Graff Diamonds

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Graff Diamonds
Industry Jeweller, Watchmaker
Founded 1960, London, UK
Founder Laurence Graff
Number of locations
Worldwide
Key people
Laurence Graff (Chairman)
Number of employees
500
Website www.graffdiamonds.com

Graff Diamonds is a British multinational jeweller based in London.[1] A vertically integrated company, Graff operations comprise the design, manufacture and retail distribution of jewellery and watches.

History[edit]

Graff Diamonds was founded in London in 1960 by Laurence Graff.

Sourcing[edit]

Graff adheres to the Kimberly process, never knowingly buying or trading rough diamonds from areas where this would encourage conflict or human suffering. The majority of Graff diamonds are laser engraved with unique Gemological Institute of America tracking numbers, which whilst invisible to the naked eye, allow for their origin to be traced.[citation needed] Graff’s cutting and polishing processes are carried out in Johannesburg by the South African Diamond Corporation, a division of Graff.[2]

Notable diamonds[edit]

The Windsor Yellows were acquired by Laurence Graff in 1987 in Geneva during the auction of the jewels belonging to Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. The Duchess was often photographed wearing the Windsor Yellows, a pair of clips of fancy yellow pear shaped diamonds of 51.01 and 40.22 carats respectively. "I also bought another pair of clips the Duchess had owned," Laurence Graff explains. "Of course they needed re-cutting to bring them to their full potential, I bought all four, repolished them, and eventually made the Windsor earrings."[3]

The Paragon diamond was acquired by Graff in 1989. The Paragon is a 7-sided diamond of 137.82 carats (27.564 g), cut,[4][5] and was worn as part of "millennium" necklace of round, pink, blue and yellow diamonds by Naomi Campbell in 1999.[6]

The Lesotho Promise was acquired as a rough 603-carat (120.6 g) stone for $12.4 million in 2006.[7] The stone was cut by a team of 35 using computer-controlled lasers into 26 D-flawless diamonds totaling 223.35 carats (44.670 g), the highest yield from a single diamond.[8][9] In July 2007 the finished stones were unveiled. The largest gem cut from the diamond was a 75-carat (15.0 g) pear-shaped diamond; the smallest a 0.55-carat (110 mg) round brilliant. In all, twenty-six stones were fashioned from the rough gem, figuring as seven pear shapes, four emerald cuts, thirteen round brilliants and one heart shape. The finished gems total 224 carats (44.8 g).

The Letseng Legacy diamond was unearthed from the same mine as the Lesotho Promise Letseng diamond mine in 2008 and totalled 493cts. Acquired by Graff for $10.4 million, they yielded 20 diamonds totaling 231.67cts from the one rough stone.

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is a 31.06-carat (6.212 g) fancy deep-blue diamond with internally flawless clarity purchased by Laurence Graff in 2008 for £16.4 million.

The Delaire Sunrise is, at 118.08 carats, the largest square emerald cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world. Discovered in 2008 at an alluvial mine in South Africa, the 221.81 carat rough diamond. When Laurence Graff unveiled the finished diamond, he named it "the Delaire Sunrise".[10]

The Constellation is, at 102.79 carats, the largest round shaped, D colour, Internally Flawless diamond ever to be graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

The Graff Pink was acquired by Graff in November 2010. A pink diamond with a type IIa classification and modified emerald cut shape, the diamond was previously held in a private collection for over 60 years. The diamond displayed 25 natural flaws. The recut 23.88 carat diamond displayed new colour, clarity and internal flawlessness.[11][12][13][14]

The Graff Sweethearts were originally two rough diamonds weighing 196 carats and 184 carats discovered at the Letseng Mine in Lesotho. After cutting they produced a 51.53ct D colour Flawless type IIa and a 50.76ct D colour Flawless type IIa, both heart-shaped.

The Sultan Abdul Hamid II is a 70, 54 carat light yellow acquired by Graff in 1981. It has been suggested that this stone may have been cut from "The Ottoman I" which originally belonged to Suleyman the Magnificent of Turkey.

See: Anna Malecka, "The Lost Diamond of Süleyman the Magnificent", Jewellery History Today: The Society of Jewellery Historians Winter 2015 (22).

The Peacock Brooch[edit]

Taking the form of a peacock with a display of fanned tail feathers, this diamond brooch features a collection of coloured diamonds. A total of 120.81 carats of diamonds adorn the brooch, which measures a little over 10 cm in height.

This piece is priced at $100 million. At the heart of the brooch, sits a 20.02 carat deep blue pear shape diamond. The piece also features an additional clasp to the rear, allowing the blue diamond centerpiece to be removed and worn two ways.[15][16]

Stores[edit]

Graff has over 50 stores around the world including New York, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Courchevel, Kiev, Beijing and Taipei. [17]

Graff has corporate offices in London, New York, Geneva, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Graffiti magazine[edit]

Graff's bi-annual client magazine "Graffiti' was launched in 2009 and is distributed globally to Graff's clients in both English and Simplified Chinese.

High-profile robberies[edit]

Graff Diamonds has been the target of several high-profile robberies.

In 1980, two Chicago-based gangsters armed with a handgun and a hand grenade stole jewellery valued at £1.5 million from the Sloane Street premises. Mafiosi Joseph Scalise and Arthur Rachel, who took "less than a minute" to commit the crime, were apprehended eleven hours later in the United States and were extradited to England where they were tried, convicted and imprisoned for nine years.[18] Their haul had included the 26 carat Marlborough diamond, worth £400,000 at the time, which has never been recovered.[19]

In 1993, the firm's Hatton Garden workshop premises was robbed of jewellery valued at £7 million. The robbery was attributed to a group of armed robbers known as The Rascal Gang due to the Bedford Rascal vans they used.[20]

In 2003, the New Bond Street premises was robbed by two men from the Pink Panthers international jewel thief network who stole 47 pieces of jewellery worth £23 million.[20]

In 2005, three armed robbers stole jewellery valued at £2 million from the Sloane Street premises.[21]

In 2007, two robbers, who arrived at the Sloane Street premises in a chauffeur-driven Bentley Continental Flying Spur threatened staff at gunpoint and stole jewellery worth £10 million.[20] In the same year, the Graff premises in Wafi City, Dubai was targeted by the Pink Panthers again, using two Audi A8 cars to carry out a ram raid.[22] Jewellery worth AED14.7 million (£2.4 million) was taken, although later recovered when two of the gang, both Serbians, were arrested.[23]

During the 6 August 2009 Graff Diamonds robbery, armed robbers stole 43 items with a total worth of nearly £40 million (US$65 million).[20] It was believed to be the largest ever gems heist in Britain at the time, and the second largest British robbery after the £53 million raid on a Securitas depot in Kent in 2006.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Graff Diamonds". Graff Diamonds. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Sheng, Ellen (29 May 2012). "Graff Executives Tout Jeweler's $1 Billion IPO". WWD. 
  3. ^ "The Most Fabulous Jewels In the World", Meredith Etherington-Smith, 1997
  4. ^ Murphy, Robert (March 1, 2008), "In the cut", Wmagazine.com 
  5. ^ "The Paragon Diamond". Famousdiamonds.tripod.com. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Menkes, Suzy (15 June 1999). "Those Sparkling Celebrities". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  7. ^ Sguazzin, Antony (9 October 2006). "Graff Buys Lesotho Promise Diamond for $12.4 Million". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  8. ^ Murphy, Robert (1 March 2008). "In the Cut". W Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Doulton, Maria (3 April 2008). "The Lesotho promise: Diamonds cut from a rough the size of a golf ball". The Financial Times. London. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "The Delaire Sunrise". Safdico.com. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "World's most famous 'unseen' diamond". BBC News. 30 January 2010. 
  12. ^ [1] Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (18 June 2011). "Laurence Graff Sees Demand for Big Diamonds in China". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Rare pink diamond is sold for world record £29m to British billionaire jeweller". Daily Mail. London. 
  15. ^ "Graff to Unveil 120-Carat Diamond Peacock Brooch Valued At $100 Million". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Independent Jewelers Market News - Small Jeweler Organization Reports". Nationaljeweler.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Graff Diamonds". Graff Diamonds. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "1980: Famous gem grabbed in armed raid". On This Day – 11 September. BBC. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  19. ^ "Armed robbers in '£1m' Graff jewellery heist". The Daily Telegraph. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  20. ^ a b c d Davenport, Justin. "£40m Mayfair raid is biggest gems heist in British history". Evening Standard (London). 11 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  21. ^ Naughton, Philippe. "Robbery tip-off closes diamond exhibit". The Times. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  22. ^ Fleishman, Jeffery. "Jewel thieves' fan club grows as Pink Panthers strike again". The Irish Times. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  23. ^ Abdulla, Shadiah. "Serb Sentenced to 10 Years in Jail for Wafi City Robbery". Arab News. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  24. ^ Edwards, Richard. "Graff Diamonds £40 million jewellery robbery is Britain's biggest gem heist". The Daily Telegraph. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  25. ^ "Jewellery raid haul put at £40m". BBC. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.

External links[edit]