Written by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop, CNN
As the head of jewelry in Asia for British auction house Bonhams, Graeme Thompson is used to handling beautiful diamonds on a daily basis. Yet he's only ever held a red diamond once, about five years ago. "Red diamonds are the rarest of them all and whoever gets to hold one in his hand is very lucky indeed," he said.
Mining company Rio Tinto has been showcasing stones from its Argyle mine in Western Australia for the past 33 years -- and during that time, less than 20 carats of Fancy Red certified diamonds have been sold.
Fancy Red diamonds are on the pink diamond color spectrum and is a grading from the Gemological Institute of America.
On Wednesday in New York, Rio Tinto unveiled its largest Fancy Red diamond yet to a select group of collectors, alongside other gemstones in its annual tender of pink diamonds. Known as the Argyle Everglow, the polished radiant cut diamond weighs 2.11 carats.
It represents "rarity within rarity, and will drive global demand from collectors and connoisseurs in search of the incomparable," said Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson.
The stone is "half the size of a one cent coin, but I expect it to sell for over $10 million," said Tobias Kormind, Managing Director of 77Diamonds.com, Europe's largest online diamond jeweler.
Thompson said he was not comfortable making a more definitive prediction on price without having seen the stone, but that the determining factors will be "the carat weight, the strength of the color, how red it is, and the clarity. The difference in value between a stone that is very clean and one that has inclusions is huge."
Fetching high prices
The largest red diamond in the world, the 5.11 carat Moussaieff Red, was discovered in Brazil in the 1990s and is currently owned by jeweler Moussaieff.
Significant red diamonds rarely appear at auctions. In 2013, a 1.92-carat Fancy Red rectangular-cut diamond, sold for CHF3.15 million at Christie's, while the auction house also sold a 2.09-carat heart-shaped Fancy Red diamond ring by Moussaieff for HKD39.32 million in 2014.
The 2.42 carat Fancy Purple-Pink Argyle Avaline and the 1.14 carat Fancy Red Argyle Isla.
Credit: Argyle diamonds
"The color red is essentially a highly, highly saturated vivid pink, where the body color goes beyond the pink color range -- and there can be modifying color to that red, like pinkish red, orangey red, brownish red -- and all of these contributing factors will then determine the value of the diamond," Thompson explained. "A Fancy Red is the rarest of all diamonds."
"To hold a red diamond in your hand and look at it and say it's a truly a red stone without any modifying colors, very few people on this planet will ever be able to do that," Thompson added, noting such red diamond will appeal to Chinese buyers "as it is the most auspicious of colors in China."
Mine to close soon
The Argyle Diamond Mine produces 90% of the world's rare pink diamonds and is set to close by 2021, according to Robyn Ellison, communications manager for Rio Tinto.
"It is unlikely that a diamond as rare as this will come out of the mine again," Ellison said.
At Rio Tinto's annual tender this year, buyers will have a choice of 58 diamonds weighing a total of 49.39 carats. They include five "hero" diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world's most important diamonds.
The collection will be showcased in Hong Kong and Perth with bids closing on October 11.
CNN's Zahra Jamshed contributed to this report.
Rare 'Argyle Everglow' Fancy Red diamond could sell for millions? ›
The stone sold for $31.8 million, making it the most expensive piece of jewelry sold at an auction in Asia. The Argyle Everglow is a 2.11-carat radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond. This Fancy Red diamond is the one of largest of its kind to have ever been found.How much is Argyle Everglow diamond? ›
Though he declined to reveal the Everglow's purchase price, Optimum CEO David Shara said the 2.11-carat diamond is for sale for $18 million.Is it possible for the red diamond to sell for up to 1 million? ›
Red diamonds can cost at least US$1 million per carat, and most of the known specimens are less than half a carat.How much can you sell a red diamond for? ›
Currently, you won't pay less than $1 million for a pure one carat red diamond. Their value falls if they have secondary colours or other imperfections. It is, however, quite rare to find a red diamond over a carat.Who owns the rarest red diamond? ›
A stunning pink diamond has sold for nearly $60 million, more than twice the expected price. The massive rock sold for 453.2 million Hong Kong dollars, or around $58 million, on Friday, according to auction house Sotheby's.What is the most expensive rare diamond? ›
- Kohinoor: priceless.
- The Cullinan Diamond: $400 million.
- The Hope Diamond: $250 million.
- De Beers Centenary Diamond: $100 million.
- The Pink Star Diamond: $71.2 million.
- The Regent Diamond: $61 million.
- The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond: $57.5 million.
Tanzanite is an extraordinary geological phenomenon.
Found almost exclusively in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, it's considered to be 1000 times rarer than diamond.
The Eternal Pink diamond's estimated price per carat is $3.3 million, the highest price per carat of any diamond or gem prior to its sale, according to Sotheby's.What is the largest red diamond ever sold? ›
The largest red diamond in the world is the Moussaieff Red Diamond. It weighs 5.11-carat, demonstrates a trilliant-cut, and is internally flawless. It was discovered in Brazil in the mid 1900's by a farmer, originally weighing 13.9 carats.
How many red diamonds are left? ›
In fact, according to the GIA, only 0.4% of all natural diamonds graded in the last twenty years have been fancy colors. Among all those fancy color diamonds, red is the rarest color. They are so rare that less than thirty true red natural diamonds are known to exist.Are red diamonds a good investment? ›
As the rarest color available, RED diamonds possess excellent investment potential as well, but require a considerable investment. Yellow and Pink diamonds hold the highest market demand, while Red and Blue diamonds are the rarest colors around.What is the rarest red diamond? ›
Argyle Phoenix: The Argyle Phoenix is a round, 1.56-carat red diamond discovered at the Argyle mine in Western Australia. It is one of the world's rarest and most valuable gems. It is shown here while being examined through a loupe by Josephine Johnson, manager of Rio Tinto's Argyle Pink Diamonds.Who owns the blue Moon diamond? ›
The diamond was bought by the Hong Kong billionaire, and fugitive convicted felon, Joseph Lau Luen-hung, who named it for his seven-year-old daughter, Josephine.Who owns the 555 carat black diamond? ›
Dubai—The 555-carat black diamond initially dubbed “The Enigma” just sold for $4.3 million at auction. Richard Heart, founder of cryptocurrency company Hex, tweeted Wednesday that he's the one who purchased the diamond. He said he will rename the stone the “Hex.com” diamond.Who is the biggest diamond seller? ›
De Beers S.A., South African company that is the world's largest producer and distributor of diamonds.What diamond is worth 12 million dollars? ›
The impeccable 101.38-carat pear-shaped diamond, nicknamed "The Key 10138", was recently sold for 12.3 million dollars in cryptocurrency by Sotheby's in Hong Kong. The famous auction house said this is the first time a diamond of such a big size was offered for purchase with cryptocurrencies.What is the most exotic diamond? ›
Marquise Cut Diamonds
The marquise cut diamond is one of the most exotic diamond shapes, featuring curved edges that meet at sharp points. The shape resembles an elongated American football or an abstract sketch of a human eye.
What is the Cullinan Diamond? Also known as the Star of Africa, the Cullinan Diamond started out as a 3,106.75-carat stone. The Cullinan diamond price is estimated at more than two billion US dollars.What is the 2 rarest diamond? ›
Arguably, fancy blue diamonds are the second rarest diamonds on the market. Comprising only 1% of all the mined colored diamonds in the world, blue diamonds are often associated with royalty. The color grading ranges from a very faint blue to a fancy vivid blue.
Which is the No 1 diamond in the world? ›
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106 carats (621.20 g), discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.What is the rarest diamond in history? ›
Topping our list of the most expensive diamonds in the world is the legendary Koh-I-Noor. Weighing in at a massive 105.6ct, the most expensive diamond in the world is oval shaped. Steeped in mystery and legend, the stone is believed to have been mined in India in the 1300s.What diamond holds the most value? ›
Since a round diamond is thought to hold the most value when compared to the other shapes, it will almost always be given a higher price than any other shape with similar clarity, color, and carat weight.What diamond is the hardest to find? ›
Natural black diamonds are rare and demand high prices. However, the saturation of treated and lab-grown black diamonds make it very difficult to find natural black diamonds. It is important to buy from a reputable seller for assurance.Is there a 500 carat diamond? ›
Cullinan l, which was cut from a larger diamond, was mined in South Africa in 1905. The diamond in its natural form weighed around 3,106 carats, of which 500 carats were cut to make the Great Star of Africa diamond.How big a diamond will $10,000 buy? ›
Typically, a $10,000 budget can allow you to buy a diamond between 0.75 carats and 2 carats. If you opt for a 0.75-carat stone, it measures about 5.7 mm. Meanwhile, the 2-carat diamond measures about 8.1 mm.What diamond is worth 400 million dollars? ›
The Cullinan, one of the most magnificent and expensive diamonds in the world, was named after Thomas Cullinan, the chairman of the mine. The worth of the stone would be an estimated USD 400 million in the current market.What is the diamond is worth $400 million? ›
The Cullinan Diamond is worth a hefty price, currently sitting at $400 million, whereas the normal 1-carat diamond engagement ring costs around $6500.What is the most famous red diamond? ›
The Hancock Red is one of the most famous red diamonds. At the time of its sale in 1987, it was the highest price per carat ever paid for a gemstone of any kind sold at auction, producing a 6500% profit per carat. The hammer came down at $880,000—a remarkable $926,315 per carat, eight times its pre-sale estimate.What is more rare than a red diamond? ›
The Guinness Book of World Records claimed that in 2005, painite was the rarest gemstone in the world, even rarer than diamonds. The color can vary anywhere from pink to reddish, and even brown in color, but can even appear green under certain lighting.
What is rarer than red diamond? ›
Red Beryl. A cousin of emerald, aquamarine, and morganite, the red variety of beryl contains manganese, which imparts a bright red hue. Once called bixbite, red beryl is one of the rarest and most desirable gems.What is the most expensive diamond from space? ›
A 555.55-carat black diamond that is truly from out of this world has been unveiled by auction house Sotheby's Dubai. The rare gem, which Sotheby's has dubbed "The Enigma," is believed to have come from outer space -- either created from a meteoric impact or from a "diamond-bearing" asteroid that collided with Earth.How much is Angola pink diamond worth? ›
The 59.6 carat Pink Star was sold at a Hong Kong auction in 2017 for 71.2 million US dollars. It remains the most expensive diamond ever sold.How much is Noreen's diamond worth? ›
Noreen Wredberg, a tourist from California, was hiking at Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas, when she spotted a glittering yellow stone. She picked it up. Turns out, the stone was a 4.38 carat yellow diamond worth $20,000 (Rs 14,94,021).How much did the Pink Star Diamond worth? ›
The extremely rare 11.15-carat pink diamond sold for a record $57.7 million at a standalone, single-lot auction in Hong Kong on October 7. There were several people bidding on the precious stone, but it was eventually sold to an unknown buyer for more than double the pre-sale estimate of $21 million.What is the rarest diamond ever found? ›
The Type IIa diamonds comprise only 1% of all the diamonds in the world. They are also sometimes called “Golconda Diamonds” named after the famous Golconda mine in India, which has historically produced many iconic Type IIa diamonds. They have no nitrogen impurities, as a result of which most of them are colorless.What is the rarest color diamond? ›
Red diamonds are the rarest of the colored diamonds, with only 20-30 existing in the entire world. They get their beautiful red color from a rare process during their formation, which changes the crystal structure of the diamond and causes light to pass through it differently than colorless diamonds.What is the highest selling pink diamond? ›
- 8: The Sakura Pink Diamond.
- 7: The Unique Pink.
- 6: The Pink Promise Diamond.
- 5: The Princie Diamond.
- 4: The Graff Pink Diamond.
- 3: The Pink Legacy Diamond.
- 2: The Williamson Pink Star.
- 1: The Pink Star Diamond.
This pink diamond is estimated to be worth over $35 million, which would make it the most valuable purplish pink diamond ever to appear at auction. This one-of-a-kind stone is cushion cut, weighs 10.57 carats, is graded as Internally Flawless, and Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink in color.How big of a diamond can you get for $50000? ›
I've also included some real-life examples of $50,000 diamond engagement rings that people have previously purchased. As a ballpark figure, it would be reasonable to expect at least a 2 carat size diamond and you can go as high as 5 carats if you go down to lower colors like K or M.
How much is Tiffany's blood diamond worth? ›
Found in the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa (under British rule) in 1877 as a 287.42 carat rough stone, it was later purchased by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1878 for $18,000. Its estimated worth today is $30 million.How much is Beyonce diamond? ›
Beyoncé It should come as no surprise that Queen Bey herself totes one of the world's highest-valued diamonds. Weighing in at 24 carats, Jay reportedly paid around $5 million (now worth $6.89 million) for Bey's flashy emerald-cut ring back in 2008.How many pink diamonds are left? ›
They Are Exceedingly Rare
Natural pink diamonds are as scarce as they are stunning. Only a limited number exist and it estimated that only another 500 gem quality pinks remain to be discovered.
The biggest piece is known as Cullinan I and weighs 530.20 carats, making it the largest clear cut diamond in the world. The Cullinan I is mounted on the spectre of Queen Elizabeth II.How much did Black Diamond sell for? ›
With a final closing bid of $4.28 million, an anonymous buyer just became the new owner of the 555.55-carat black diamond known as the Enigma. The sale of this bizarre stone has reignited a long-simmering debate about where it came from, stoked by the controversial theory that it may have arrived from outer space.