Flourescence, the hidden deal-breaker in the diamond world

Most quality diamond retailers concentrate on the 4 ‘C’s of a given stone to approximate its value over the counter.  Consumers therefore are typically only aware of the Colour, Clarity, Cut and the all-important Carat when it comes to choosing a diamond, with more and more emphasis being placed these days on the 5th ‘C,’ this being the Certificate which accompanies the stone in question.

The international market price guide for loose polished diamonds, known universally as the Rappaport list, cross-references diamond pricing across the 4 ‘C’s, perhaps in a vain attempt to make life easier for the end-consumer (and indeed the retailer) to make an informed decision regarding the price of a given stone.

There is however, a further characteristic which is often ignored by both diamond-vendors and diamond-buyers, and that is fluorescence.

The 5 GIA Diamond Fluorescence grades
The 5 GIA Diamond Fluorescence grades


Various diamonds under a very telling UV lamp
Various diamonds under a very telling UV lamp

This amazing feature in a polished diamond is in fact nothing less than visible light that is generated by the stone when it is excited by ultraviolet light, i.e. sunlight.  Different diamonds react to UV excitation in different ways.  Some shine in different colours, whilst others turn whiter.  Mostly the stone exhibits a bluish hue, sometimes green, red or rarely even yellow.




Diamond Scintillation under water
Diamond Scintillation under water


Diamond lovers are sharply divided over the impact of fluorescence on the stone’s value.  There are those that believe fluorescence to detract from a diamond’s beauty by making the stone seem muddier and less brilliant, whilst others believe that fluorescence has a positive effect on yellowish diamonds, particularly as blue fluorescence acts as a counterweight to the yellow hue thus making the diamond seem whiter.

It is important to remember that all diamonds possess a degree of fluorescence, but not all of them show it off to the naked eye.  In approximately 40% of all polished diamonds, and at the atomic level, the stone’s electrons are stimulated by long-wave ultraviolet rays to the point where they re-emit the ray’s absorbed energy, and the degree of fluorescent emission is classified by the Gemological Institute of America as either Nil, Weak, Medium, Strong or Very Strong.


Whilst popular in the ‘50’s when they were termed “blue white diamonds”, visibly fluorescent diamonds are these days not nearly as expensive as their non-fluorescent counterparts as they are generally no longer in high demand.  According to secretdiamonds.com their popularity waned in the 1970’s thank to black lights that were used in discos and nightclubs.

Remember that when you are purchasing your stone, the store’s spotlights generally do not emit a sufficient quantity of UV radiation to produce the fluorescent effect.

The perfect diamond ring available from our webstore at tax-free prices
The perfect diamond ring available from our webstore at tax-free and VAT-free prices


Please visit our webstore where we shall soon be providing a comprehensive range of diamond jewellery set in beautiful 18K designer mounts.


Happy shopping.


Suresh Mahtani, The Antonio Diamond Boutique, Gibraltar.

Bondage and other Licences to Kill

At the Antonio Diamond Boutique, we are huge fans of all things James Bond.  No matter whether you are aged 12 years or 82 years, the universal appeal of Ian Fleming’s 007 has undoubtedly stood the test of time.

The idea for the Bond novels developed during Fleming’s time as a Naval Intelligence officer during the Second World War, where he was tasked with planning Operation Goldeneye and with the structure and implementation of two covert intelligence units.  It was here that much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels was conceived, culminating in the hugely successful release of Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952.

The last film with Daniel Craig as James Bond
The last film with Daniel Craig as James Bond

The rest, as they say, is history, and the Bond franchise has since grown from strength to strength, epitomizing the classic spy story, complete with gadgets, fast cars, beautiful women, exotic locations, despicable villains and let us not forget… highly collectible timepieces!

The Omega watch company has been involved with the Bond franchise since 2002, and several special editions of their prestigious Seamaster collection have featured in each and every one of the last seven films, from Goldeneye (1995) with Pierce Brosnan right the way to Skyfall (2012) with Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig side by side with the new Aston Martin DB10
Daniel Craig side by side with the new Aston Martin DB10


The latest film is no exception, and in his final portrayal of the James Bond character, Daniel Craig is set to appear in the 24th instalment of the Bond franchise, 007:Spectre, to be released later this year.

True to form, the launch of Spectre will see Omega produce a spectacular version of the Seamaster Aqua Terra in a limited edition of 15,007 pieces (15,007 = antimagnetic resistance up to 15,000 gauss + special licence-to-kill agent 007).

The new James Bond 150m Aqua Terra 15,007 Gauss
The new James Bond 150m Aqua Terra 15,007 Gauss limited edition Seamaster by Omega.


Orbis non sufficit - The World is Not Enough!
Orbis non sufficit – The World is Not Enough!

This is a very subtle variant of the classic 15000 gauss Master Coaxial Aqua Terra shown below, and the Bond watch is similarly presented in a 41.5mm case.  The main difference is the reworking of the deep blue dial colour and the yellow second hand, both of which include a reference to the Bond family’s Coat-of-Arms, orbis non sufficit or “the world is not enough.”

Bond aficionados will recognize the family crest as comprising a white shield, dark chevron and three yellow circles.  Add to this the now familiar 007 logo above the six-o’clock marker and the Bond package is complete – or in Bond-parlance shaken, but not stirred!

Both Omega and Rolex have recently gone to great lengths to highlight the importance of using anti-magnetic components for their respective complications, particularly given that the large proportion of mechanical watches that require costly servicing do so because their internal components have become magnetized over time.

Classic Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss
Classic Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss

By using silicium components in its Master Coaxial movement, Omega can now boast a watch that is resistant to 15,000 gauss, making it virtually anti-magnetic in every respect, and markedly superior to Rolex’s milgauss, which is only resistant to 1,000 gauss.

Unique to the calibre 8507 movement found inside 007 watch is the rotor design, which has been specifically machined to resemble the barrel of a gun.  In every other respect, the 8507 movement is identical to the standard 8508 movement found in the generic Master Co-Axial collection. The 007 watch sports an exhibition back which, together the front of the watch, is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire glass.  Last but not least, a classic half-polished, half-brushed stainless steel bracelet secures the watch on wrist in true Omega fashion.

Available around April 2015 from our webshop
Soon to be one of the most coveted of Bond editions by Omega.


Don’t miss out on this highly collectible edition, available tax-free from our webshop hopefully sometime in April of this year.

Happy shopping!

Suresh Mahtani, The Antonio Diamond Boutique, Gibraltar