Have you ever asked yourself why diamonds are nature’s most precious commodity?
They are rare – very rare in fact. Most diamonds are believed to be between 1 and 1.5 billion years old, created by a process of carbon crystallisation taking place some 200 kilometres below the earth’s surface. Millions of years later they were brought up to the surface through volcanic pipes.
Finding them is difficult, and when it does happen great expertise is required to give them the appearance we all know so well. Few companies in the world are able to do all of this, fewer still can do so to perfection. Graff – a name which has become a legend in the field of diamonds – is one of them.
The company’s history is closely linked to that of its founder, Laurence Graff. Everything began when Graff, at the age of fifteen, became an apprentice in London’s jewellery quarter in Hatton Garden. Graff enjoyed the work and three years later set up his own business repairing Victorian jewellery.
Shortly afterwards he obtained thirty-three small diamonds from a trader at a good price, and had his first brilliant idea: instead of creating the same number of simple rings, he used them to create just one, of immense impact. From this experience he understood that the creation of extraordinary pieces was the road to follow.
Graff Diamonds was created in 1960 and a few years later its founder began travelling around the world to build up an increasingly important and international clientele.
Graff proved to be an excellent businessman as well as jeweller and in 1970, with the aim of strengthening the company’s international image, created a superb piece of advertising: a young model wore a million dollars’ worth of diamonds, and the photograph was seen all over the world.
Beforehand, diamonds had always been associated with more mature women and in making this choice Graff was effectively conveying the idea that diamonds could be worn by a younger generation of women.
Nowadays Graff jewellery is distinctive for some of the world’s rarest precious gems, including extraordinary coloured diamonds, the most precious of all. It is believed that in the 21st century, more than 60% of large, rough diamonds have been purchased and then cut by this company. The latest? The legendary, 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the second-largest diamond ever discovered.
London, August 2018