The Kazanjian Red Diamond, shown above, is one of the three known red diamonds weighing more than 5 carats. A 5.05-carat Emerald-cut red diamond, formerly known simply as “The Red Diamond”. This is the third largest known Red diamond. It was cut from a 35-carat (7.0 g) piece of boart discovered near Lichtenburg, South Africa. A diamond broker paid a modest eight pounds per carat for it. It was later sent to Amsterdam to be cut and polished by the Goudiv brothers. They called in the firm’s master cutter, who studied the diamond for seven months. After cautious cleaving and polishing, the gem emerged a 5.05-carat emerald cut. In candlelight, the Kazanjian Red Diamond appears as vivid as a drop of blood splashed on a white diamond.
While the gem had been sent twice to Tiffany & Company in New York, by 1944, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, it was discovered in Arnhem and swiftly sent to Germany, where it was hidden among other confiscated gems. After the war, the diamond merchant Louis Asscher was assigned a cache of gemstones found hidden in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s retreat in Bavaria. The listing found with the stones stated diamonds “and one ruby.” Asscher immediately recognized it as The Red Diamond. It was eventually sold to Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and then to the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, which sold it to a private collector in 1970. After that, its whereabouts were unknown until 2007, when it landed on the table of Douglas Kazanjian, who with much research and study, was able to link together its historical peregrinations.
Red is the rarest color in diamonds — less than 20 are known to exist in the world today.
This photograph was taken while it was on display at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, California.