Original: Princess Raiyah Of Jordan
    Celebratory Engagement Ring Upgrade And Bracelet
    Celebratory Engagement Ring Upgrade And Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top