The DeYoung Red Diamond
This magnificent round cut stone measures 5.03 carats and is the third-largest red diamond known to exist. Fun fact, DeYoung Red was discovered by Sydney DeYoung at a flea market, who erroneously buy the stone and thought it was a red garnet. The jeweller eventually donated the diamond to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC in December of 1987.
The Kazanjian Red Diamond
This diamond ranks second in our list of the most famous red diamonds in the world. The 5.05-carat diamond was discovered in Lichtenberg, South Africa in 1927 weighing 35 carats in its rough shape. After the diamond cutter’s preparation decreased its size by 85 per cent, the jewellers converted the stone into a magnificent emerald-cut diamond.
The Kazanjian Red Diamond was once captured by Nazi soldiers from a residence in the Netherlands during World War 2. United States General Joseph McNarney, who believed the diamond to be some form of ruby, subsequently located the stone in a salt mine.
After residing in a private collection of an unknown jeweller, Kazanjian Bros. Inc. obtained the stone in 2007. Today, Michael Kazanjian thinks the stone to be worth in excess of $50 million.
A cut above the rest
According to Internet Stones, a farmer in Brazil spotted the deep red diamond in the mid-’90s, and in the raw, it weighed an amazing 13.90 carats. The source indicated that it’s likely the stone was created in the mining area’s alluvial deposits. It was eventually bought by the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation of New York, which is noted for holding extraordinary stones like the Guinea Star and Premier Rose.
After the Goldberg Corporation cut the stone into a triangular brilliant cut, often known as a trillion or trilliant cut, it lost 8.79 carats in the process – but the outcome of the metamorphosis was spectacular. The diamond was titled the Red Shield until Moussaieff Jewelers acquired it in the early 2000s for roughly $8 million.
According to Diamond News, experienced gemologist Michael Hing, who viewed the diamond in person around that time, was taken surprised by its beauty.
“It’s a pretty surprising cherry colour, quite unlike any other diamond I’ve ever seen,” Hing stated, as quoted by the source.
The Moussaieff Red is on display twice at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The magnificent stone was presented as part of the “Splendor of Diamonds” Exhibition from June 2 to Sept. 30, 2003, alongside other legendary jewels like the Millennium Star, the Pumpkin Diamond, the Heart of Eternity and the Ocean Dream. Later, it was included in another show from July 8, 2005, to Feb. 26, 2006, which also featured the De Beers Millennium Star, The Steinmetz Pink and the Aurora Collection, a set of 296 naturally coloured diamonds weighing in a total of 267.45 carats.
How does a red diamond achieve its beautiful hue? The Cape Town Diamond Museum noted that nitrogen or boron is responsible for other diamond colours, red diamonds are somewhat distinct. Like colourless stones, they are made of pure carbon. So instead of the presence of contaminants, it’s a deformation in the atomic constitution of the stone that gives the red hue. This structural imperfection is called plastic deformation, and it causes light to travel through the lattice and bend in such a way that it reflects the magnificent ruby-like hue. As with any other coloured stone, the more vivid the hue, the more uncommon and costly it is. The intensity might range from a dark pink diamond to a purplish red one.
What is perhaps most remarkable about red diamonds is that their look varies according on the illumination in their surroundings. According to The Cape Town Diamond Museum, fluorescent light is the least favourable to these stones, whereas daylight and candlelight bring forth their beauty.
The Cape Town Diamond Museum further warned that red diamonds are projected to become even more difficult to come by in the future. As a result, experts believe they will cost double what they do now within only a few years.