The Moussaieff Red Diamond
Red diamonds are amongst the rarest of the colored diamond collection. Very few red diamonds exist, and the ones that do are often sold at quite a hefty price. Red diamonds emanate from the deep/vivid pink family. Only a handful of red diamonds have ever received the grade of Fancy Red, meaning that they are pure red with no modifying colors at all. It is almost impossible to find a pure red, without any secondary hues. Hence, the ones that turn up often cause quite a stir. The Moussaieff Red is most likely the most well known Fancy Red around.
Originally known as the “Red Shield,” the Moussaieff Red is a triangular brilliant-cut or trilliant-cut, Fancy red (ruby red), internally flawless (IF), 5.11 carat diamond. It is the largest red diamond in the world today, and its estimated cost in the year 2001/2002, when it was acquired by its current owner Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd., was USD 8 million. That is almost USD 1.6 million per carat. Following its sale to Moussaieff Jewelers, the diamond was re-named the “Moussaieff Red." The diamond was discovered by a farmer in the Abaetezinho River, at the Alto Paranaiba region of Brazil during the 1990s.
Cut by the William Goldberg Corporation in the mid-1990s from a 13.90 carat rough stone, the stone was graded by the GIA which stated that it was the largest fancy red natural color diamond ever graded, during that time and onwards.
The Moussaieff Red was displayed at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution on two recent occasions, in the years 2003 and 2005. In 2005, it was exhibited as part of a display showing eight of the most incredible diamonds in the world - the crème de la crème of the diamond world. Such is the esteem in which the Moussaieff Red is held. The other diamonds which the Moussaieff Red shared the stage with, included the Allnatt, De Beers Millenium Star, Heart of Eternity, Incomparable, Ocean Dream, Steinmetz Pink, and the 616 (an uncut, unnamed diamond).
Moussaieff of London is considered one of the world's great jewelers with one of the longest family traditions. The business was started by Shlomo Moussaieff in the 1850's in Bukara, Uzbekistan. Shlomo was both a rabbi and a trader in natural pearls. He immigrated to Palestine at the end of the 19th century. Shlomo had seven children. It was his son, Rehavia, who settled in Paris and established a fine gem trading business in 1963. Rehavia's son, named Shlomo after his grandfather, opened the first Moussaieff store on Park Lane in London.
Since red diamonds are so rare, they are not easy to come by and Leibish & Co. has the largest collection of red diamonds available. In fact, Shmulik Polnauer, GIA GG and Leibish & Co.’s Chief Buyer won a 0.80ct, Fancy Red, Oval-Shaped Diamond in the 2011 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender.