The king of diamonds owes his fortune to stones. The founder of Graff Diamonds, Laurence Graff went from cleaning toilets to being the majority shareholder of the global mining giant Safdico.
By their hands have passed the most spectacular and best quoted stones in the world and history, such as the eye of the idol, the Emperor Maximilian or the promise of Lesotho, which with its 603 carats, is in the ranking of the largest registered diamonds in history and that Graff acquired for a modest sum of 96 million euros.
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History of Graff Diamonds
The founder of Graff Diamonds says “when I started in this business I stopped to observe them understand their purity and how nature had carved them. Without realizing it, I became a self-taught gemologist; I just think I was born for this. ”
At age 79, Graff, a British man with humble Jewish origins (he was born in London on June 13, 1938) is the owner of Graff Diamonds Corporation, whose head office is located in the elite London suburb of Mayfair, and can boast of selling largest diamonds registered and with the highest quality standards in the world.
Find out more about Graff Diamonds
Unlike the competition, the integrated production of Graff Diamonds allows the stone to reach the showcase, directly from the mine without any intermediary.
Since 1948 he is the main shareholder of the South African Diamonds Corporation (Safdico), the largest manufacturer and distributor in the African country, which owns its own cutting and polishing plant, located in Botswana and employing 500 workers. In addition, Graff is a shareholder of Gem Diamonds, the largest mining company in the world.
Laurence owns a fortune estimated at 3.2 million euros and ranks 333 on the Forbes list; He is considered one of the 10 richest men in the United Kingdom, although he currently resides in Switzerland.
In addition to its mines, polishing workshops, jewelers, in his fortune, the houses he owns in Geneva, New York, London and the French Riviera, a yacht of 45 meters in length, a private plane, a real estate agency, a farm in South Africa (which has a winery, cabins and restaurant); in addition to its impressive collection of contemporary works of art. In 2013 he received the British Order for his service to jewelry.
Start of Graff Diamonds
Son of Jews of Romanian origin who emigrated to the East End of London in search of more opportunities; his father placed a small candy store when he arrived in the United Kingdom, before going on to join the Second World War.
Her mother, seeing that her future school was not going to be very prominent, got her a job at the age of 14 as a jeweler’s apprentice to a master jeweler named Schindler, who on arrival told her that he would only clean the toilets. This situation did not like Graff at all and after three months he left.
Later he got a job at Sengla & Co, where he was taught to weld rings. Then, together with another friend, they set up a jewelry repair shop, but their future was not the best.
Confident in getting ahead
Two years later, his friend left feeling burdened with debts, but Graff, confident that he could get ahead and asking for loans from his suppliers, managed to save his workshop.
One of these suppliers trusted 33 diamonds, which Graff joined as a single ring and managed to sell it the next day. In the decade of the 50 and risking losing, he went to Singapore with about 770 euros in merchandise and managed to break through in this market soon.
In the 60s he met the Prince of Brunei, who became a loyal customer of the Graff House Diamonds.
In 1970 Saudi prince Turquin Abdul Azis literally bought one of the two Graff diamond stores located in London. Among the most famous customers of Graff Diamonds are names like Elizabeth Taylor and the Brunei Royal House.
Star Pieces of the House Graff Diamonds
Graff Sweethearts: Two pieces of 50 carats each, and with a value of 38 million euros.
The Flame: The first pear-cut diamond that reached 100 carats.
The Graff Constellation: It has 102.9 carats. It is the largest brilliant-cut diamond that has been registered.
The Magnificence: It is cataloged as the largest colorless emerald cut diamond in the world with 243, 96 carats.
The Delaire Sunrise: It is the largest yellow diamond with the largest emerald size recorded. It has 118, 08 carats and an approximate value of 18 million euros.
The Graff Pink: It has 24.78 carats and its auction sale exceeded 35 million euros. It is an emerald cut pink diamond.
The Imperial Blue: It is the largest blue pear-cut diamond recorded in history. It has 39.81 carats and is valued at 125 million euros.
The Wittels-Bach Graff: It is the fantasy-cut diamond with the largest blue color. It is valued at almost 60 million euros and weighs approximately 31 carats.
In addition to exceptional diamonds, Casa Graff Diamantes has absolutely extraordinary pieces of jewelry. The three most famous are:
Collier Bleu de Réve: a Spectacular necklace with one of the most unique blue diamonds in the world.
Lesotho Promise: An exceptional necklace made with 26 diamonds obtained from a single stone.
Royal Star of Paris: A unique piece of world jewelry. It has 2 stones of more than 100 carats.
Definitely, the delicacy in the world of diamonds bears the Graff name, like a stamp. And there is a phrase by Anthony De Saint-Exupery, which we find on his official website, which makes it very clear to us what the principles and values of Graff Diamonds are. ” A designer knows when he reaches perfection, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing else to remove. ” It is precisely this that has made this renowned brand the diamond supplier for the “very rich”.