Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Arpege Diamonds Presents "Famous Diamonds, Moussaieff Red"

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 3/4/16 8:00 AM

Arpege Diamonds celebrates the next installment of our Famous Diamond Series with a very rare, very expensive red diamond.  Read what makes the Moussaief Red Diamond so special and why it has earned its place on the list of the most famous diamonds of all time. 


Image Courtesy of Lazy Penguins

Arpege Diamonds Presents...

Have you ever wondered which color diamond is the most rare? Ranking high on the list of rare diamonds is the Fancy Red, which is primarily red with no secondary tones.

Each year, only a small amount of red diamonds are found worldwide, with the majority originating out of Australia, Africa, and Brazil. The frequency of one of these diamonds being discovered is less than 0.1%, with the majority weighing under half a carat. Because red diamonds are one of the rarest types of diamonds in the world, they are among the most expensive and exclusive to own.

The Moussaieff Red Diamond weighs in at 5.11 carats with a triangular brilliant cut, also referred to as a trilliant cut. Although this diamond seems small in comparison to some of the other famous diamonds we have featured, the Moussaieff is currently the largest Fancy Red Diamond reported by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

The Moussaieff Red was found in the 1990’s by an unknown farmer in the Abaetezinho River in Brazil. The stone, in its original form, weighed 13.9 carats. The William Goldberg Diamond Corporation acquired and processed the diamond, branding it as the “Red Shield." In the early 2000’s, Shlomo Moussaieff, an Israeli-born jewelry dealer in London, purchased the stone for an estimated $8 million. Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd. is the current owner of the Fancy Red.

Shlomo Moussaieff came from a family of jewelers and antique collectors, however his fortune didn’t come easy. Moussaieff was a dyslexic young boy who struggled in school with his inability to read, causing him to end his formal education at an early stage. Moussaieff left home at the age of 12 as he believed he was a disappointment to his family due his disability.

It wasn’t until he moved to London that Moussaieff’s career as a jeweler took off. He arrived with nothing more than a license to sell jewelry and the desire to succeed. Much of his profit came from wealthy Arabs searching for jewelry in London. The other part of his customer base was comprised of royal families and wealthy celebrities; Elizabeth Taylor was said to be one of his best clients. Moussaieff has always had an eye for the exquisite, as well as a smart and fair business mentality. These qualities lead him to success, with his current fortune estimated at $250 million.

Highlights of his successful career include the purchase of the Moussaieff Red. With the understanding that color greatly influences the price of diamonds, Moussaieff saw the perfect opportunity to own the largest red diamond known to exist. On two occasions in recent years, The Moussaieff Red was displayed at “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, along with other famous precious items.

The Moussaieff Red is a prime example of the fact that the value of diamond is derived from many aspects, not only the weight of the diamond. While the diamond may be far smaller than other famous diamonds, its color and the rarity derived from its brilliance makes it one of the most expensive fancy colored diamonds currently on display. The value of these incomparable precious stones continues to grow rapidly, creating a thrill for diamond enthusiasts and investors each time one is discovered and brought to auction.

For more reading on colored diamonds, check out the link below. 

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Topics: History


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