Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Laser Pointer Store

My soon-to-be wife's new fluorescent Diamond

itw3ak

New member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
41
Likes
0
Points
0
Your welcome itw3ak;584681, I came about much of what I know of gems and diamonds, from going to the shows and conventions and asking questions, in the early 60's I started making jewelry in addition to collecting rocks and gems, (I was quite fond of crystals early on), and later I went to GIA and Rancho Santiago "Gemology colleges", as, I find gems and minerals fascinating, and it seems, there are quite a few minerals and gems that fluoresce.
I think in rocks and minerals daguin is a great person to use for questions, btw.
Many sapphires will glow and from my experience most good rubies and emeralds do too, some things will glow in shorter wavelength light (notably rock salt from the Calif. salt flats0, and much less or not noticeably in long wave.
There are also several simi-precious stones that glow, (calcite, amber, opal an Sugilite & Kunsite come to mind), and there are many more
Dave says he knows on no long wave glowing materials tht a BR laser will not make glow, and this is so far true in my experience too. I hope this exploration goes on, and I do caution that there is ome confusion and mis-information about. Some maybe many folks do not know phosphorescence form fluorescence for example, but I hope we get more good information here as we go along. Thanks & Best Wishes! -Glenn
Nice, I have a buddy that is a Lapidary and he is always going on trips to Arizona, up-state New York etc. and bringing back trilobites, herkimer diamonds, gems etc. And speaking of the fluorescence of stones and blu-ray lasers, what the heck is a 405nm wavelength in comparison to the short wave or longwave UV lights used in gemology etc??
Also I just found an old Calcite Rhob (identified by Daguin lol) that has an awesome orange fluorescence and even phosphorescence after exposure! Ive had the thing for 20+ years and had no idea it could look so cool. I have some pix posted if anyone would like to see?

Picasa Web Albums - Tw3ak - Crystal
its hard to capture the effect but you will see in some of the 3 shot bursts that it holds the orange glow for a second or two.

Also video here:
YouTube - phosphorescentCrystal

I just got another Calcite Rhomb off ebay quite a bit larger but it fluoresces a bright yellow and only holds the glow a brief split second or two.
 

scopeguy20

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
3,447
Likes
210
Points
63
Hey itw3ak, I do not know if there is a definitive wl that short wave starts at, but I think it is LW at about 350 nm to 400 nm and short w/b less than 350 nm also I believe the most harmful short wave is near 385 nm so that is the relm of worst damage to chromosomes and is used in germicidal UV! btw, some of the "salt" from the salt flats glows about the same color as the calcite, but only in short wave UV.
 

GaroBlu

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2009
Messages
13
Likes
0
Points
0
Congrats on the engagement! I am totally trying that on my wife's ring when I get my 405 up and running. I know at least one of the diamonds is real because it is an heirloom so hopefully if it does phosphoresce there will be more proof that it happens!
 

StridAst

New member
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
364
Likes
36
Points
0
hmm interesting old thread. I didn't realize there were other Rockhound types here :D (Rockhounding is what got my interested in jewelry and led me to my career.) I actually can't wait until next year when I head down to topaz mountain again. There is supposed to be a lot of rather nondescript chalcedony there that fluoresces extremely bright due to uranium in the deposits there. Already checked my topaz and red beryl, none of it fluoresces with my PHR, Some of my opals fluoresce brightly, and I have a lot of color change sapphires that glow as red as my ruby collection does when I hit them with the beam. (the color change ones go from pink to violet) Actually any color change gemstone will fluoresce, as that is what is causing the color change. so all alexandrite will as well. Also moissonites fluoresce nicely too.

StridAst
 

FrancoRob

New member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
468
Likes
35
Points
0
In order to supply scientific news to clear and avoid any doubt/misunderstanding, here are some info, taken from the book "The diamond today" (but this is the translation of the italian title of the book, so I don't know if this is the exact title in the english language), written by a famous researcher:

- Fluorescence:
No synthetic stone (diamond) shows fluorescence while exposed to long UV light (365nm); only yellow synthetic stones show a strong yellow or green fluorescence while exposed to short UV light (253.7nm).
When existing, fluorescence must be reported on the apposite box in the Certificate, describing the color "yellow", "green", "pink", "light blue" and the relevant intensity measured under long UV light (365nm), according to the following scale: "none", "low", "medium", "strong".

- Phosphorescence:
All synthetic stones, with the exception of the yellow ones, show a strong phosphorescence that persist for a short period after shutting off the UV source.
In the natural diamonds such phosphorescence has been found only in the blue diamonds when irradiated with short UV light.
 

Benm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
7,996
Likes
660
Points
113
Interesting.. but as far as i know neither observation is used to tell synthetic from natural diamond at the moment.

Its possible newer production processes create synthetic diamond with fewer or different lattice defects - which could make using this (seemingly easy to apply) method of detection unreliable.
 

FrancoRob

New member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
468
Likes
35
Points
0
Benm:

When we speak of synthetic diamond, we speak of a mineral made of pure carbon, having chrystallographic, chemical and physical characteristics similar to those of the natural diamond; the difference is that the synthetic one is a man made mineral.
First documented attempts to manufacture synthetic diamond have started in 1880 with the english chemical specialist James Hannay. In 1886, together with the Nobel awarded french specialist, Henry Moissan, they were able to realize microscopic diamond crystals.
In 1955 General Electric produced small crystals of very low quality; in 1971 GE realized the first diamonds, yellow-brown color, of 1 carat, but for industrial purposes only.
In 1987 De Beers produced a 34 carat crystal, yellow-brown color.
In 1990 near Novosibirks laboratories, russian scientists were able to produce precise crystals using what will be called the BARS method.
In 2007 yellow synthetic diamonds have been realized in Italy, according to the method Malossi; they are of good quality (VVS), the color is very nice, according to the GIA classification can be defined "intense fancy yellow" and the cutted stones may range from 0.7 till to 1.8 carats. Only a gemmological laboratory at the top may recognise them as synthetic, but again, under a shortwave UV light these gems show a characteristic yellow-green fluorescence. "So this method is used" (ndr). Herebelow are three pictures: on the left the devices used to realize these diamonds, in the center a Malossi synthetic diamond observed under UV shortwave light, on the right three fancy yellow Malossi synthetic diamonds mounted on rings.



Actually (this means today) the biggest synthetic diamond is a 300 carats stone, owned by the Carnegie Institute (method CVD).

All these news have been taken from specialist publications.... et de hoc satis...
 
Last edited:

Rob

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
478
Likes
13
Points
0
Very interesting read. I had no idea that diamonds did this.

On a side note I thought I was the only one who had flashed a blu-ray laser at fish at aquariums. Haha except for me I only had a 5mw on hand and I was sea world with a bunch of people around.
 

Benm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
7,996
Likes
660
Points
113
I was thinking about (attempted) colorless diamonds, not the synthetic yellow ones. I'm actually unsure if natural yellow diamonds show a different effect. Natural stones of such intense fancy color are probably rare as it is, these synthetic yellow stones a clearly a niche market, made to be something hardly found in nature, instead of mimicking something more commonly found in nature.
 

FrancoRob

New member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
468
Likes
35
Points
0
I was thinking about (attempted) colorless diamonds, not the synthetic yellow ones. I'm actually unsure if natural yellow diamonds show a different effect. Natural stones of such intense fancy color are probably rare as it is, these synthetic yellow stones a clearly a niche market, made to be something hardly found in nature, instead of mimicking something more commonly found in nature.
Oh well, if you want to read some news about the identification of synthetic diamonds, give a look here:

Update of Synthetic Diamond Identification

and here: ADAMAS GEMOLOGICAL LABORATORY & ADAMAS ADVANTAGE GEMOLOGICAL AND APPRAISAL SOFTWARE

while if you want to know how many "fancy colors" you can find in the natural diamonds, give a look here:

Loose Fancy Colored Diamonds : Search Loose Fancy Diamonds

(if you want to start a collection of different fancy color diamonds, this is a good place to start buying... :D:D:D )
 
Last edited:

Benm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
7,996
Likes
660
Points
113
Somehow i doubt that would be a good investment... i think diamons may lose quite a bit of their value with synthetics ever improving. Its mostly a matter of supply and demand in these things, even for gem applications.

I have no doubt at some point the synthetic diamonds will become gem size, colorless, and possibly with clarity rarely seen in nature (FL/IF). As it is, 'being natural' isnt all that important with diamonds - would you consider a radiation treated/improved diamond to be a natural stone?
 

FrancoRob

New member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
468
Likes
35
Points
0
Somehow i doubt that would be a good investment... i think diamons may lose quite a bit of their value with synthetics ever improving. Its mostly a matter of supply and demand in these things, even for gem applications.

I have no doubt at some point the synthetic diamonds will become gem size, colorless, and possibly with clarity rarely seen in nature (FL/IF). As it is, 'being natural' isnt all that important with diamonds - would you consider a radiation treated/improved diamond to be a natural stone?
This is an interesting point and a good question, I can only contribute with my honest personal opinion....

As you know (or, better, it's a scientific knowledge), diamonds are stable 200 km deep in the terrestrial mantle; they have been brought to the surface thanks to kimberlitic eruptions which, starting deeper than the diamonds belt, captured pieces of the diamond rocks (called xenoliths) and brought them to surface. These eruptions happened between 1600 and 50 millions of years ago!

So, if our friend itw3ak has decided to buy an engagement ring with natural diamonds (the name "brilliant" identifies a particular round cut), he is going to buy really ancient, rare and unique stones, the value of which is joint and may vary only to what is called the "4 C rule": the Cut, the Color, the Carat (that means the weight of the gem) and the Clarity. All the economic world moves around costs; why do you think that a lot of man made material have been invented to the scope of simulate even better diamond (cubic zirconia, titania, moissanite, etc): to give the possibility to more people as possible to buy something special (mainly for their beloved), accordingly to their economic situation, but not for sure to collect them.

This rule apply also to synthetic diamonds (their cost is about 1/3 of the natural ones), and off course accordingly to the 4 C rule.
Today the "perfection" in the diamonds field is the "Centenary" stone, let me tell something about this absolute beauty...

The rough was found the July 17, 1986 in the De Beers Premier Mine (Transvaal, South Africa). To analyze this stone, De Beer called who is universally recognized as the best diamond cutter in the world: Gabi Tolkowsky. The cut studies started in 1988 and the cutted Gem was ready to shine in the world in February 1991. Actually, this gem is universally recognized to be "perfect" under all aspects: D color, FL and IF grade, 273.85 carats with 247 facets! (To see the picture, together with other beauties, go to the site:

- The World of Famous Diamonds - Gemstones, The Crown Jewels of Great Britain, the Hope Diamond, the Dresden Green Diamond, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, the Great Chrysanthemum Diamond, the Orlov Diamond, the Chalk Emerald ring, the Star of Africa, th

Do you really think that in the future a man made material will have the value of this "unique" piece of art applied to a unique rare combination of perfection in a "natural" mineral brought to surface millions of years ago?

IMHO, NO!

So, in my personal opinion (but you can ask also the opinion of much much more important people in this field rather me, inside the GIA - Gemological Institute of America), a "natural" diamond will remain forever more rare and precious rather a man made one, whatever the level of perfection in the 4 C will be reached.
 
Last edited:

StridAst

New member
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
364
Likes
36
Points
0
Somehow i doubt that would be a good investment... i think diamons may lose quite a bit of their value with synthetics ever improving. Its mostly a matter of supply and demand in these things, even for gem applications.

I have no doubt at some point the synthetic diamonds will become gem size, colorless, and possibly with clarity rarely seen in nature (FL/IF). As it is, 'being natural' isnt all that important with diamonds - would you consider a radiation treated/improved diamond to be a natural stone?
Value of any gemstone is set by a couple primary conditions other then clarity, cut, etc.:
1: Market Supply, vs Market demand
2. Confidence in the buyer of the genuine nature of the stone.

An example: The mineral Corundum (read sapphire and ruby) has been synthesized for over a century. (right around 1900 or so, I can't remember the exact year to be honest I am too lazy atm to look it up) Blue sapphire of course, you simply dope it with titanium and iron, vs ruby you dope it with chromium. For a star sapphire you dope it with rutile. (titanium dioxide). The processes of which have been long since perfected, any optical grade of corundum can be produced with ease now. This has of course been of critical importance to the early production of lasers, as a ruby crystal laser from a natural crystal wouldn't be happening anytime soon. The latest advancements in the synthetic field have been based around synthetic color enhancement in natural sapphire. (read: Diffusion treatment)
The wide availability of lab grown sapphire and ruby hasn't had as much of an impact as other conditions have. You see, there are ALWAYS people willing to pay more for a "natural" stone. And you can easily identify a lab stone, so the market supply and market demand for them hasn't changed much from the addition of lab stones in the past century. Enhanced mining processes have on the other hand, GREATLY increased the market supply, rapidly outpacing demand. This has hurt the price severely.

Diffusion treatment for color enhancement has had a MUCH bigger impact. In diffusion treatment you add chromium powder, or titanium dioxide, or iron, or titanium, etc. Pack it around the stones, then heat to a fairly high temp for a prolonged period of time. the powder diffuses into the surface, enhancing the color to the desired color. The problem with this process is it leaves flaws inside the stone intact. So less savory sellers have been known to sell diffusion treated stones as only "heat treated." Heat treating corundum has been around since the Roman Empire was still flourishing, and is widely accepted.

Diffusion treatment is not as easily determined, so plenty of stones are on the market today as natural. This hurts buyer confidence of the genuine nature of the stone, and it's the destruction of this confidence that hurts the market demand, lowering the price via simply supply/demand economics.

You can tell easily if a sapphire has been heat treated, simply look for internal crystals of another material that have "exploded" inside. (among other signs) however, heat treating is simply diffusion treatment of the natural inclusions inside the stone, enhancing the color with existing elements inside the stone. since nothing is added in standard heat treating, it's generally considered fine for a stone to be heat treated, so upwards of 95% of the corundum produced annually in this world is heat treated. It's the problem of another method, that can produce ANY desired color, that closely mimics this process, and is quite annoying to identify, and can be HEAVILY mass produced, that produces the significant damage to the price we see today. (that and trade embargoes against source countries like Myanmar (read: Burma)

Diamond on the other hand has no diffusion treatment. Irradiation can be spotted to determine likelihood of natural color, and the crystal structure of a lab grown can be identified relatively easily. Also unlike corundum, diamond crystals are actually quite difficult to mass produce in gem grade, this limits the impact on the price. Add in a fixed market, courtesy of de beers, and you have a recipe for a stone that won't be changing in value ANYTIME soon.
If you want a good investment stone, however diamond won't be increasing either, again thanks to the fixed market, Instead your best bets are tourmaline and emerald. Given the larger deposits are starting to run out. Granted there are other deposits, and with tourmaline, they are on either side of the atlantic, as the deposit is older then the atlantic ocean, but the African deposits are much smaller then the Brazil deposits. Also, there are theoretical other large deposits of emerald comparable to Columbia. Utah is home to one of the suspected emerald deposits, however they have never been found. (however utah has plenty of other colors of Beryl, such as aquamarine, and even red, which is unique to utah, probably why they expect the green beryls to be here, albeit on the other side of the state from the red and blue.) Ok I am babbling here. I should probably have ended this an hour ago...

StridAst
 

FrancoRob

New member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
468
Likes
35
Points
0
StridAst:

He he, unbelievable how a thread can develop starting from an engagement ring.... :crackup:

Wow, a very good explanation about synthesis, the heat treatment in principal and the effects on the market!

Two points in your exposition have a little bit confused me:

The first is the corundum heat treating in the history. For what I know (Cavenago-Bignami - Gemmology - Book I) Pliny (Gaius plinius Secundus) -A.D. 23 - 79, roman naturalist, was not aware of the corundums: in the roman empire rubies were indicated as "carbonchi" and mixed together with all the other red stones (garnets, spinels, tourmalines) due to their resemblance to the fire color; he was used to split "carbonchi" into masculine and feminine: masculine those with a stronger color, while feminine the more pale ones. Concerning the sapphire, he confused this blue stone with lapis, as he writes about "gold dots shining in the stone"; also Agricola (Gnaeus Julius) A.D. 37 - 93, Roman general governor of Britain, made the same confusion, as he described sapphires as "resembling a sky decorated with stars"...
Pliny was speaking of heat treatments in his "History of the World", but referring to other stones (see: History of heat treatment of ruby & sapphire for more info).....

The second point is relevant to the fixed market, which is no more under the De Beer control: after starting of diamond production coming from Diavik and Ekati canadian mines (they alone produce to-day the 15% in value of all diamonds found in the world, third world position after Botswana and Russia, having surpassed the South Africa), in July 2000 Nicky Oppenheimer declared that "due to the opening of new sources, expecially in Canada, the diamond market control cannot be sustained any more". The last news are that to-day more than the 50 % of the diamond world production is out of the De Beer control. So it looks that a wider worldwide agreement is keeping under control the diamonds price...

BTW, thank you for your clear explanations :yh:....
 
Last edited:




Top