Seeing Red – A Look into the Rare Red Diamond

Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it is only fitting to discuss diamonds that are the color of the holiday – red. The color red was assigned to this day of love, and as a result appears on cards, chocolate boxes, gift-wrapping, as well as on flower arrangements around the globe.  Red diamonds are in a different category than other fancy colored diamonds. This is because red diamonds are the rarest of all diamonds.  Most jewelers will never see a real, natural red diamond. 

 0.80 Carat, Fancy Red

A 0.80 carat, Fancy Red Diamond Leibish & Co. won in the 2011 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender 

Although pure red diamonds are almost impossible to come by, Red diamond with a secondary hue, such as Brownish Red or Purplish Red, are a somewhat more attainable. There are also diamonds that appear to be pure red, but are actually fancy deep or fancy dark pinks. Only a handful of what are considered red diamonds are pure natural red. Due to the rarity of these stones their prices are often quite high.

 Left to right: 0.42FRED_0.52FPU-RED_0.42FRED_0.22FRED_0.35FPURED_0.42FDOP

Left to right:

A 0.42 carat Fancy RED, a 0.52 carat Fancy Purplish RED, a 0.42 carata Fancy RED, a 0.22 carat Fancy RED, a 0.35 carat Fancy Purplish RED, and a 0.42 carat Fancy Deep Orangy Pink

Because these diamonds are so rare, there is little known about them.  The information we do have includes the main cause for the stone’s red color, which is the crystal lattice defects showing stress lamination during the diamond’s formation.  A true, pure red diamond does not resemble a ruby, a garnet, or any other red gemstone in terms of the color.  A red diamond’s coloring is slightly gentler.

 Leibish Ruby Eing

A Leibish ruby and diamond ring


The largest recorded pure red diamond is 5.11-carats, not even remotely close to the largest diamonds in other color categories.  This diamond is called the Moussaieff Red Diamond, formerly known as the “Red Shield Diamond.”  It has been reported, that a Brazilian farmer discovered the famous diamond in the Abaetezinho River in 1990. The diamond was later purchased and cut by William Goldberg Diamond Corp, where it was dubbed the “Red Shield.”  Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd. now owns the diamond, hence the name the Moussaieff Red Diamond.

Red diamonds may not be in most of our price ranges, but there is no need to worry.  There are pink diamonds in shades similar to red, which are more affordable.  Pink diamonds are also quite pricey, but will make quite the impression.

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