Red diamonds

20 05 2013

While I knew that diamonds could be found in pretty much any colour, I didn’t realise how rare the red ones were until I saw a recent news article (also here).

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According to Argyle: “Since mining began in 1983 only six diamonds certified as Fancy Red…” and three of them will be sold this year. The biggest in the image above, called the Argyle Phoenix, is 1.56ct.

I do wonder about the culture of coveting fancy-coloured diamonds … yes they’re rare, I get that, and it could be considered human nature to desire rareness and specialness.

However, consider how feted a huge canary-yellow diamond is (sorry to say I think these often look like frozen wee; but a friend has described them as frozen sunshine, which is nicer) … how the press and some sections of the consumer community go a little bit silly for them. Now consider a stone of exactly the same colour and cut (perhaps a topaz?) … would it garner the same reaction from viewers if it wasn’t clear that it wasn’t a diamond? They look almost exactly the same (yes, there will be arguments that the diamond will sparkle more), yet when you know what one is versus the other, the value perception changes. [You can see why I liked Claire McArdle’s concept, as it also focused on perception.]

I have the same question about pink diamonds: if you want a pink stone, why not a pink sapphire or a tourmaline or any number of other stones?

It seems to me that it comes down to two entirely different motivations: aesthetics and rarity … both of which are totally valid and fabulous in my view, as I often waver between the two myself. Either way though, I won’t be buying a red diamond.


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