Gemstones are natural minerals or organic materials that have been cut and polished into beautiful pieces of jewelry. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, and each one has its own unique properties and characteristics. Some gemstones are more rare and valuable than others, and among them, two stand out as the most coveted and sought-after: red diamond and black opal. These two gemstones are both extremely rare and display stunning colors that make them very desirable. But which one is the rarer and more valuable gemstone? Let’s compare and contrast red diamond and black opal to find out.
What is Red Diamond?
Red diamond is a type of diamond that has a pure red hue, without any secondary colors. It is the rarest and most expensive color of diamond, and one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Red diamond is made of pure carbon, just like colorless diamond, but its color is caused by a structural defect in the crystal lattice, known as glide planes. These glide planes cause the carbon atoms to shift slightly, resulting in the absorption of certain wavelengths of light and the reflection of red light.
Red diamond is so rare that only a few stones with a pure red color have been graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the past century. According to Geology.com, between 1957 and 1987, no diamonds with a pure red color were graded by the GIA. The main source of red diamond is the Argyle mine in Western Australia, which produces about 95% of the world’s pink diamonds and a few red diamonds per year. However, the mine is expected to close in 2020, making red diamonds even more scarce and valuable.
The value of red diamond depends on the intensity and purity of its color, as well as its size, clarity, and cut. The most famous and valuable red diamond is the Moussaieff Red, a 5.11-carat triangular brilliant-cut stone that was discovered in Brazil in the 1990s. It was sold for $8 million in 2001, and is estimated to be worth over $20 million today.
What is Black Opal?
Black opal is a type of opal that has a dark body color, ranging from dark gray to black. It is the most valuable type of opal because the dark body color enhances the contrast and brightness of the play of color, which is the iridescent display of rainbow colors that opal is known for. The play of color is caused by the diffraction of light by the microscopic silica spheres that make up the structure of opal. The color and pattern of the play of color vary depending on the size, shape, and arrangement of the silica spheres, as well as the angle of observation.
Black opal is mainly found in Australia, especially in the Lightning Ridge area of New South Wales, which is the only place where black opal is mined commercially. Other sources of black opal include Brazil, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. Black opal is also a rare and expensive gemstone, as only about 1% of all opals are black opals. The value of black opal depends on the quality and intensity of the play of color, as well as the size, shape, and clarity of the stone. The most famous and valuable black opal is the Aurora Australis, a 180-carat oval-shaped stone that was discovered in Lightning Ridge in 1938. It has a dark green body color and a vivid play of color that resembles the Southern Lights. It was valued at $1 million in 2005.
Which One is the Rarer and More Valuable Gemstone?
Both red diamond and black opal are extremely rare and valuable gemstones, and each one has its own beauty and appeal. However, if we compare them based on their rarity, price, and popularity, we can see that red diamond is the rarer and more valuable gemstone. Here are some reasons why:
- Red diamond is the rarest color of diamond, and one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Only a handful of red diamonds have been found and graded, and most of them are less than one carat in size. Black opal, on the other hand, is more abundant and available, as it is produced by several mines in different countries, and can be found in larger sizes.
- Red diamond is the most expensive color of diamond, and one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. The price of red diamond can reach millions of dollars per carat, depending on the quality and size of the stone. Black opal, while still very expensive, is more affordable, as the price of black opal can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per carat, depending on the quality and size of the stone.
- Red diamond is the most sought-after and coveted color of diamond, and one of the most sought-after and coveted gemstones in the world. The demand for red diamond is very high, but the supply is very low, making it a very exclusive and prestigious gemstone. Black opal, while still very popular and desirable, is less in demand, as it is more accessible and common, making it a less exclusive and prestigious gemstone.
Therefore, based on these factors, we can conclude that red diamond is the rarer and more valuable gemstone than black opal. However, this does not mean that black opal is not a remarkable and beautiful gemstone. Both red diamond and black opal are amazing and unique gemstones that have their own charm and allure. Ultimately, the choice of which one is better depends on the personal preference and taste of the buyer.