Spectral properties of cubic boron nitride have been studied using methods of photoluminescence (PL), X-ray excited luminescence (XL), thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence. It is found that emission of cubic boron nitride is presented by 4 subbands, their relative yield is determined by the excitation type: blue, green (dominant) and red bands are observed in PL, ultraviolet, blue (dominant), green and red bands-in XL. Three thermal peaks are found in TL curves in the 0-700degreesC temperature range, their presence and intensity depend on radiation type used. A tentative correspondence between thermal peaks and emission bands is found. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.