• History and Heritage

    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.  
  • 1950s
    Corbis_HU031850

    1950

    As a young man, Laurence Graff started his lifetime in diamonds as a jewellery apprentice in London.

    1960s
    1_GRAFF.eps

    1960

    Graff Diamonds Ltd is established.

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    1962

    1962_Hatton_Garden,_London

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

    6_GRAFF

    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.

    1970s
    4_GRAFF

    1970

    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.

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    1973

    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.

    1974_The_Star_of_Bombay

    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.

    20_GRAFF

    1974

    1974_October_Brompton_Road,_London

    Graff Diamonds first Flagship store opens in Knightsbridge, London.

    1979_The_Idols_Eye

    1979

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

    1980s
    41_GRAFF_RET

    1982

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

    1983

    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

    1984

    The Imperial Blue is acquired, a pearshape 39.31ct diamond, the largest Flawless Fancy Deep Blue diamond in the world.

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    1987

    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
    1989_The_Paragon

    1990

    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.

    PRINCESS_MICK_GRAFF_RET

    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.

    Orange_suits

    1998

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

    2000s
    2000_The_Sarah_132.43cts

    2000

    Graff unveils The Sarah; weighing 132.43cts it is the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world, cut from a 218ct rough.

    GRAFF Courch 2 EmCt Wht Diam

    2000

    Graff’s iconic green advertising campaign launches.

    2000_The_Icon

    2000

    2000_April_Hotel_de_Paris,_Monte_Carlo

    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.

    2001_The_Star_of_America_1

    2001

    2001_May_Madison_Avenue,_New_York

    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.

    2001_The_Empress_Rose

    2001

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

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    2002

    2002_May_Sloane_Street,_London

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

    Moscow 2

    2002

    2002_September_Tretyakovsky_Proezd,_Moscow

    Graff’s first store opens in Moscow, Russia. Today there are 3 Graff stores throughout Moscow.

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    2003

    Graff opens a new London Headquarters and Workshop in 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 a further store open in Palm Beach and continues in subsequent years with openings in Chicago, Las Vegas and Bal Harbour.

    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

    lesotho

    2006

    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.

    new-york-skyline

    2006

    Graff opens a new US Corporate Headquarters in New York on 46 E. 61st Street in a 12,000 sq ft Townhouse.

    2006

    2006_December_Luxury_Village,_Moscow

    Store opens at the Luxury Village, Moscow.

    Letseng Legacy 5

    2007

    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.

    2007

    2006_July_Collins_Avenue,_Bal_Harbour

    Graff opens a new store in Bal Harbour.

    Tokyo Peninsula

    2007

    2007_September_Peninsula,_Tokyo

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

    The Peninsula-Exterior 1 HK

    2008

    2007_December_Peninsula,_Hong_Kong

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

    watch1

    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 support the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children in Africa.

    2008_The_Magnificence

    2008

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

    Graff04

    2008

    2008_May_Rue_de_Rhone,_Geneva

    Graff opens its first store in Geneva, Switzerland, on prestigious Rue du Rhone; a second Swiss store opens in Gstaad in 2011.

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    2009

    Graff’s client magazine Graffiti launches, distributed globally to Graff’s VIP clients in English and Simplified Chinese.

    2009_The_Wittelsbach-Graff

    2009

    The newly repolished Wittelsbach-Graff diamond is unveiled, now 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

    DTP aerial

    2009

    SAFDICO officially opens the Diamond Technology Park, a venture designed to provide a supply chain hub and international trading platform for the diamond industry.

    2009

    2009_April_Tsum,_Moscow

    Graff opens in Tsum, Moscow

    2010s
    ritz carlton hk

    2010

    2010_January__Peninsula,_Shanghai

    In 2010 Graff opens its first store in Mainland China at the Peninsula Hotel Shanghai.

    2010

    2010

    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.

    kiev_timeline

    2010

    2010_October_Gorodetskgo_Street,_Kiev

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

    Bout-Graf-Courchevel

    2010

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

    Delaire_timeline

    2010

    2010_December_Delaire_Graff_Estate,_Stellenbosch

    The opening of the Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa’s premier art, wine and hospitality destination.

    _MG_0400-2

    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_

    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.

    Taipei_timeline

    2011

    2011_May_Grand_Formosa_Regent,_Taipei

    Graff opens in the Formosa Regent, Taipei.

    San Fran_timeline

    2011

    2011_November__Post_Street,_San_Francisco

    Graff opens on Post Street, San Francisco.

    Grand_Hotel_Park_CH

    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.

    GraffNewBond

    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.

    isetantokyotimeline

    2013

    2001_May_Madison_Avenue,_New_York

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

    peacocktimeline2

    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.

    Shenyangtimeline

    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.

    LGtimeline2013

    2013

    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.

    h&j2013

    2013

    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.

    fukoaka

    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.

    harrodstimeline

    2014

    2010_November_Rue_du_Rocher,_Courchevel

    Graff opens its third London store, located within The Fine Jewellery Room of the prestigious Harrods Department store.

    basel_timeline

    2014

    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.

    halluci_timeline

    2014

    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.


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