The Graff Lesedi La Rona (“our light” in Botswana’s Tswana language) weighs in at 302.37 carats and is a D-color, high-clarity stone. It’s the world’s largest square emerald cut diamond, and the latest amazing creation from Laurence Graff, the owner and founder of the international luxury jewelry brand.
“My love affair with diamonds is life-long and crafting the Graff Lesedi La Rona has been an honor. This diamond, our diamond, is beyond words. All our expertise, skill and accomplishment went into crafting this incredible diamond masterpiece, which is extraordinary in every way. The Graff Lesedi La Rona is an exceptional diamond with an exceptional cut and exceptional proportions, earning its place in history as the largest and finest of its kind in the world.”
The rough diamond from which the Lesedi La Rona was cut weight in at 1,109 carats (about the size of a tennis ball), and 66 attached diamonds ranging from under a carat to over 26 carats, have also been polished and sold.
The stone was found by the Lucara Diamond Corp, a Canadian mining company, back in 2015 at their Karowe mine in Botswana. No other diamond of its size and quality has been found in over 100 years – in fact, this one is the second largest in history – with the previous being responsible for 9 of the major diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.
Graff, of course, knows how rare a find he received.
“There is a huge amount of good fortune involved in unearthing a rough diamond of this extraordinary beauty and importance. We had an immense duty to cut the very, very best diamond imaginable from this rough.”
At first the rough stone went to Sotheby’s for auction, but the it failed to receive bids that matched its $70 million estimate.
A few months later, Graff Diamonds announced that they had purchased the diamond for a mere $53 million in a handshake deal and afterward, it was removed to Graff’s lab in South Africa. There, he and other gemologists analyzed the stone in order to figure out the best way to cut it, and how to achieve the largest results.
Months of analysis and labor later, the final, groundbreaking product was achieved.
”Cutting a diamond of this size is an art form, the ultimate art of sculpture. It is the riskiest form of art because you can never add and you can never cover up a mistake, you can only take away. You have to be careful and you have to be perfect.”
I’m not a diamond person, but I sure would like to see this one in person.