The Graff Venus: a high-stakes heartbreaker

Today Graff unveiled the record-breaking Venus, the largest flawless heart-shape diamond ever certified by the GIA.

Graff Venus: 118 carat record-breaking flawless heart shape diamond

Just as you thought another diamond record couldn’t be broken, Graff Diamonds in London has pulled out a trump card. And what a weighty one it is: the Graff Venus weighs an impressive 118.78 carats, making it the largest flawless heart-shape diamond ever to be certified by the Gemological Institute of America or GIA.  And that, presumably, makes it the largest heart-shape diamond in the world.

What’s more, the GIA has certified that the Venus is also an enviable top D colour and Type IIA, with excellent symmetry and polish. So sorry Lady Gaga, your heart-shape engagement ring looks like a tiddler by comparison.

The rough was found in the Letseng mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho from where, since a freak streak in 2000, some very large diamonds have emerged. Jointly owned by the Kingdom of Lesotho and Gem Diamonds Ltd, the Letseng is the highest-altitude diamond mine in the world where, at over 3,000 metres, temperatures can drop to -20oC. Despite mainly providing low-grade ore, thanks to some spectacular diamond finds, it has the highest carat value yield of any mine in the world.

The list of important finds includes the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, which hit the headlines in 2007, followed by the 493 carat Letseng Legacy and the 478 carat Light of Letseng, which became the world's first flawless round brilliant diamond to exceed 100 carats. All of these whoppers were bought by SAFDICO, an arm of London-based Graff Diamonds – one of the most important players in the world of high-stake gems.

The marketing team presenting the Graff Venus diamond suggest it may be made into a pendant, brooch or even a tiara.

Along with the Venus, 22 other satellite stones were cut from the rough. Graff explains that new technology had to be developed to cut and polish the perfect heart-shape. As is the case with important stones, the rough was studied for months using computer modelling to determine the best combination of cuts and quality that the rough was capable of yielding.

The Graff marketing team presenting the diamond suggest it may be made into a pendant, brooch or even a tiara – or all three.  Always hands on, I rested the Graff Venus on the back of my hand. I can confirm that, even by my standards, it is way too big for a ring. But I still think it would make the most romantic, lets call it ‘engagement gift’ in the world.

The GIA has certified that the Venus is an enviable top D colour, gloriously flawless and Type IIA, with excellent symmetry and polish. 

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