If what your heart seeks is to enjoy the most precious of gems without the guilt coming from the possibility that they are sourced through undesirable means, you must come a-knockin’ at Graff’s doors. The jeweler, now serving the United Kingdom and the rest of the world for more than half a century, adheres to the Kimberly process, which only means that its sparkling diamonds were obtained without putting other people’s lives on the line.
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Within the family
Since its establishment decades ago, Graff has been among the top destinations for the rarest of luxuries. Laurence Graff, the company’s patriarch and founder, began his lifelong affair with jewels even before he became a full-fledged adult.
The English jeweler left school at 15 to become an apprentice at Schindler, a small jewelry shop that mainly repaired and re-purposed metals. When the business was lost, Laurence Graff used his knowledge to create his designs and sell them all over England. His eyes has been trained not by mere interest, but also years of experience, so he was able to build a store at Hatton Garden, the London’s center for gem trade.
Although the company still is led by Laurence Graff to this day, the expertise has also been passed down to his progeny who have showcased as much interest and knowledge in the craft, careful in its selection of stones and supervising every step of the way. The dedication of Graff and his family right from the beginning can only mean that perfection can be found in every transaction.
Relentlessly digging to find the best
The reputation for perfection that the company has attained is due to its dedication to finding the best. Graff has at its disposal not only the most beautiful and rarest of stones, but also a dedicated team of gemologists who hunt the earth for the raw beauties that can be carved and cut to elegance. The gem search is endless, with Graff believing that there is always something that could equal or surpass a previous discovery. And true to the Kimberly process, each Graff stone is engraved with tracking numbers from the Gemological Institute of America that can tell you in an instant its origins. This is to ensure that every stone you find in the store has been retrieved legally, without harming anybody or anything else.
The process of responsible mining is followed by relentless quest for the best way to cut a stone, a way to reveal its true beauty. For gemologists, this is no easy feat as the task can take weeks (even months!), because a single try doesn’t always let a diamond reveal its secrets. One has to have unrelenting determination to truly deserve seeing a diamond in its glory, and such ability can be found in Graff’s people. Their expertise also in cutting steadily and passionately also add to the shine and beauty radiated by the stones.
The most memorable gems
Graff’s claims are far from bluff, as the company has been responsible for bringing to the world some of the most magnificent of gems since its establishment. In recent history, we’ve seen the Paragon, the Magnificence and the Graff Perfection captivate hearts with their grandeur.
The kite-shaped Paragon was introduced in the 1990s, notable for being the world’s largest D color flawless diamond. First displayed at the company’s exhibition at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Paragon has a total of 137.82 carats and contains rare diamonds in the colors of pink, yellow and blue.
Meanwhile, ten years ago, Graff put to the forefront the colorless Magnificence, which is even more impressive at 243.96 carats. The name was taken from Laurence Graff’s first impression of the stone—magnificent. And why wouldn’t it be named that way? It is the world’s largest emerald cut in D color flawless diamond; it is totally and utterly MAGNIFICENT.
And then we have the Graff Perfection, found in Angola with a whopping 225 carat rough crystal. It was initially assessed at a lower number, but thankfully, Laurence Graff gave it another go. Today, we have the D flawless pear shape, complete with admirable contours.
Directing mastery of gems into watchmaking
In 2008, Graff brought their expertise in gem-cutting and -setting into the watchmaking industry by creating timepieces that entirely reflected the grace and beauty of diamonds and gems that used to adorn only the brand’s jewelry pieces.
This can be seen in the signature design elements of their watches, led by the multi-faceted bezel that mimic a cut diamond. Hexagon-cut diamonds are arranged into a pattern surrounded by triangular-cut diamonds to create the brand’s staple mosaic setting, which is a patented design by Graff.
Other influences from their jewelry-making practice are the subtle diamond detail on the crown and the emerald accent on the dial’s logo, which is a usual feature on some of the brand’s products.
For most of the watches’ dials, the brand uses a skeleton-like pattern that partly exposes the complications usually hidden underneath a solid surface. It takes a certain skill in making the movements keep up with the gemstone-infused design on top and look attractive despite appearing complicated and chaotic to a non-expert.
Graff creates timepieces according to four categories or collections: Sport, Technical, Dress, or Jewelry.
People involved in a sport are a common target market for watchmaking brands, hence, the Sport category. Graff takes it a few notch higher, by making its best product for this category directed to divers. The ScubaGraff has a self-winding movement but it’s most impressive for the decompression valve, which lets divers keep track of their time underwater and their oxygen level.
Their collection of watches under the Technical category is expected to only showcase the best, given that the label can create complicated timepieces for professional divers. This, however, differs a lot for it focuses on integrating the movement underneath the dial into the actual design of the watch, if not making it the actual main attraction through the openwork dial. For this, the skeleton design is utilized to its maximum.
Understandably, the collections under Dress and Jewelry are extensions of their jewelry pieces. The former is more minimalistic while the latter is all-out on the gems and colors. The Graffstar Slim 43 is the perfect model for their Dress watches, as it bares it all by not using any diamonds or heavy complications inside. Only rose gold accents of the case and buckle fastening are its adornment, which perfectly make up for the simple design of every piece. For Jewelry, the Graff Butterfly watch merges fancy jewelry and haute horology in one as it forms butterflies all around the watch and along the straps using colorful stones.
These impeccable design concepts are Graff’s strongest suit, and we can only expect it to be refined over the years as the brand explores CAD and 3D printing to create lighter and more advanced timepieces.
Revel in the perfected stones yourself
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Find a store near you
Since the 1960s, Graff has been a gem itself in the jewelry industry, being the trusted destination for the rarest of gemstones. It not only has in house the most coveted of stones, the team behind the company is also envied for their passion, determination and skill to bring out beauty in the rawest of the Earth’s treasures. A look at a single perfectly cut gem will make you think of all the effort that has been put into it to produce such a perfect, powerful piece.
One can virtually experience the radiance emanated by each through Graff’s website. If seeing a stones in person is more of your thing as you want to see every detail and variation as the sunlight strikes through it, you can drop by in any of its 50 international stores, some of which are in Beijing, Taipei, Las Vegas, New York, and Monte Carlo. The cities of London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Geneva house Graff’s corporate offices as well.