The Graff Lesedi La Rona weighs an awe-inspiring 302.37 carats and is a top D color, with exceptional clarity and both excellent polish and symmetry. The 302.37 carat Graff Lesedi La Rona is touted as the largest highest color, highest clarity diamond ever certified by the GIA, and the world’s largest square emerald cut diamond, expertly cut and polished by Graff’s world leading team of gemmologists and master polishers - a group from Antwerp.
With the 2019 edition of Baselworld getting underway Thursday, Graff Diamonds has revealed two of the three Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond watches to be showcased. Yellow diamonds are extremely rare, so it takes patience - and good contacts - to collect enough to set them in a timepiece or a piece of jewelry; it can take years to source enough stones of the same color, intensity and size. Each watch is built in 18-karat yellow gold to underscore the brilliance of the watch's diamonds, and each features round and fancy oval diamonds that are meticulously set by hand.
Following more than a year of detailed analysis, cutting and polishing by an elite team of gemologists and master craftsmen, Graff Diamonds has started to unveil some of the more than 60 polished diamonds cleaved from the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona. The polished diamonds, Graff writes, range in size from under a carat to in excess of 100 carats, each diamond will have D color, the highest grade for a diamond, and exceptional clarity. They will be set mounted as solitaire rings, earrings and pendants.
Renowned jeweler Laurence Graff has bought the 476-carat Meya Prosperity Diamond from Sierra Leone for $16.5 million. It is the second major rough diamond Graff has purchased from Sierra Leone this month, having previously purchased the 709-carat 'Peace Diamond' for $6.5 million. The Type IIa, D color 476- rock was unearthed in the Kono District back in November by Meya Mining, a company jointly owned by Namibia-based conglomerate Trustco Group and Germinate Sierra Leone.
A "superb twin-stone colored diamond ring by Graff" soared past its $6,500,000 - $8,500,000 estimate to earn $12,575,000 at hammer time yesterday during Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale. The remarkable sale comes just a day after another blue diamond fetched $15.1 million at Sotheby's New York auction.
High jewelry houses are increasingly going straight to the source to acquire rough diamonds that they will turn into their beautiful creations, writes Ming Liu in a feature for CNN. Typically, the larger category of rough diamonds are obtained by specialist diamond cutters and polishers who analyze each stone to determine the ideal cut in which to shape them, and only after this process are the polished gems usually presented to high jewelry houses.
At long last, Lucara Diamond has sold the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona - the largest rough diamond in existence - recovered from the Karowe mine in Botswana on November 16 2015, for $53 million ($47,777 per carat) to Graff Diamonds.
A Fancy Intense Blue diamond which has been held in a private collection for nearly 30 years sold for $3.6 million (£2,685,000), smashing its $2 million high estimate, at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London on September 20. The 4.03-carat pear-shaped diamond, "became the subject of a fierce bidding frenzy before it finally went under the hammer, selling to Graff Diamonds for $853,203 price per carat," the auction house writes.
Graff Diamonds announced they had added to their collection of exceptional stones by acquiring the 373.72-carat rough diamond sourced from the Karowe mine in Botswana. The stone was once a part of the Lesedi la Rona, the second largest gem quality diamond to ever be discovered and the largest to be unearthed in the last century. According to Graff the fragment was separated from its famous sibling during the recovery process.
Graff Diamonds unveiled “The Graff Venus”, calling it, "The largest D flawless heart-shaped diamond in the world." They say it took 18 months for Graff's master craftsmen to analyse, cut and polish the magnificent type IIa 118.78-carat diamond from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho - operated by Gem Diamonds. Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds said, "We were given a once in a lifetime opportunity and we created absoulute perfection."
On August 17 2015, Lucara Diamond announced the recovery of, "a spectacular Type IIa, 336 carat diamond" from the Karowe Mine in Botswana, one of a number of exceptional diamonds recovered in a short period of time. In addition to this recovery, a further three exceptional diamonds were recovered that very weekend: a 184 carat stone, a 94 carat and a 86 carat stone.
Several yeas ago, famed diamond house Graff Diamonds came across an opaque 299-carat rough diamond from the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, owned and operated by Gem Diamonds. HauteTime traces the journey of the 299-carat rough fancy intense yellow diamond into the 132-carat Golden Empress diamond. "Before the rough jewel was cut," writes Roberta Nass, "Graff’s Senior Gemologists spend many months meticulously studying the nuances of the stone, and the risks involved in cutting it. With the study complete, imagination, exceptional skill and intense precision came into play.
Graff Diamonds recently unveiled the “Graff Vendôme,” a 105.07-carat D flawless pear shaped diamond, named after its new store on Place Vendôme in Paris. The diamond was created from a 314-carat rough stone - called "The Destiny" - unearthed in May 2015 at Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which known for its exceptional stones, and sold into a partnership in June of that year. Anthony DeMarco writes for Forbes that, "Following 3D computerized mapping of the rough diamond, Graff’s master cutters took 'many months' to laser-cut and hand polish the gem.
Luxury end diamonds are taking a hit from lower demand globally, with Graff Diamonds reporting a drop in sales and profits last year as tougher market conditions in the worldwide gem industry hit the high-end jeweler. Revenue plunged 32 percent to $500 million, while profit dropped 74 percent to $32 million in 2015, Graff Diamonds said in a filing to the UK’s Companies House, a registrar for businesses, Rapaport reported. Revenue from countries outside the U.K., where the company is based, dropped 34 percent to $464.1 million, while U.K. sales rose 11 percent to $36.1 million.
Despite the current slowdown in the Chinese economy, the share of diamond consumption in total global sales is expected to increase to 20-25% in the next 10 years, according to the Hong Kong Trade & Development Center (HKTDC). Second- and third-tier cities in the mainland are seen as the main drivers of the growth in buying, Forbes reports. “China is definitely one of our biggest markets," said Hollie Bonneville, head designer at De Beers. "It has probably the highest spending power at the moment within our global audience.
Financial Times' magazine, "How to Spend It", sat down for a chat with renowned diamond mogul Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds. "It’s widely acknowledged throughout the world’s diamond and jewellery industries that he has an extraordinary affinity with diamonds, a sort of sixth sense that enables him to understand their individual characters, to see the subtlest nuances of light, fire and colour. And to perceive, often in an instant, a diamond’s full potential to be the best, the most brilliant, the most beautiful, the most valuable it can be.