If you pay any attention to the diamond industry, you’ll know that one name is synonymous with big diamonds.
Graff Diamonds was founded by Laurence Graff in 1960 and, over the last 59 years, has become the industry leader in the cutting, polishing and marketing of large, exceptional quality diamonds.
Notable rough diamond acquisitions by Graff over the years include the 603ct Lesotho Promise and the 493ct Letseng Legacy, but nothing comes close to the purchase of the 1,109ct Lesedi la Rona diamond in 2017. With a price tag of $53 million, the second largest rough diamond ever was recovered from Botswana’s Karowe mine in 2016.
Now, after 18 months of meticulous craftsmanship, a magnificent gemstone has been revealed. The 302.37 Graff Lesedi la Rona, the largest square emerald cut diamond in the world, is officially for sale.
From the start, cutting and polishing a rough diamond this size was going to be a challenge. Too big for Graff’s existing analytical equipment, a brand-new scanner had to be constructed to map the stone. Specialised imaging software was used to map imperfections within the diamond, allowing master craftsmen to plot the position and type of cut that would result in the largest, best quality diamond possible.
Despite initial imaging results indicating that a +300ct diamond yield was impossible, Laurence Graff believed that such a gem could be released, and tasked his experts with achieving this rare weight.
Initial incisions in the stone were made with state-of-the-art lasers, followed by hundreds of hours of shaping, faceting and polishing. The result was a diamond like no other, a 302.37ct D-colour diamond; the largest highest colour, highest clarity diamond ever certified by the GIA.
“Cutting a diamond of this size is an art form, the ultimate art of sculpture,” said Laurence Graff. “It is the riskiest form of art, because you can never add and you can never cover up a mistake, you can only take away. You have to be careful, and you have to be perfect. This diamond is beyond words. We had an immense duty to cut the very, very best diamond imaginable from this rough. All our expertise, skill and accomplishment went into crafting this incredible diamond masterpiece, which is extraordinary in every way.”
“There is a huge amount of good fortune involved in unearthing a rough diamond of this extraordinary beauty and importance,” Graff explained. “Year after year can go by, month after month can pass, with nothing. Then you get lucky.”
In addition to the record-breaking Graff Lesedi la Rona, and additional 66 “satellite” diamonds have been cut and polished. These range in size from under 1ct to over 26cts in size and, like the large diamond, each is laser-inscribed with “Graff”, “Lesedi la Rona” and a unique GIA certification number.
Graff has also donated fragments of Lesedi la Rona to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington for further diamond research.
Whilst we may not be able to source a Lesedi la Rona satellite diamond for you, we’re certain to be able to supply any other diamonds you may be looking for in South Africa. Why not give Katannuta Diamonds a call today and let us help you find your perfect gem?