The Rarest & Most Expensive

Red is the color of romance, passion, and intensity.  When the red is found in a red diamond, add fire and sparkle to that passion.  The desire to harness the deep qualities of red diamonds far outreaches their availability though.  Red diamonds are the rarest of all fancy colored diamonds, and in the years since they were first discovered fewer than twenty diamonds have been certified as natural red diamonds.

The market for red diamonds hardly exists, because those who own red diamonds do not wish to give them up!  When a red diamond does come up for sale, it is highly valued and the competition is fierce.  Serious diamond investors wait many years before a red diamond becomes available for purchase.  Some red diamonds have been bought for more than a million dollars per carat.  Rough red diamonds are mined in Australia, Brazil and South Africa, and typically are small in size.  The largest natural red diamond weigh just over 5 carats.

Highlighting the Red Diamond’s Brilliance

Since fewer than 20 diamonds are certified as “red” by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), no ideal cut, setting or shape stands out that is known to take advantage of the red diamond’s bright coloring.  Red diamonds have strong color intensity so setting the gem to maximize available color is not an issue.  A bezel setting is not more or less ideal for a red diamond than a prong setting.

When a rough red diamond is found, expert diamond cutters study the stone carefully for a length of time to determine the best cut and shape for that diamond.  Sometimes a red diamond is examined for as long as nine months before implementing the first cut.  Each cut and shape is determined by how the color will appear in the finished diamond.  Square shapes, like a cushion shaped diamond or the emerald cut, are popular for red diamonds, as is the round brilliant cut.

The Red Color Scale

There is no color scale for red diamonds.  Red diamonds all have the color grade of “fancy.”  Any red diamond lighter than this color grade is considered a pink diamond.  Red diamonds also have secondary colors, such as brown pink and purple.  These secondary colors may also appear in the color grade, making the diamond a fancy brownish red, fancy pinkish red or fancy purplish red diamond.  Few red diamonds are certified as “fancy red” with no secondary colors.

Fancy cut diamonds normally have a very different color scale then the diamond color grading given to colorless stones.

Red diamonds are the rarest of all fancy colored diamonds, and also the most expensive.  In 2007, a 2.26 carat purplish red diamond was purchased for $2.7 million dollars in 2007 and a 1.06 carat fancy red diamond was purchased for $1.5 million dollars.

Famous Red Diamonds

The three famous red diamonds that weigh more than five carats each are the Moussaieff Red, a trilliant shaped diamond weighing 5.11 carats, the emerald shaped Kazanjian Red weighing 5.05 carats and the De Young Red, a round brilliant weighing 5.03 carats.

Check out these other natural colored diamonds:

Natural Yellow Diamonds
Natural Green Diamonds
Natural Pink Diamonds
Natural Blue Diamonds
Natural Black Diamonds
Natural Brown Diamonds

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