IN THE MO­MENT

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

no fu­ture in the in­dus­try. “I didn’t give up but moved on with more de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed,” says Graff. Within a few years he had a cou­ple of jew­ellery stores of his own, and then went on the road with a bag of gems, build­ing con­tacts with mon­eyed clients and roy­alty around the world.

Graff Di­a­monds has grown to be one of the most re­spected and in­no­va­tive re­tail­ers, with 40 stores glob­ally. “It’s been said that more rare and his­tor­i­cal di­a­monds have passed through the house of Graff than any other jeweller,” says Graff, cit­ing the ex­am­ple of the Letšeng Star, which the com­pany ac­quired for US$16.5 mil­lion. Found in 2011, the 550-carat stone, which came from the Letšeng mine in Le­sotho, took 13 months to cut and pol­ish us­ing a spe­cial com­puter sys­tem. The stone was split into sev­eral pieces and used in a spe­cial na­ture-in­spired col­lec­tion, one item of which is a but­ter­fly brooch with a 30-carat pear-shaped di­a­mond in its wing. “Through this we set an un­sur­passed stan­dard of ex­cel­lence and in­no­va­tion,” Graff says.

Graff ’s son Fran­cois is the com­pany’s CEO, brother Ray­mond man­ages the work­shop and nephew El­liott is re­spon­si­ble for stock and pro­duc­tion. “We work to­gether to al­ways be the very best, op­er­at­ing at the very pin­na­cle of the jew­ellery in­dus­try,” says Graff, who sees a bright fu­ture for di­a­monds. He be­lieves stones will only in­crease in value be­cause of the “ex­tremely high” de­mand for large, high­qual­ity and rare-coloured di­a­monds, and the fact that new dis­cov­er­ies are scarce.

“There has to be mys­tique in a jewel, some­thing en­thralling and beau­ti­ful about it to cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion,” says Graff. “I have the same pas­sion and de­sire for di­a­monds as I did when I first started in the in­dus­try. I be­lieve I am the luck­i­est man in the world, be­cause I see di­a­monds ev­ery day.”

ABOVE: A MODEL SHOWS OFF A DI­A­MOND SET FROM GRAFF’S 2014 BRIDAL COL­LEC­TION. RIGHT: SET­TING DI­A­MONDS IS A PAINSTAK­ING PROCESS. OP­PO­SITE PAGE: A TA­PER­ING NECK­LACE OF FINE FANCY YEL­LOW DI­A­MONDS BY CHOW TAI FOOK

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