Fun Facts: Fluorescence

Ever wondered what stone you should bring with you when playing laser tag? We have the answers!⠀

■ What causes gemstones to glow? ⠀
Some stones have a fascinating ability called 'fluorescence.' They temporarily absorb light at one wavelength and release it on a different wavelength. The change in wavelength causes the apparent color of a stone to change. It's most spectacular when a stone absorbs ultraviolet light (invisible to humans) and releases the energy as visible light. 

Normally, color is caused by reflecting light. With fluorescence, color is added, and your eye interprets the color as being more than possible from the surrounding visible light. It feels like the gem glows from the inside...which it does!⠀
■ What stones glow normally?⠀
Under normal light, good rubies, sapphires, and spinels often have this 'glow.' This is why the Jedi spinels from Namya have such intense color and are so well-loved! ⠀

■ What other stones can glow under a powerful UV light?⠀
Using an intense UV light can also cause some green garnets to glow peach. Other lesser-known minerals also have some interesting effects, like Afghanite, Kunzite, certain opals. ⠀

■ Some fun facts about fluorescence:⠀
• Sir George Stokes documented this effect in 1852 by studying fluorite, which he named fluorescence after.⠀
• The presence of iron inhibits fluorescence⠀
• Some diamonds fluoresce blue in longwave UV and then phosphoresces yellow. ⠀