Fancy Red Diamond Shapes, Shades, Rarity and Prices

By Michael Fried

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Bottom Line Recommendation:

A red diamond should be purchased from a vendor with high-quality photos like James Allen. You want to ensure you’re getting the most beautiful red stone for your budget. In our years of experience, Leibish & Co. offers the best prices and overall customer experience in the Fancy Color Diamond market. Additionally, Leibish & Co provides the highest level of expertise in bringing out the maximum color of the stone when set in jewelry.

Origin of Red Diamond’s Color

Different than other Fancy Diamonds, red diamonds don’t obtain their color from having impurities like nitrogen in their composition. In fact, the exact cause of the red diamond’s color is still debated among experts. Some gemologists believe that the red shade comes from changes to the atomic structure—in a process called plastic deformation—that occurred during the diamond’s journey to the Earth’s surface. Similar to pink diamonds, it’s likely that the enormous pressure the diamonds endured impacted their molecular structure. With this theory, more pressure probably meant a richer red hue.

Not knowing the exact origin of the red diamond’s color adds to the stone’s mystery, as it’s the rarest one of all the Fancy Color Diamonds.

Red Diamond Intensity Levels

With red diamonds, there are no varying levels of color intensity. While other Fancy Color Diamonds are graded by terms like Fancy, Intense and Vivid, red diamonds are not evaluated on that scale. The red color itself could even be considered as a supersaturated level of the pink diamond spectrum.

Different modifiers, or overtones, may be present along with the red color. The most common, and probably the most aesthetically pleasing, is Purplish Red. Other common modifiers are Brownish and Orangey. Stones with Orangey and Brownish overtones are worth significantly less than pure Red or Purplish Red diamonds.

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Red Diamond Rarity and Prices

Of all the Fancy Color Diamonds, red is the rarest of them all. Not all red diamonds are exceptionally rare, though. The most sought-after stones are the ones that are primarily red with the absence of secondary tones like orange or purple. Predominantly red diamonds are so rare that at any given moment, probably less than a handful are available for sale in the market—ones that have a certified unmodified red color and are above 0.20 Carat, that is.

This extreme level of rarity makes red the most expensive colored diamond. “Pure” red diamonds are so rare and outrageously priced, they’re generally beyond the purview of celebrity life and are seldom found above 1 Carat.

As an example, this 0.71 Carat Fancy Red Diamond Radiant shape with a Clarity grade of SI2 is priced at $603,600! This stone is GIA certified Fancy Red without any modifiers. This stone is priced at over $850,000 per carat!

For those wishing for a red diamond, but not looking to pay for a predominantly red stone should consider a red diamond with a modifier. Purplish red diamonds tend to offer the most beautiful selection.

Red Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a red diamond, the stone should be set in an equally stunning ring. Here’s some inspiration for red diamond engagement rings.

Style 1: Ornate halo setting

To maximize on stone size and beauty, choose an ornate halo setting to accompany a rare red diamond.

Ornate halo setting example: Argyle Fancy Red Princess Diamond Ring

Style 2: Three-stone setting

Complement a rich red diamond with vibrant side stones—either with white or colored diamonds.

Three-stone setting example: Radiant Cut Fancy Red with two Fancy Deep Blue-Green diamonds

Style 3: Prong setting

A prong setting elevates a red diamond to stand out even more.

Prong setting example: Fancy Red and Diamond Couture Ring in a Prong Setting

Popular Jewelry Settings for Red Diamonds

Design a piece of jewelry that will be cherished and passed down for generations. No matter what you choose, your red diamond will make the jewelry a head-turner.

Red Diamond bracelet inspiration: Multicolored and Mixed Shape Couture Halo Diamond Bracelet

Red Diamond ring inspiration: Radiant cut Fancy Purplish Red Diamond ring

Because red diamonds are extremely rare, we highly recommend talking with an expert before moving ahead in your search.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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