Arpege Diamonds celebrates the next installment of our Famous Diamond Series with a very rare and beautiful gem, the Moussaief Red Diamond.
Let's find out what is so special about this stone, and why it has earned its place on the list of the most famous diamonds of all time.
In this article we will be looking at:
- The characteristics of the Moussaieff Red Diamond
- Its history and origins
- Public appearances
- Its current owner
- The impact of color as a value point for red diamonds
The Largest Red Diamond in the World
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 Origin of the Red Shield Diamond
The Moussaieff Red was found in the 1990’s by an unknown farmer in the Abaetezinho River in Brazil. The 13.9 carat rough would eventually be acquired by the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation in the mid 1990’s, who would then go on to cut and processed the diamond into the masterpiece we know today. The trilliant cut was the inspiration for the diamond very first official name, known as the “Red Shield."
In the early 2000’s, Shlomo Moussaieff, an Israeli-born jewelry dealer in London, would eventually come across and purchased the stone for a rumored $8 million (a very respectable $1.6 million per carat.) It was during that time that the stone would be renamed as the Moussaieff Red.
The red diamond has not changed ownership since then, and is still the proud possession of Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd.
The Moussaieff Red has twice been on display at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution during the past 2 decades. During 2003, it was displayed in the Splendor of Diamonds exhibit but perhaps its most notable appearance was during 2005 and 2006, where it was part of the “Diamonds” exhibit, showcasing the 8 most incredible diamonds in the world. The Moussaieff Red accompanied diamonds of immense caliber, including the Allnatt, Heart of Eternity, De Beers Millenium Star, Ocean Dream, Incomparable, Steinmetz Pink, and the 616 (an uncut, unnamed diamond).
A Few Words About the Current Owner
Shlomo Moussaieff is considered to be one of the greatest jewelers of modern times, however, despite being from a family of jewelers and collectors, he had very humble beginnings, leaving home at the age of 12. 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.
The Moussaieff Red is an excellent example showing that the value of a colored diamond is derived from many factors, not just the carat weight of the stone. 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 valuable 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.
- Color Modifiers in Fancy Colored Diamonds: How Do They Affect Value?
- Colored Diamonds Investment - 6 Tips You Need To Know
- The Dresden Green: The Most Historic Green Diamond
- The Hope Blue Diamond: Origin, Legacy, and Curse
- Investing in Natural Pink Diamonds: What You Need to Know