Red Diamonds – The Rarest of Them All


Diamonds are prized around the world for their rarity. A gem-quality diamond is already one of the most rare items found in nature. Of all coloured diamonds, one colour in particular is especially rare: a predominantly red diamond.

“Predominantly red” means that red is the primary colour with no secondary hues (like purple). In fact, red diamonds are so rare, that GIA records show that over a 30 year period from 1957 to 1987 there was no mention of a GIA lab report issued for a diamond with “red” as the only descriptive term.

That’s a rather remarkable statement considering the number of diamonds GIA’s nine global laboratories grade each year, and that GIA has graded many of the world’s most famous colored diamonds.

Adding to the mystique of red diamonds is the question of how they get their colour. GIA researchers, who have been studying diamonds for decades and have access to the most sophisticated equipment, are still not sure what causes their color. One explanation is that defects in the atomic structure that result from gliding (the slight movement of atoms along the octahedral direction) are partially responsible.

The Hancock Red is one of the most famous red diamonds. At the time of its sale in 1987 it was the most expensive per-carat gemstone ever sold at auction. The hammer came down at $880,000—a remarkable $926,315 per carat, eight times its pre-sale estimate.

The publicity generated by the selling price of the Hancock Red and other significant fancy colored diamonds at auction spurred interest in these rare stones around the world, particularly with celebrities. In addition, diamond cutters better understand how to fashion them to derive more intense colours in the finished polished stone.

The Moussaieff Red, another famous red diamond, is a modified triangular brilliant weighing in at 5.11 carats. It was included in the 2003 exhibit, “The Splendor of Diamonds” at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Four other diamonds in the exhibition dwarfed the Moussaieff Red, yet gemologists still regard it as a breathtaking specimen worthy of inclusion.

Last year, the Argyle Everglow, was the star of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender which is an annual exhibition of the mine’s rarest stones. The 2.11ct radiant shape diamond has been certified by GIA as Fancy Red with VS2 clarity.

This year at the 34th Annual Argyle Tender, The 2.28 carat oval-shaped Argyle Muse – the largest purplish red diamond ever discovered will be offered to select bidders across the globe.

Over the past decade The Argyle Mine has discovered more Red Diamonds than any other mining corporation, and this begs the question WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE ELUSIVE SUPPLY OF RED DIAMONDS ONCE THE MINE CLOSES IN 2020?

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