One of the largest and most famous pink diamonds, the Graff Pink, received its name from its current owner, diamond dealer Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds. The stone weighed 24.78 carats and was categorized as fancy intense pink, which is an extremely high color rating for pink diamonds. The diamond was evaluated as type IIa, and potentially flawless. However, even these impressive characteristics were not enough for Mr. Graff. Against the wishes of many because of the risk involved, he sent it back to the polishing wheel in the hope of improving the stone. After only removing a few points, his outcome was a 23.88 carat Fancy Vivid Pink IF (internally flawless) diamond. This placed the Graff Pink in the top two percent of the world’s diamonds.
Although it is known that the famous jeweler Harry Winston sold the diamond in the 1950s to a private collector who wished to remain anonymous, the early history of the stone is unclear. Interestingly enough, the rare pink diamond remained nameless until it fell into the hands of Laurence Graff. The emerald-cut diamond has rounded corners and is currently set on a platinum ring surrounded by two shield-shaped diamonds.
As Britain’s richest living art buyer, the purchase of the 24.78-carat pink diamond was an important move. The billionaire, who reportedly left school at the young age of fourteen and who began his working career as a toilet cleaner, owns five luxurious homes around the world, a private plane, a yacht, and his very own diamond mine outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Graff was dubbed “The King of Bling” and is known for buying expensive and rare gems like the 17th century “Wittelsbach” blue diamond, which he bought in December of 2008 from Christie’s in London.
The Graff Pink is said to have received its color from absorbing light in an unusual way while it formed beneath the earth over millions of years. The gem became the most expensive stone to be sold at auction when it brought in an unbelievable $46 million. Those attending the Sotheby’s auction were stunned at the steep price the beautiful diamond sold for, despite its rare size, color, and clarity.