Laurence Graff is on a roll. Fresh from successfully bidding for the 'world's finest pink diamond' sold at Sotheby's in Geneva for $46.1 million on 16 November, our very own London diamantaire extraordinaire, Mr Graff, has acquired two sizeable white rough diamonds for $22,736,360 at tender in Antwerp. What is equally extraordinary is the fact that these two extremely large diamonds, approximately the size of a ping pong ball, came from the same mine high in the Maluti mountains of southern Africa.
The Letseng mine at 3,100 meters is the highest diamond mine in the world and it has been throwing up a few surprises. Graff had his sights set on buying the mine in 2006 when it was only producing a small amount of diamonds a year. The mine is jointly owned by the Kingdom of Lesotho and Gem Diamonds Ltd. Things began to change when in 2007 the 603 carat 'Lesotho Promise' popped up, followed by the 493 carat 'Letseng Legacy' and the most recent acquisition - the 478 carat 'Light of Letseng', which was then polished to reveal the Graff Constellation, the world's first round brilliant flawless diamond to exceed 100 carats. That is some mine. Laurence Graff, founder and Chairman of Graff Diamonds Holdings comments: 'We are delighted with the successful acquisition of these two major stones. This purchase further demonstrates our continuing investment in the industry and the world's finest diamonds. We look forward to the challenge of cutting and polishing these stones and releasing their full potential'. We will be watching to see what comes out of these two outsized diamonds.
Recently acquired by Laurence Graff, a rough diamond of 184-cts from the Letseng Mine in Lesotho
The Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho has produced 3 of the top 20 diamonds ever discovered
Laurence Graff acquired this 196-cts rough from the high-altitude Letseng Mine
The two rough diamonds of 184-carats and 196-carats that Laurence Graff acquired at tender in Antwerp on the 24 November 2010 for $22,736,360