Graff’s dominance in the diamond market may not be as mass market as a name like Tiffany’s but anyone who knows anything about luxury has heard of the brand or seen their glimmering ads.
Graff is a forward thinking and visionary brand.
Known as much for their brilliants as their brilliant vertical integration of designing, manufacturing and retail distribution of jewelery and watches, Graff also holds a dazzling collection of gems purchased by founder Lawrence Graff over the decades since the brands inception in 1960.
Graff admirably adheres to the Kimberly process which avoids conflict diamonds as much as possible and most of their stoned are engraved with GIA tracking numbers for added security.
Graff owns some of the worlds most famous diamonds.
Gems of note include the following :
- The Windsor Yellows – 51.01 and 40.22 carats – acquired 1987 in Geneva
- The Paragon diamond – 7-sided diamond of 137.82 carats (27.564 g) – acquired in 1989
- The Lesotho Promise – rough 603-carat (120.6 g) – acquired for $12.4 million in 2006. Cut by laser into 26 D-flawless diamonds totaling 224 carats (44.8 g) – the highest yield from a single diamond.
The largest gem cut is a 75-carat (15.0 g) pear-shaped diamond; the smallest a 0.55-carat (110 mg) round brilliant. Totalling 224 carats (44.8g) in seven pear shapes, four emerald cuts, thirteen round brilliants and one heart shape
- The Letseng Legacy diamond – 493cts yielding 20 diamonds totaling 231.67cts – mined in 2008 and acquired by Graff for $10.4 million.
- The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond – 31.06-carat (6.212 g) fancy deep-blue diamond with internally flawless clarity – acquired in 2008 for £16.4 million.
- The Delaire Sunrise – 118.08 carats – the largest square emerald cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world. Discovered as a 221.81 rough diamond in 2008.
- The Constellation – 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 – 23.88 carats – acquired November 2010. Pink type IIa modified emerald shape recut to improve colour, clarity and internal flawlessness.
- The Graff Sweethearts – 196 carats and 184 carats rough diamonds – cut to produce two heart shapes of 51.53ct D colour Flawless type IIa and 50.76ct D colour Flawless type IIa.
- The Sultan Abdul Hamid II – 70.54 carat – light yellow acquired in 1981. Possibly cut from “The Ottoman I” owned by Suleyman the Magnificent of Turkey.
What is the secret of this Graff’s super luxury brand success?
So what’s to be learned from this rather jaw-dropping list of acquisitive achievements by Graff?
Tenacity and risk taking pays off, if founder Lawrence Graff is an example to live by.
Starting in the diamond business at the tender age of 15 and taking over a failing diamond business at 22, the confident entrepreneurship force is strong with this one (says Yoda).
Over the decades quality has remained king with the intention expressed not to expand past 65 stores worldwide in order to maintain exclusivity. A discipline evident in the fact that Graff wasn’t international until 2000.
Doing things right, not rushed, and with patient focus on quality.
We love Graff and what they’re doing in the world of small-business-gone-big because they’re such a great inspiration. Like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, Lawrence Graff stayed and guided the business through the years and only recently handed most of the load over to his son Francois Graff.
So va-va-voom! But we’re an impatient, youthful impulse spending lot so still more likely to stick with Fallon or Heidi Gibson or a bespoke diamond house like A.A.Rachimonov than blow our eyeballs out with players like DeBeers, Harry Winston or even Tiffanys considering Graff’s entry level is about $US10,000 ($13,000), with an average sale $US200,000 to $US300,000. Excuse me while I vomit onto my Louboutins. And then cheer again because well done Graff. What an example of entrepreneurship.