A Celebration of Jewelry and the Business Behind the Beauty
Leibish & Co
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Graff 132-Carat ‘Golden Empress’ Fancy Yellow Diamond
You might say Laurence Graff has a thing for yellow diamonds. While the renowned jeweler certainly handled his share of historic and statement diamonds in all colors, it’s the yellows that seem to keep appearing with Graff’s name on it.
Graff’s latest catch is being called “The Golden Empress,” a 132.55-carat Fancy Intense cushion-cut yellow diamond. The diamond is set on a necklace with approximately 30 other yellow diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds are very popular these days as adornment and investment, because of their beauty and rarity. Only one in 10,000 diamonds are classified as fancy colored. So it’s even rarer to find one a particular color, such as yellow.
Graff, the founder of the international luxury diamond and jewelry firm that bears his name, purchased the 299-carat rough diamond that created The Golden Empress. It was unearthed from the Letšeng mine in the tiny southern African kingdom of Lesotho.
“The potential to craft a diamond that could join its hall of noble, historic and world famous stones was a thrilling prospect,” Graff said in a statement.
The company then set out to study the rough to determine the best way to cut it and then set out to do the work. In addition to The Golden Empress, the rough yielded eight satellite diamonds, comprising six pear shape Fancy Yellow stones—the largest being 21.34 carats—and two brilliant round stones.
Graff’s history of handling statement yellow diamonds includes the following: “The Delaire Sunrise,” the largest square emerald cut, Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world at 118.08 carats; The Gemini Yellows at 51.29 carats and 55.74 carats; and the 100.09-carat Graff Vivid Yellow, which sold for more than $16.3 million in May 2014 at the Sotheby’s Geneva auction.
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I am a freelance writer and editor who covers the luxury jewelry and watch industry for several publications, including Forbes.com the Financial Times, Hong Kong-based JewelleryNetAsiaand the Italian jewelry magazine, VO+. In addition, I have my own blog covering the jewelry and watch industry, Jewelry News Network.