On 13th May 2014, Sotheby’s in London auctioned off the Graff Vivid Yellow, a diamond weighing 100.09cts cut by London jeweller Laurence Graff. The rare yellow diamond secured a winning bid of £9m from a private buyer thanks to its stunning, vibrant canary yellow colour and the diamond’s weight.
The current trend for celebrities to wear coloured gemstones has driven up retail value recently and Vashi Dominguez, founder of Vashi.com and diamond expert, commented, “The growing trend from celebrities Heidi Klum, Carrie Underwood and most recently George Clooney’s fiancée Amal Alamuddin’s yellow diamond engagement ring, has definitely sparked a massive interest and demand in coloured, polished stones, which is likely to see a growth in their retail and market value.”
With the Pink Star Diamond selling for a cool £53 million in November 2013 and coloured stones attracting record prices in recent years, the Graff Yellow Diamond’s rarity attracted a great deal of attention from investors and high net worth individuals as well as diamond lovers from across the world.
We all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but Ms Monroe isn’t the only celebrity to wax lyrical about her favourite gems. Here are some of history’s most famous jewellery declarations – which one is your favourite?
“I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself” – Mae West
Gorgeous Hollywood actress Mae West was rocking diamonds way before Marilyn – but only when they were presented to her by a generous acquaintance! Gift diamonds are certainly a beautiful gesture, but we think a diamond you bought yourself would shine just as bright.
“Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all” – Mark Twain
Author Mark Twain is right on this count – in fact, second hand or antique jewellery often ends up being the most beautiful piece in a collection.
“I had very good dentures once. Some magnificent gold work. It’s the only form of jewellery a man can wear that women fully appreciate” – Graham Greene
Writer Graham Greene may have jumped the gun on this one – gold is one thing, but men can also look great in cufflinks, designer watches, rings, and a whole host of other jewels.
“Jewellery takes people’s minds off your wrinkles” – Sonja Henie
Figure skater and film star Sonja, on the other hand, had the right idea – a stunning piece of jewellery can make you feel beautiful regardless of your age!
Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. On the list, which was released on the 15th June, Graff was the recipient of a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Jewellery – one of the highest awards that can be achieved by someone in the industry.
Graff began his career in the jewellery industry at the tender age of 15, when he began working as an apprentice in Hatton Garden, London’s most prestigious jewellery quarter. Nowadays, he leads a global jewellery empire, with stores in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and has been in possession of some of the world’s most spectacular precious stones, including the Idol’s Eye and the Magnificence.
“From humble beginnings and a lifetime working in the industry, I am extremely proud to receive such an honour,” Graff commented. “I was born to be amongst diamonds; they are my true passion and this passion translates into everything I do.”
Here at Hatton Garden, we’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to Laurence, and wish the rest of our designers and storeholders the best of luck in reaching this type of prestigious achievement.
Jewellery may be a timeless investment, but there’s no denying that the shapes, sizes and trends of jewellery have evolved hundreds of times across the decades. With that in mind, welcome to our newest series of blogs, ‘Jewellery trends of the past’, which will tell you all you need to know about jewellery trends from times gone by. This week, the 1950s…
The 1950s is a period that’s universally recognised for its traditional styles and wholesome values, so it’s unsurprising that most of the jewellery of this era was prim and pretty rather than wild and rebellious. Conventional precious metals such as gold were used to create simple style for daytime wear, and women would save their more valuable pieces (usually adorned with diamonds or pearls for evening and special occasions.
However, in the latter half of the 1950s, costume jewellery became increasingly popular, and the industry saw the introduction of a greater range of colours and cuts. Costume jewellery was almost always sold in a set so that women could match their earrings, necklaces and bracelets with minimal effort and maximum impact. This type of jewellery complimented the clean lines and pencil skirts that were popular in the fashion industry at the time.
If you’re looking for a piece of 50’s style jewellery, why not pay a visit to the stores of Hatton Garden? With hundreds of jewellers stocking a variety of antique, vintage and heirloom jewellery, you’re bound to find something to suit your style.
Diamonds are one of the most prized precious stones in the world, and have been ever since their discovery more than 3,000 years ago. However, not all diamonds are created equal, and only a select few reach the dizzying heights of fame. Here’s our guide to some of the world’s most famous diamonds…
The Great Star of Africa
This gargantuan stone is the largest cut diamond in the entire world, with a mind-blowing total carat weight of 530.20ct. It was cut from the largest diamond crystal ever discovered, the 3,106ct Cullian, by Joseph Asscher and Company of Amsterdam. It took them a total of 6 years to decide how to cut it, but eventually they opted for a pear cut with 74 facets. The Great Star of Africa is part of the royal sceptre, and is stored along with the other Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
As the name might suggest, this enormous stone was bought by Richard Burton as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor – a gesture which cost him an incredible $1,100,000 (in the 1960s!) Elizabeth wore the stone as her engagement ring, but after Burton’s death in 1979, she sold it for $2,800,000 and donated the money to charity in his name.
The Orloff is an impressively large stone with a pretty blue-green tinge. It has an exceptionally pure level of clarity, and an elegant Mogul cut. It has been the focal point of many historical stories, from its origins as the eye in a statue of a Hindu god, to its theft by a French deserter in the 1700’s, but today it can be found in the Diamond Treasury of Russia in Moscow.
Hatton Garden jewellers and jewellery services London EC1