• 1953

  • 1950s
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    1950

    At the age of 15, Laurence Graff begins his lifetime in diamonds as an apprentice at Schindler’s jewellery workshop in London’s Hatton Garden, while studying at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

    1960s
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    1960

    Graff Diamonds Ltd is established.

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    1962

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    The first two Graff Diamonds retail stores open in London, in an industry that is traditionally wholesale and workshop-based.

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    1967

    Sensing the opportunities abroad, Laurence Graff decides to travel with his creations, first setting up a jewellery concession in Robinson’s Department Store in Singapore, and expanding into trade fairs and exhibitions around the world.

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    1970

    Laurence Graff creates the $1 million ‘Hair & Jewel’ coiffure – an ornate design of diamonds and gems, which was inspired by the royal hair fashions of 18th century Versailles.

    1970s
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    1973

    Graff Diamonds becomes the first jeweller to be presented with the Queen’s Award for International Trade, the highest accolade for a British company and an award Graff would win again in 1977, 1994, 2006 and 2014.

    1974_The_Star_of_Bombay_47.39cts1_historytimeline

    1974

    Laurence Graff acquires the Star of Bombay – a 47.39ct diamond, the first of a great many famous diamonds that would pass through the House of Graff.

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    1974

    1974_October_Brompton_Road,_London

    Graff Diamonds opens its first flagship store in Knightsbridge, London.

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    1979

    The Idol’s Eye diamond is acquired. It is the largest known natural blue diamond in the world, weighing 70.

    1980s
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    1982

    The 41.94ct Emperor Maximilian diamond is purchased at Christie’s in New York and Graff runs a groundbreaking advertising campaign inspired by the acquisition.

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    1983

    Three famous diamonds, the Emperor Maximilian, the Sultan Abdul Hamid II and the Idol’s Eye are all sold to one buyer, making it the largest diamond sale known in history.

    1984_The_Imperial_Blue_39.31cts1_historytimeline

    1984

    The Imperial Blue is acquired. A pear shape 39.31ct diamond, it is the world’s largest Flawless Fancy Deep Blue diamond.

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    1987

    Graff acquires Wallis Simpson’s 19.77ct emerald engagement ring and the Windsor Yellows – two superb canary yellow diamonds set as earrings – at Sotheby’s in Geneva.

    1990s
    1989_The_Paragon_137.82cts1_historytimeline

    1990

    The Paragon – at 137.82cts, the world’s largest D colour Flawless diamond – is unveiled at a special Graff exhibition at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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    1993

    1993_June__New_Bond_Street,_London

    Graff’s new Flagship store opens on New Bond Street, London, famed for its exclusive retailers of luxury goods; Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent officiates the opening.

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    1998

    Laurence Graff acquires a controlling stake in the DTC sightholder South African Diamond Corporation (SAFDICO).

    2000s
    2000_The_Sarah_132.43cts_historytimeline

    2000

    Graff unveils The Sarah. Weighing 132.43cts and cut from a 218.50ct rough diamond, it is the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world.

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    2000

    Graff’s iconic green advertising campaign launches.

    2000_The_Icon_90.97cts1_historytimeline

    2000

    2000_April_Hotel_de_Paris,_Monte_Carlo

    Graff opens its first store outside the UK at the Hotel de Paris on Place du Casino in Monte Carlo. The Icon, then the world’s largest D colour Flawless brilliant cut diamond weighing 90.97cts, is unveiled at the opening.

    2001_The_Star_of_America_100.57cts1_historytimeline

    2001

    2001_May_Madison_Avenue,_New_York

    Graff opens its first flagship store in the US on Madison Avenue in New York. To celebrate the occasion, the 100.57ct Star of America diamond is unveiled.

    2001_The_Empress_Rose_70.39cts1_historytimeline

    2001

    Graff acquires the Empress Rose. At 70.39cts, it is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Light Pink diamond in the world.

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    2002

    2002_May_Sloane_Street,_London

    Graff opens a second London store on Sloane Street, in the centre of fashionable Knightsbridge.

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    2002

    2002_September_Tretyakovsky_Proezd,_Moscow

    Graff’s first store in Russia opens in Moscow. Today there are three Graff stores in the city.

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    2003

    Graff opens a new London headquarters and workshop on Albemarle Street, to accommodate the continuing expansion of the company.

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    2003

    2003_December_Worth_Avenue,_Palm_Beach

    Graff’s expansion into the US sees stores open in Palm Beach, Bal Harbour, Chicago and Las Vegas. A concession in the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York opens, with further stores opening in Saks locations across the country.

    2004

    2004_November_East_Oak_Street,_Chicago

    Graff opens a new store in Chicago, located on East Oak Street.

    2005

    2005_April__Wynn_Hotel,_Las_Vegas

    Opening of the Graff store at The Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas

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    2006

    The Lesotho Promise necklace is unveiled, consisting of an incredible 26 D colour Flawless diamonds totalling 223.35cts, cut from the 15th largest diamond ever discovered, weighing 603cts in the rough.

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    2006

    Graff opens a new US corporate headquarters in a 12,000 sq ft townhouse on 46 East 61st Street in New York.

    2006

    2006_July_Collins_Avenue,_Bal_Harbour

    Graff opens a new store in Bal Harbour.

    2006

    2006_December_Luxury_Village,_Moscow

    Store opens at the Luxury Village, Moscow.

    Letseng Legacy 5

    2007

    Graff acquires the Letseng Legacy – at 493cts, the 18th largest diamond ever discovered. After a year of highly skilled cutting and polishing, the stone yields 20 diamonds totalling 231.67cts.

    Tokyo Peninsula

    2007

    2007_September_Peninsula,_Tokyo

    Graff opens its first store in Asia, at the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo.

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    2007

    2007_December_Peninsula,_Hong_Kong

    Graff opens its first store in Hong Kong at the Peninsula Hotel.

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    2007

    SAFDICO opens its new generation cutting and polishing facility in Gaborone, Botswana.

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    2008

    The Graff Luxury Watch division launches with five collections: Technical, Sport, Dress, Jewelled and Bespoke.

    Laurence Graff with girls from the Graff Leadership Centre in Lesotho

    2008

    Laurence Graff establishes the FACET Foundation – a charity dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of disadvantaged children in Africa.

    2008_The_Magnificence1_historytimeline

    2008

    Graff acquires The Magnificence. At 243.96cts it is the largest emerald cut D colour Flawless diamond in the world.

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    2008

    2008_May_Rue_de_Rhone,_Geneva

    Graff opens its first store in Geneva, Switzerland, on prestigious Rue du Rhone. Further Swiss stores open at the Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad in 2011, the Alpina Gstaad Hotel in 2012 and on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich in 2014.

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    2009

    Graffiti, Graff’s client magazine, is launched. It is distributed globally, in English and Chinese versions, to Graff’s VIP clients.

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    2009

    The newly repolished Wittelsbach-Graff diamond is unveiled, the largest Natural Fancy Deep Blue Internally Flawless diamond in the world, weighing 31.06cts.

    2009

    2009_February_Dubai_Mall,_Dubai

    Graff opens in the Dubai Mall

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    2009

    The Diamond Technology Park opens in Botswana. A SAFDICO-run venture, it is designed to provide a supply chain hub and international trading platform for the diamond industry.

    Delair Graff

    2009

    2010_December_Delaire_Graff_Estate,_Stellenbosch

    The opening of Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa’s most desirable wine, hospitality and art destination located in Stellenbosch, the heart of the Winelands.

    2009

    2009_April_Tsum,_Moscow

    Graff opens in Tsum, Moscow

    2010s
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    2010

    2010_January__Peninsula,_Shanghai

    The first store in Mainland China opens at the Peninsula Hotel Shanghai. The following year, Graff establishes its Asian headquarters in Hong Kong and continues its expansion into the Greater Chinese region with stores opening in Beijing and Taipei.

    2010_The_Graff_Constellation_DelaireSunrise_GraffPink_historytimeline

    2010

    This is a year of record-breaking diamonds, which includes the Graff Constellation, 102.79cts, the largest round brilliant cut, D colour Internally Flawless diamond in the world; the Delaire Sunrise, 118.

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    2010

    2010_October_Gorodetskgo_Street,_Kiev

    Graff opens a new store in Kiev, located on Gorodetskgo Street.

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    2010

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    Graff opens its first seasonal store in Courchevel, France, capturing the attention of the winter season shoppers.

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    2011

    Delaire Graff Estate hosts the second FACET charity art auction, raising an impressive R1.4million from donated works of South African art; this follows the first FACET auction hosted at Christie’s in London which raised $1.2 million in 2009.

    2010_The_Graff_Sweetheart_51.20cts1_historytimeline

    2011

    Two perfectly matched D Flawless heart shape diamonds exceeding 50cts each, cut from two rough diamonds sourced from the famous Letseng Mine, are unveiled as the Graff Sweethearts.

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    2011

    2011_May_Grand_Formosa_Regent,_Taipei

    Graff opens in the Formosa Regent, Taipei.

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    2011

    2011_November__Post_Street,_San_Francisco

    Graff opens on Post Street, San Francisco.

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    2011

    2011_December_Grand_Hotel_Park,_Gstaad

    Graff opens in the Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad.

    Burj al Arab

    2012

    2012_February_Burj_Al_Arab_Hotel,_Dubai

    Graff continues to expand globally, opening its latest store in the Middle East at the opulent Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

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    2012

    1993_June__New_Bond_Street,_London

    2012 sees the opening of Graff’s newly renovated and extended flagship London store on prestigious Bond Street.

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    2012

    2001_May_Madison_Avenue,_New_York

    Graff opens its second store in Tokyo at the prestigious department store Isetan Shinjuku.

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    2013

    Graff unveils the astonishing 100 million dollar Peacock Brooch, featuring an exceptional collection of coloured diamonds totalling 120.81 carats with a stunning 20.02 carat fancy deep blue pear shape diamond at its centre.

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    2013

    2012_Ritz_Carlton,_Hong_Kong

    Graff expands further within Asia with the opening of its 11th store, located in the opulent Jolie department store in Shenyang, North East China.

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    2013

    Laurence Graff receives a highly prestigious OBE for services to jewellery, marking a lifetime of dedication and commitment to the industry.

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    2013

    Hair & Jewel is recreated to celebrate Laurence Graff’s 60th anniversary working in the jewellery industry, featuring 22 extremely rare and unique jewels with a total value of half a billion dollars.

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    2013

    Following its acquisition by Laurence Graff, the unveiling of Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl’ is marked by a special fundraising event at Delaire Graff Estate in support of FACET.

    Letseng_star_web timeline

    2013

    Graff unveils the yield of the Letseng Star; the 550ct diamond recovered from the recordbreaking Letseng Mine in Lesotho.

    Delaire_store_web timeline

    2013

    Graff opens a new flagship store at Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa.

    Abu Dhabi_web timeline

    2013

    Graff opens a new store at Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi and a newly renovated store at the Dubai Mall, taking its store count to a total of three across the Middle East.

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    2014

    2007_December_Peninsula,_Hong_Kong

    Graff’s expansion within Japan continues, with a new store opening at prestigious Fukuoka Mitsukoshi Department store. The opening marks Graff’s fourth store in Japan.

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    2014

    2010_November_Rue_du_Rocher,_Courchevel

    Graff opens a new store located within the Fine Jewellery Room at Harrods.

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    2014

    For the first time in its history, Graff showcases its new luxury watches and jewellery creations to the 150,000 visitors at the BaselWorld Watch and Jewellery Show.

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    2014

    Graff unveils the $55 million Hallucination estimated to be the most valuable watch ever created; featuring an unprecedented kaleidoscope of over 110cts of extremely rare coloured diamonds.

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    2014

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    Graff opens its fourth Swiss store, located upon Zurich’s prestigious Bahnhofstrasse.

    Nihombashi_web timeline

    2014

    Graff opens its 6th store in Japan at Nihombashi Takashimaya, adding to existing locations in Osaka, Tokyo and Fukuoka.

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    2014

    Marking its return to La Biennale des Antiquaires, Graff unveils the Royal Star of Paris brooch, featuring the Graff Sunflower, a 107.46ct Fancy Yellow cushion cut diamond, and the Graff Perfection, a 100.00ct D Flawless pear shape diamond drop.

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    2015

    Graff Diamonds opens a new flagship Hong Kong Central store, located within the St George’s Building.