The founding of Graff Diamonds in 1960 by Laurence Graff marked the start of an extraordinary journey spanning over five decades, that continues to this day. Throughout its rich history, Graff is said to have handled more diamonds of notable rarity and beauty than any other jeweller, and to this day continues to inspire and excite the world's most discerning clientèle with its jewellery. Graff is more than just a name – it is Laurence Graff’s lasting legacy, whose passion and distinctive style has now been passed down to a new generation of designers and craftsmen, who continue to collaborate each day to create the most fabulous jewels in the world.
As a young man, Laurence Graff started his lifetime in diamonds as a jewellery apprentice in London.1960s
Graff Diamonds Ltd is established.
The first two Graff Diamonds retail stores open in London, in a traditionally wholesale and workshop-based industry.
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.1970s
Laurence Graff creates the $1 million “Hair and Jewel” coiffure, an ornate design of diamonds and gems, inspired by the royal hair fashions of 18th century Versailles.
Graff Diamonds becomes the first jeweller to be presented with the Queen’s Award to Industry, an award Graff would win again in 1977, 1994 and 2006.
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.
Graff Diamonds first Flagship store opens in Knightsbridge, London.
The Idol’s Eye diamond is acquired; it is the largest known natural blue diamond in the world, weighing 70.1980s
The Emperor Maximilian diamond, 41.94cts, is purchased at Christie’s in New York; Graff runs a groundbreaking advertising campaign inspired by the acquisition.
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.
The Imperial Blue is acquired, a pearshape 39.31ct diamond, the largest Flawless Fancy Deep Blue diamond in the world.
Graff acquires Wallis Simpson’s 19.77ct emerald engagement ring and the Windsor Yellows, superb canary yellow diamonds set as earrings, at Sotheby’s in Geneva.1990s
The Paragon, the world’s largest D colour Flawless diamond at 137.92cts, is unveiled at the Regent Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Beverly Hills at a special Graff exhibition.
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.
Laurence Graff acquires a controlling stake in the DTC sightholder South African Diamond Corporation (SAFDICO)2000s
Graff unveils The Sarah; weighing 132.43cts it is the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world, cut from a 218ct rough.
Graff’s iconic green advertising campaign launches.
Graff opens its first store outside the UK in Monte Carlo at the Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino; The Icon, then the world’s largest D colour Flawless brilliant cut diamond weighing 90.97cts, is unveiled at the opening.
Graff opens its first US store on Madison Avenue in New York. To celebrate Graff unveils the 100.57ct Star of America diamond – the largest D colour Internally Flawless octagonal step cut diamond in the world.
Graff acquires the Empress Rose, 70.39cts, the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Light Pink diamond in the world.
A second London store opens on Sloane Street, in the centre of fashionable Knightsbridge.
Graff’s first store opens in Moscow, Russia. Today there are 3 Graff stores throughout Moscow.
Graff opens a new London Headquarters and Workshop in Albemarle Street, to accommodate the continuing expansion of the company.
Graff’s expansion into the US sees a further store open in Palm Beach and continues in subsequent years with openings in Chicago, Las Vegas and Bal Harbour.
Graff opens a new store in Chicago, located on East Oak Street.
Opening of the Graff store at The Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas
The Lesotho Promise necklace is unveiled, consisting of an incredible 26 D colour Flawless diamonds totalling 223.35cts. The diamonds were all cut from the 15th largest rough ever discovered, weighing 603cts.
Graff opens a new US Corporate Headquarters in New York on 46 E. 61st Street in a 12,000 sq ft Townhouse.
Store opens at the Luxury Village, Moscow.
Graff acquires the Letseng Legacy, the 18th largest diamond ever discovered at 493cts; after a year of highly skilled cutting and polishing, the stone yields 20 diamonds totalling 231.67cts.
Graff opens a new store in Bal Harbour.
Graff opens its first store in Asia, at the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo.
Graff opens its first store in Hong Kong at the Peninsula Hotel.
The Graff Luxury Watch division launches with five collections: Technical, Sport, Dress, Jewelled and Bespoke.
Laurence Graff establishes The FACET Foundation, a charity dedicated to support the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children in Africa.
Graff acquires The Magnificence; at 243.96cts it is the largest emerald cut, D colour Flawless diamond in the world.
Graff opens its first store in Geneva, Switzerland, on prestigious Rue du Rhone; a second Swiss store opens in Gstaad in 2011.
Graff’s client magazine Graffiti launches, distributed globally to Graff’s VIP clients in English and Simplified Chinese.
The newly repolished Wittelsbach-Graff diamond is unveiled, now the largest Natural Fancy Deep Blue Internally Flawless diamond in the world, weighing 31.06cts.
Graff opens in the Dubai Mall
SAFDICO officially opens the Diamond Technology Park, a venture designed to provide a supply chain hub and international trading platform for the diamond industry.
Graff opens in Tsum, Moscow2010s
In 2010 Graff opens its first store in Mainland China at the Peninsula Hotel Shanghai.
2010 witnesses a year of record breaking diamonds. The Graff Constellation at 102.79cts – the largest ever round brilliant cut, D colour Internally Flawless diamond. The Delaire Sunrise at 118.
Graff opens a new store in Kiev, located on Gorodetskgo Street.
Graff opens its first seasonal store, located in Courchevel, France, capturing the attention of the winter season shoppers.
The opening of the Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa’s premier art, wine and hospitality destination.
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.
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.
Graff opens in the Formosa Regent, Taipei.
Graff opens on Post Street, San Francisco.
Graff opens in the Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad.
Graff continues to expand globally, opening its latest store in the Middle East at the opulent Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
2012 sees the opening of Graff’s newly renovated and extended Flagship London store on prestigious Bond Street.
Graff opens its second store in Tokyo at the prestigious department store Isetan Shinjuku.
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.
Graff expands further within Asia with the opening of its 11th store, located in the opulent Jolie department store in Shenyang, North East China.
2013 sees Laurence Graff awarded a “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” (OBE) for “Services to Jewellery.” One of the highest honours awarded by the British Monarchy, the OBE recognises distinguished service to the arts, sciences and public services.
To celebrate Laurence Graff’s 60th Year in the industry and the opening of Graff’s 40th store, the iconic 1970 ’Hair & Jewel’ was recreated, showcasing 22 rare jewels with a total value in excess of 500 million dollars.
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.
Graff opens its third London store, located within The Fine Jewellery Room of the prestigious Harrods Department store.
For the first time in its history, Graff Diamonds showcases its luxury watch and jewellery creations at BaselWorld 2014 within a fabulous 503 sq. m booth.
Unveiled at BaselWorld 2014, the ‘Graff Hallucination’ is revealed as the world’s rarest and most valuable timepiece, featuring an unprecedented kaleidoscope of over 110cts of extremely rare coloured diamonds valued at 55 million dollars.
For the fifth time in its history, Graff Diamonds is named as the recipient of a prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade, the highest accolade for a British company.
Graff opens its fourth Swiss store, located upon Zurich’s prestigious Bahnhofstrasse.