118.78 carats of beauty and perfection
Since founding the business in 1960, Laurence Graff has built a reputation for owning some of the world’s most exceptional stones, gems so rare and notable that they deserve a proper noun title – in this case “Venus”.
Beginning of November, Laurence Graff unveiled the Graff Venus, the largest D Flawless heart shape diamond in the world, weighing 118.78 carats.
Cut from a 357-carat rough discovered at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho in 2015, it took 18 months for the stone to take shape. As with any rough diamond, it’s impossible to know exactly what lies inside until cutting and polishing begins, so it was with trepidation that Graff’s team embarked on creating this heart-shaped marvel. They even had to develop new technology to cut and polish the Venus and the 22 other satellite stones yielded from the same piece of rough.
As always, Mr Graff prioritised perfection over size, instructing the polishers to shave a miniscule one-tenth of a carat off the original weight in order to achieve Flawless clarity: the highest possible grade. It’s a practice he is renowned for: in 2010 he courted controversy by re-cutting the historic Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, reducing its weight by four carats and taking it from VS2 clarity to Internally Flawless.
Over the decades the Graff family has included the Golden Empress: a 132.55-carat fancy intense yellow diamond; The Perfection: an Internally Flawless, D-colour pear-cut diamond weighing precisely 100 carats; and the 102.79-carat Constellation, the largest round shaped, D-colour, Internally Flawless diamond ever to be graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
Referring to it as a “family” isn’t far off the mark: Mr Graff remembers in great detail the journey behind every one of his notable stones; where they came from, the size of the rough, the painstaking process of cutting and polishing in order to achieve the perfection he’s built his business around. And the latest in its roster of mind-boggling gemstones in the hands of Laurence Graff is now the “Venus”.