Diamonds have adorned the ornaments of the wealthy and powerful for thousands of years, with legendary diamonds coming and going through history to be found, lost, found again, recut, and renamed. While diamonds are rare and precious stones, and the fancy colored diamonds rarer still, the rarest stones are the red diamonds. How rare? The largest known red diamond is an eye catching 5.11 carats. But most extant reds are under a carat— and even then you can expect to pay around $450,000 per carat for a Fancy Red with an SI1 clarity. These stones are generally beyond the reach of the average celebrity or diamondista, and reside almost exclusively in the collections of those seeking alternative investments, aficionados or collectors, and the very top end of jewelers worldwide.
The DeYoung Red: Depending on who you believe, this 5.03 carat round Reddish Brown stone was either languishing as the ornament on a hat pin at a flea market, or as part of a collection of estate jewelry acquired by S. Sydney De Young, a Boston jeweler. Initially misidentified as a garnet, it currently resides in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
The Edcora Red: The pear cut 5.71 carat Fancy Red Brown stone has disappeared from public view into the hands of a secretive private investor or investment group in Hong Kong. There are no known photos of this stone, making it a “lost stone” even though it has been well documented to exist.
The Hancock Red: At the time of its last sale, the Brazilian-origin, .95 carat round cut Purplish Red diamond sold for the equivalent of $926,000 per carat, beating its presale estimate times eight. For a stone purchased in 1956 for $13,500 this was an astounding feat and is credited with sparking interest in fancy colored diamonds that are so sought after today.
The Kazanjian Red: Unearthed in South Africa nearly 100 years ago, the stone has a history. Weighing at 5.05 carats from the 35 carat rough stone, the diamond was cut in the Netherlands, seized by the Nazis in World War 2 and sent to Germany where it was found hidden in a salt mine. After the war, it was sold twice, and was sold for a third time in 2007 to the Kazanjian Bros. Inc. It was on display at the American Museum of Natural History until January 15 in the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems.
If you’re looking to invest in rare red diamonds, or other fancy colored diamonds, you’re not alone. These stones are preferred by those seeking alternative investments who have come to regard with roller-coaster world of “traditional” investments with a jaded eye. After all, diamonds are portable, tangible wealth, and one doesn’t have to worry about them cooking the books, running afoul of regulatory authorities, or other scams and scandals that periodically rock the world of traditional investments. Investors from Asia, Europe, and America snap them up at auction with a zeal previously reserved for major works of art.
Fancy red diamonds have a unique history; for more in-depth coverage on these stones, make sure you check out our tribute to red diamonds.
For more reading on alternative investments, click the links below:
- Investing in Natural Pink Diamonds: What You Need to Know
- Need To Know: How To Invest In Colored Diamonds
- Do You Have This Alternative Investment Asset In Your Portfolio?
- Alternative Investments: Investing Outside the Box