Sparkle in THE HIS EYE
Steve Wynn’s reputation is rooted in a history of Las Vegas firsts: In luxury labels, that includes introducing Chanel and Hermès boutiques to the city during the latter half of the ’90s, a move that played a significant role in the Strip attaining its retail-mecca cachet. So when Wynn announced that diamond house Graff would be part of the mix when he opened his eponymous resort in 2005, a new level of luxe was instantly established. For 53 years the London-based Graff has been the go-to source for some of the most exquisite diamonds on the planet, and while the news often focuses on size—who wouldn’t talk about a 100-carat pear-shaped diamond?—cut, color, and clarity are equally key to the conversation about every stone. Fold in craftsmanship, the artistry of the setting for truly special gems, and it’s easy to see why Graff garners legions of awestruck fans. Case in point: In March the house debuted its Peacock brooch, an exquisite mélange of colored diamonds totaling 120.81 carats, with a 20.02-carat fancy deep-blue pear-shaped diamond at its center. The brooch’s value? A cool $100 million. Not unlike that fancy blue, Laurence Graff might also be considered the passion-driven center of the jewelry label that bears his name. Graff has spent a rather remarkable lifetime in the pursuit of exceptional diamonds, honing his craft as a jewelry apprentice in the 1950s before founding his house in 1960. As we celebrate all things that sparkle in this issue, Graff took a moment to talk about commitment to craft and a legacy of diamonds that dazzle the eye.
WYNN: Graff always makes news with the debut of major stones or exquisite designs such as the Peacock brooch; what is your favorite anecdote about recent acquisitions? LAURENCE GRAFF: One of our latest treasures is a 56.15-carat D Internally Flawless heart-shaped diamond. I knew immediately that I wanted to create a unique, innovative design for this very special stone and so created a multifunctional piece of jewelry. The piece consists of a diamond bracelet with a heart-shaped diamond as the center stone. The diamond can then be removed by the wearer and placed in a separate setting to form a stunning solitaire ring. W: How do you feel the client’s mind-set has changed in recent years with respect to his or her knowledge of and interest in diamond trends, including the growing popularity of fancy colors now seen throughout the market? LG: There is still an extremely high demand for diamonds, specifically colored diamonds and stones that are rare in size. They are recognized as strong investment pieces that hold their value over the long term. Through our highly skilled procurement and polishing division, we are able to source and cut diamonds to very specific needs and requirements. This, combined with the skill of our expert gemologists, results in an unrivalled ability to provide our increasingly discerning clients with rare and unique jewels. W: What aspects of Graff have never changed since you founded the
Graff's white-diamond bracelet with its 56.15-carat heartshaped diamond, which detaches and can be worn in a solitaire ring.