Following successful negotiations with the chairman of Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond Corp, Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, has acquired the world’s most valuable rough diamond – the Lesedi La Rona – weighing a record-breaking 1,109 carats. The deal, valued at $53 million, was closed with a handshake after more than a year of negotiations. Discovered at the Lucara Karowe mine in north-central Botswana, the hypnotic Lesedi La Rona is the largest gem quality rough diamond discovered in over 100 years. This magnificent stone has been identified by the Gemological Institute of America as possessing exceptional quality and transparency, earning the full significance of its name, which means ‘our light’ in Botswana’s Tswana language.
This acquisition marks a historic moment within the illustrious legacy of Graff and the career of its founder Laurence Graff, often referred to as the ‘King of Diamonds’, as he is said to have handled more important and famous diamonds than any other diamantaire in the world. “We are thrilled and honoured to become the new custodians of this incredible diamond. Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature.
The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties. This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honour the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona,” states Laurence Graff. The acquisition follows Graff’s purchase earlier this year of a remarkable 373 carat rough diamond that was originally part of the Lesedi La Rona rough, making this poignant reunion for the two stones: both now owned by Graff, home to the most fabulous jewels in the world.