“Hello, I have been searching for someone who is very familiar with diamonds and my search has lead me to you! I just have a few questions about a stone that I purchased online. I know that this may sound a little far fetched but I really have a desire to know exactly what I have. The stone that I purchased did not cost me much at all. I was told it is a RED Diamond ... I know, it most likely is not ... it would be like winning the lotto for someone. I did have a gemologist take a look at it and he was not optimistic at all. I have not had an appraisal of the stone as of yet but would like one done. Have you ever had the opportunity to study a red diamond? I am curious because if I have an appraisal done I want to be 100% sure of what it is I have. I learned that the Smithsonian Museum purchased a diamond (The Moussaieff Red or aka Red Shield) that was once believed to be a Red Garnet mistakenly. I know that chances are that this stone also claimed as a very old one from Israel is probably not what I would hope it to be but crazier things in life happen and you just never know. Do you think this is something you can appraise for me with 100% confidence or if not do you know of someone who could? Thanks so much for taking the time to read my e-mail and I hope to hear back from you soon,” Dawn
Thank you for your inquiry – you have touched on a fascinating subject.
Many people are surprised to learn that diamonds occur naturally in a greater range of color than most gems – almost any color you can think of.
Natural colored diamonds are VERY rare and red diamonds are the rarest of all – a majority of jewelers have never even seen one. Natural red diamonds are highly sought after and command among the highest prices per carat.
I have had the opportunity to study a couple of natural red diamonds over the years - and they are amazing! You are absolutely right to be viewing the situation with a great deal of skepticism. A quick search of the internet yielded me all sorts of questionable results. Mostly what I found where color enhanced or irradiated diamonds (the diamond itself is natural but the color is not. There are several techniques used to color diamonds irradiation is one.) that where not being properly disclosed as such.
Color enhanced diamonds are, affordable, available in many colors and have increased awareness of colored diamonds (both natural and enhanced) as well as becoming quite popular.
You mentioned that a gemologist looked at your stone but you did not say how closely he examined it and if he: thought it was a diamond but the origin of its color was suspect or he thought it was something else entirely. My advice, giving what you have told me, is to have the stone examined by a trained gemologist to determine if it is in fact a diamond (this should be a pretty easy separation). And if it is a diamond what his/her opinion is as to the origin of it’s color. As a general rule the color of enhanced colored diamonds are not as “pure” as those of natural fancy colored diamonds - although exceptions are possible.
At this point you should have a pretty good idea of what you have. If there was still any question the stone would have to be sent to the Gemological Institute of America’s laboratory for a definitive report on the origin of its color.
I can, if you would like, provide these services for you or if you are not in my area I can try to help recommend someone.
Thank You, Dave
PS – I would be curious to know where you heard that the Moussaieff Red Diamond belonged to the Smithsonian and was confused for a garnet. The Moussaieff never belonged to the Smithsonian, although it was exhibited there, and have never of heard it being mistaken for a garnet. In this day and age that would be a particularly egregious error.
David W. Nytch, CGA www.westandcompany.com