The Moussaieff Red is reported to have been found by a Brazilian farmer in the Abaetezinho river in 1990, in a region known as Alto Paranaiba which has a reputation as a source of large and fancy-colored diamonds. In the rough, it is believed to have weighed 13.9 carats (2.78 g). The diamond was purchased and cut by William Goldberg Diamond Corp., where it went by its original name, the Red Shield Diamond. The diamond was purchased by Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd of London sometime in early 2000 and was renamed after her owner.
The diamond was at one time put on exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC in mid of 2003, where other fancy colored diamonds such as the De Beers Millennium Star, the Heart of Eternity and the Steinmetz Pink diamond were exhibited in ‘The Splendor of Diamonds.’