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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Graff's Newest Acquisition Is A 373-Carat Rough Diamond

Graff Diamonds has acquired a 373.72-carat rough diamond that was once part of the Lesedi la Rona, the second largest gem quality diamond ever discovered. 

The icy gem measures 48mm x 41mm x 22mm and is classified as D color—meaning that the diamond is colorless, the highest color grade—and Type IIa—considered the purest type of diamond. It is estimated to be approximately 3 billion years old and was likely formed when the earth was still being created.

The luxury jeweler said Tuesday the rough gem has the potential to yield “a significant polished stone.”

“Every diamond has an inner script that we must read and respect,” Laurence Graff, founder of the London-based high jewelry brand, said in a statement. “We will now spend time discovering the secrets of this magnificent stone. Knowing that nature has given us this extraordinary gift, we take on the great responsibility of releasing its inner beauty.”

The diamond was unearthed at the Karowe mine in Botswana and was once attached to the Lesedi la Rona, the second largest gem quality diamond ever discovered and the largest in more than a century. Graff said it was separated from its famous sibling during the recovery process. 

The 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp., a Canadian diamond mining company, in November 2015. 

The auction house, Sotheby’s, placed the Lesedi la Rona in a stand-alone auction in London in June, 2016, with an estimate of more than $70 million. The diamond failed to sell. 

The public sale, which the auction house described as “unprecedented” for a rough stone, turned out to be quite controversial among the few diamantaires with the means to purchase such large diamonds, according to this story in Vanity Fair. One of the persons quoted as being against the auction was none other than Laurence Graff. 

“It’s not nice,” Graff reportedly said. “We don’t like it, what they’re doing. It’s just not how it’s done. We don’t want to have to expose ourselves in public [at an auction]. To contend in the open arena, we find it undesirable.” 

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