Diamonds are the most popular gemstones of all. Colorless diamonds are the glittering jewels that adorn engagement rings and jewelry. But did you know that there are colored diamonds also? These beautiful gems span the color spectrum, but the rarest of all is the red diamond.
Despite their vivid coloration, they aren’t purely red but “predominantly red.” If you favor the bold, you’ll love red diamonds.
Keep reading to learn all about the rarest diamond that exists!
What Are Red Diamonds?
As we’ve established, red diamonds are the rarest diamond of all. What makes these diamonds so rare? Well, it has to do with the limited availability of the gem. While colorless diamonds are widely available, red diamonds aren’t.
Some red diamonds contain additional shades of color, like pink or purple. These diamonds don’t classify as red because they aren’t “predominantly red.”
Because these elusive gems are so rare, they’ve built quite a reputation in the gemstone world. The primary intrigue is how they get their vivid color, which is still somewhat of a mystery.
Red Diamond Meaning
In color psychology, red is the symbol of power and passion. Diamonds symbolize innocence, fidelity, love, and strength. Put the two together, and the red diamond meaning embodies the strength to be faithful, and passion to love eternally.
Are Red Diamonds Rare?
Red diamonds are scarce, but why? It’s primarily because of all the diamonds in the world, only a few purely red diamonds surface each year. These gems are so rare, GIA records show a 30-year period from 1957-87 that no red diamonds were reported.
Because GIA is the leading authority in diamond grading, it’s astonishing that no red diamonds were reported. That fact alone is a significant testament to the rarity of red diamonds. If these gemstones are so rare, where do they come from?
Where Are Red Diamonds Found?
The leading supplier is the Argyle Mine in Western Australia’s East Kimberley region, which sources 90% of the world’s supply. Red diamonds are already the rarest diamond in the world, but the Argyle Mine will close this year (2020), meaning this already rare gem will become even more of a novelty.
While red diamonds are rare and expensive, synthetic or color-treated red diamonds exist more amply. However, the treated red diamonds still fetch a hefty price, because they are still a diamond after all.
So, we know these gems are rare and unique, but how do they get their color?
Why Are They Red?
The color of red diamonds has to do with their origins. See, the location of the Argyle Mine’s land experienced plate tectonic compression nearly 2 million years ago. What does that mean?
That two continents collided and compressed the rock foundations, dislodging carbon atoms that comprise the diamonds from the mine. Thanks to the heat and pressure of the plates, the diamonds have a natural deformity.
The carbon atoms displaced from their original position along the crystal structure’s glide planes, obstructing the natural passing of light through the gem. The diamond absorbs specific wavelengths and transmits a bold color through the gem: red.
A similar process occurs in brown diamonds, but those are much more common than red diamonds. The same goes for pink diamonds, which are close to red diamonds, but with fewer glide planes. Often, lightly saturated red diamonds get certified as pink diamonds. The reason red diamonds are so rare is that they have a high concentration of glide planes, producing a vibrant red gemstone!
Red Diamonds Price
Given the rarity of this precious gemstone, red diamonds are prestigious and expensive. Simply put, there aren’t enough red diamonds in the world for them to be affordable. Considering their rarity, the average red diamond price per carat is up there with the most expensive gemstones in the world.
For example, a one-carat red diamond may cost around $1 million! And frankly, there are few that size as it is, as most are around the half carat weight range.
To give you a better scope of the value of these red gems, let’s look at some famous specimens.
The Most Famous Red Diamonds
The Moussaieff Red
This whopper weighs in at 5.11 carats and has the esteemed honor of being the largest red diamond in the world. Cut from a large rough diamond hailing from Brazil, this gemstone sold for so much money, the price isn’t public knowledge.
The DeYoung Red
Imagine buying a collection of jewels at a flea market, and unknowingly purchasing one of the most expensive gemstones on the planet. That’s precisely what happened to Sydney DeYoung, who thought the large hatpin in the jumble of jewels was a red garnet.
Some years later, the owner passed and donated what would become the third from the largest red diamond in the world to the Smithsonian Institution. Weighing in at 5.03 carats, we aren’t sure of the exact price of the gem, but considering the nearly 1-carat Hancock Red sold for $1 million, we can only imagine the DeYoung is worth around a cool $5 million.
The Hancock Red
Speaking of the Hancock Red, this headline-grabbing red diamond is one of the earliest discoveries and sold for $880,000 in 1987. Another beauty hailing from Brazil, this red diamond was discovered by a Montana diamond collector and rancher. Considering he only paid $13,500 for the .95-carat diamond, he saw a 6500% return on investment for the highest-priced gemstone in history.
While most of us won’t ever get our hands on a red diamond, they are a rare gem to marvel at! If colorful jewels are on your mind, shop our collection of beautiful colored diamonds.
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