February 7

What Is a Red Diamond? | How Valuable Is This Rare Stone?


Author: Alene Geed

Key Takeaways

  • Red diamonds are more valuable than colorless diamonds.
  • The precious minerals are measured per carat.
  • Red diamonds are an exceptionally rare and equally sought-after variety.
  • Plastic deformation in the diamond’s crystal structure causes these stones’ red color.
  • The Argyle mine is a popular source of these gems.

What is a red diamond? Highly valued due to its rarity and attractive appearance, a red diamond is one of the most precious stones, signified by its red color. Read on to discover all there is to know about these remarkable stones.

What Is a Red Diamond? How Do They Acquire Their Color?

As per the Gemological Institute of America, the red color of these diamonds is caused by plastic deformation in the diamond’s crystal structure. This deformation occurs when the diamond is subjected to extreme heat and pressure during its formation process. The intensity of the red color can vary and is influenced by factors such as the amount of deformation present and the diamond’s size.

A Bit of History

Red diamonds have a rich history dating back to the 18th century when experts discovered the first batch in Brazil. Other famous stones worldwide include the Moussaieff Red Diamond and the Purplish Red Diamond.

The Argyle mine is one of the places where these gems can be sourced. These diamonds have become famous for their stunning beauty and have been displayed in museums and worn by royalty.

What Makes Red Diamonds So Valuable?

Only a handful of pure red diamonds exist, making them rare. The unique and vibrant color of the famous red diamonds also commands a higher price than other fancy color diamonds and traditional white diamonds. Ever heard of the Hancock red diamond? It is recorded as one of the most expensive per-carat gemstones to ever be sold at $880,000 for a 0.95-carat one.

Other factors that can affect the price of a red diamond include its size, clarity, and overall quality.

Things To Consider When Purchasing a Red Diamond

If you’re interested in purchasing a pure red diamond, consider a few things, as shown below.

  • Be prepared to spend more for pure red diamonds than traditional white diamonds of the same size.
  • You should research and shop around to find the best deal.
  • Look for a diamond with an intense, vivid red color and high clarity.
  • And as with any diamond purchase, ensure to work with a reputable dealer and obtain a certificate of authenticity.

How are Red Diamonds Graded Compared to Other Colored Diamonds?

Red diamonds, like all colored diamonds, are graded based on the 4C’s of diamond quality: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. However, the grading process for these minerals slightly differs from other fancy colored diamonds, as the present and intense red color are critical factors in their value.


In terms of color, these diamonds are graded on a scale from light red to dark red, with the most valuable diamonds exhibiting a deep, vibrant red color.

The intensity of the red color that ranges from medium to dark tone is also essential, with a diamond displaying an intense, vivid, carat fancy red color being more valuable than a fancy deep pink diamond.


Red diamonds are also graded by evaluating the diamond’s cut, which is the diamond’s symmetry, proportion, and finishes. A well-cut red diamond is balanced and symmetrical in shape to enhance the diamond’s overall appearance and sparkle.


Clarity is also considered when grading these gems. A red diamond with few inclusions (internal imperfections) or blemishes (external scars) will be more valuable than one with numerous inclusions or blemishes.


The weight per carat of a red diamond is also a factor in its value. A red diamond with a higher weight will generally be more expensive than a diamond with a lower weight, provided the metric is measured per carat.

red diamond on the white surface

Popular Jewelry Settings for Red Diamonds

Red diamonds are a unique and stunning choice for jewelry, and many different setting options can showcase their beauty. Here are some popular diamond jewelry settings for these precious metals.

  1. Solitaire setting: A solitaire setting is a classic choice by making these diamonds the center of attention. It features a single red diamond set on a simple band, held together by prongs or a bezel setting.
  2. Halo setting: A halo diamond setting is a popular choice that enhances the diamond’s color and sparkle. It features a center red diamond surrounded by a halo of smaller white melee diamonds to help create a striking visual effect.
  3. Three-stone setting: A three-stone setting is a romantic choice that features three diamonds set on a band, with the center diamond typically larger than the two side diamonds. It is excellent for showcasing a red diamond, as the center diamond takes center stage.
  4. Pave setting: A paves setting is a beautiful choice that features small portions set closely together on the band, creating a “paved” effect. This setting is great for those with a more subtle and understated look.
  5. Bezel setting: Most famous red diamonds falls under this category, as it helps to protect the diamond from wear and tear. It features a thin metal rim surrounding the diamond and holds it in place, creating a sleek and modern look.
various jewelry pieces with red diamonds

Why a Red Diamond for an Engagement Ring?

A red diamond is an excellent choice for an engagement ring, and there are several reasons why you may want to consider them for this special occasion.

Rarity: While traditional white diamonds are still popular for engagement rings, a red diamond adds a hard-to-find level of rarity and uniqueness to find in other diamonds. A fancy red diamond may be perfect since it truly stands out.

High value: Red diamonds are also a precious gemstone, making them a luxurious and memorable choice for an engagement ring. While carat fancy red diamonds are more expensive than traditional white diamonds, their value and beauty make them a worthwhile investment for a lifetime of love and commitment.

Timeless: Fancy red diamonds are a timeless and classic choice for an engagement ring. While fashion trends may come and go, a red diamond engagement ring is a timeless symbol of love that will always be in style. 

Attractive color: Carat fancy red diamonds are also known for their vibrant and eye-catching color. A red diamond engagement ring will make a statement and turn heads. Only a few diamonds can add color to an engagement ring.

Diamonds are generally available in shades of 12 base colors. This includes red, yellow, orange, green, pink, purple, brown, violet, gray and blue diamonds. Here's how some of them compare to these crimson beauties.

Canary Diamonds

A Canary diamond is a Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid yellow diamond with no secondary colors. Named for the yellow-breasted bird, Canary diamonds are rarer and more expensive than a regular yellow diamond. The price of a Canary diamond is typically 25% - 50% higher than that of a Fancy Yellow diamond, but much lowe than red diamonds.

Champagne Diamonds

Champagne diamonds with brown body color with and a yellow secondary hue are often less expensive than other diamonds. A yellow canary diamond is more costly than a brown or champagne diamond. The price of champagne diamonds still depends on the intensity of color, weight, and clarity.

Chocolate Diamond

Chocolate Diamonds is just a fancy name and branding package for what is commonly known, industry-wide, as brown diamonds. They are by far the most common occurring diamonds in nature. Dark, vivid colored diamonds are the rarest and most expensive, and the chocolate diamonds with a yellow hue are the most common and most affordable.

Red diamonds are a rare and stunning addition to any jewelry collection. Their vibrant red color and rich history make them highly sought after and valuable. If you’re considering purchasing a red diamond, be prepared to pay a higher price for this unique gem and do your research to find the best deal. But with their rare beauty and timeless appeal, red diamonds are sure to be a treasured addition to your collection.


How do red diamonds acquire their color?

As per the experts, the red color of these diamonds is caused by plastic deformation in the diamond’s crystal structure. This deformation occurs when the diamond is subjected to extreme heat and pressure during its formation process.

What makes red diamonds so valuable?

Red diamonds are valuable because they are rare. They also command a high price because of their unique and vibrant color.

Are red diamonds graded just like normal ones?

Yes. Red diamonds are graded based on the 4C’s of diamond quality. This includes criteria like cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Is a red diamond good for an Engagement Ring?

Yes. A red diamond is good for an Engagement Ring. It is rare, classy, and valuable.

About the Author:

Alene Geed

I am a published writer and an experienced jewelry designer. In my designs, I use gold, steel and silver, and adds gemstones to enhance the beauty of my unique, sparkling pieces of jewelry.

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