The Mysterious Red Diamond

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Diamonds are the most precious of all precious jewels, but they are also the most versatile stones. Some may prefer colored gems like emeralds or rubies, but the truth is nothing compares with the purity and clarity of a well-cut diamond stone. Moreover, diamonds can be versatile too, not only in size, cut, clarity and carats, but in color as well. There are yellow and blue diamonds out there, rare and beautiful occurrences. Nevertheless, the rarest diamond in the world has to be the red diamond, of which only few pieces exist in the world.

When talking about the red diamond, only three come to mind, because they’re the only ones to have over 5 carats. What makes this type of diamond so interesting and mysterious is that so far we haven’t been able to determine what lends this color to the stone. One of the most famous of these three pieces is the Kazanjian Red Diamond a perfect stone of only one gram which is cut like an emerald. For a long time, the Kazanjian was mistaken for a ruby; today being over a century old, this diamond sometimes appears on display in museums around the world.

Being so rare, this red diamond is considered to be more precious and valuable than many other diamonds out there, even those with perfect clarity. In order to determine what might have given this intense color, which makes many consider them cousins of the pink diamonds, scientists have analyzed their less precious relatives, the brown diamonds. These brown diamonds are among the least preferred stones because of their dull color, but thanks to them scientists have been able to tell that diamonds with tint feature vacancies in the structure. The vacancies are filled with graining, which in the brown diamonds are believed to be nitrogen.

For these reasons, it is suspected the same nitrogen may confer the red color to these diamonds as well, though no theories have been confirmed. As for the Kazanjian diamond, it was discovered in the late 1920s in South Africa. After being handled by various intermediaries, the diamond reached the Goudvis brothers in Amsterdam, who then started to work on carving and cutting the rough-looking gem. It took seven months of polishing and analyzing to bring this gem to perfection, when it reached the emerald cut we know today.

The red diamond‘s history was only beginning however; in 1944, during Nazi occupation, the diamond was confiscated along with other valuable from the Goudvis brothers. The stone resurfaced after the war, in one of Hitler’s retreats, and then it was mistaken for a ruby. After the Goudvis brothers recuperated it, they sold it as well, and it finally reached the hands of the Kazanjian Brothers, who figured out the mysterious stone was actually a diamond.

Finally, we should mention the second famous red diamond, the Mussaieff, which is slightly larger and features a marvelous triangular brilliant cut. This, the largest known red diamond, was discovered quite recently, in 1990, in the Abaetezinho river, by a Brazillian farmer. The region where it was found is famous for producing colored diamonds and gems.

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