The Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia is famous for being the world’s premier source of pink colored diamonds but it is also the premier source of the few red colored diamonds known to exist. To say that there is only a small number of true natural red colored diamonds is no exaggeration. The number diamonds certified as red is estimated to be less than twenty so it is rare that a red diamond is seen in public, let alone available for sale.
Bruce Robinson Jewellers in Brisbane, Australia recently purchased a red diamond at the 2006 Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, which featured 65 exceptional colored diamonds. While the purchase prices for the diamonds at the tender are confidential, the red diamond is now for sale and expected to demand a very high price.
The 0.54-carat brilliant-cut red diamond, named “The Lady in Red” measures only 5.13 mm and is I1 in clarity meaning it has inclusions visible to the unaided eye. The diamond was a 1.46-carat rough diamond crystal and was cut and polished to its current 0.54-carat weight. In spite of its small size, this diamond will probably be price well over $2 million.
Red diamonds are extremely rare. The last red diamond sold for almost $1 million twenty years ago. Because of their rarity and beauty, several red diamonds are among the most famous diamonds.
Perhaps the most famous of the red colored diamonds is the Moussaieff Red, a 5.11-carat ruby-red diamond making it the largest red colored diamond in the world. Discovered by a farmer in Brazil in the 1990s, the internally flawless 13.90-carat rough crystal was cut by William Goldberg Diamond Corporation. The rare red stone was later sold to the Moussaieff Jewelers for a rumored $8 million.
The second largest red diamond is simply known as Red Diamond and is an emerald cut weighing 5.05 carats. Its current location is unknown.
Another famous diamond is the De Young Red, a 5.03-carat round brilliant that is the third largest red diamond in the world. The De Young Red is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. At one time it was mistakenly sold as a red garnet because the stone’s subtle brown hue give it an appearance more like a garnet than a rare red colored diamond.
The Hancock (Halphen) Red is an extraordinary deep ruby red making it exceptional among the reds even though it is smaller in carat weight at 0.95-carats. In the 19th century, Edwin Streeter, a diamond dealer in Paris bought the extraordinary red known as the Halphen Red. The stone disappeared from public view and was never seen again. Almost a century later, a collector in England purchased a 0.95-carat red diamond, The Hancock Red, named after its owner Warren Hancock. While there is no proof the two diamonds are in fact the same, the rarity of red diamonds makes it likely they are the same. The purplish-red diamond sold for $880,000 ($926,000 per carat) at Christie’s in 1987.
Time will only tell what will happen to “The Lady in Red” that is currently for sale in Brisbane.