Midnight Star: Tracing the Precious Legacy of GRAFF

Diamonds in the sky, stars on the fingers.

In partnership with

Everyone and their mother are jumping on the high jewellery bandwagon. Those used to cutting fabrics are now cutting stones—although few have made a discernible cultural impact that allows their creation to transcend time and trends. But if there’s such a thing as an open season on jewellery making, that it is indeed an all-you-can-eat buffet, then GRAFF, the “British King of Diamonds”, is by far the champagne and caviar for 21st-century women with impeccable taste.

Its rise to prominence is near meteoric given its international stature today. Founder Laurence Graff OBE has always been a lover of diamonds, way before the brand was willed into existence in 1960. He was only 15 years old when he landed an apprenticeship in London’s epicentre of all things jewellery,
Hatton Garden. His creativity and courage continued to serve him to the point where he succeeded in opening two stores in Central London in his mere twenties.

But it wasn’t until a little over a decade after its inception that GRAFF entered the upper echelons of the jewellery world, with the watershed moment being the opening of its first retail store in Knightsbridge. This is where the luxury house built its reputation in diamond dexterity. Its signature stone-led design techniques as well as its unparalleled savoir-faire in sourcing, cutting, and polishing exquisite diamonds were presented before the most percipient collectors, luminaries, and royalties. The recently discovered GRAFF Lesedi La Rona is especially emblematic of the brand’s cutting and polishing know-how. Distinguished as the second-largest rough diamond ever dug out at the time of discovery, the 1,109-carat diamond rough was then fashioned into a stunning 302.37-carat diamond—the biggest square emerald cut diamond in the world with the highest colour and clarity ever certified by the Gemological Institute of America—and 66 satellite stones by the house’s skilled artisans.

But the pursuit of excellence doesn’t stop there. GRAFF goes to the far-flung corners of the world for the rarest gems to separate itself from other jewellery maisons. Coloured diamonds would be the jewel in the crown. It is the insatiable hunger that has existed since 1974 when the house had a taste of greatness with Star of Bombay, a historical yellow stone that it re-cut and polished. Some of the most ambitious expeditions it embarked on to date were the ones that led it to the Mother Continent.


Discovered in the South African alluvial mine, the 118.08-carat Delaire Sunrise, for instance, has become an instant icon in GRAFF’s history for it is the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow square emerald cut diamond man has ever seen. The 709-carat Peace Diamond, which was unearthed near the village of Koryarduon, on the other hand, further cemented the house’s status in the realm of high jewellery as it is the second largest rough diamond to come out of Sierra Leone.

Some of those marvels of nature were put on display in GRAFF’s latest ‘I Wish’ festive campaign, celebrating the scintillating joy of jewellery; a gift to make every wish come true—whether desired, received or bestowed—for those who appreciate the beauty and sensuality of diamonds and gemstones and who know that they deserve the very best. The campaign includes extraordinary, timeless jewellery pieces of unparalleled rarity—emeralds, rubies, yellow and white diamonds—honour the vibrant, bold colour of the season.

Greatest Hits

While it may be true that the cumbersome carats and decadent designs of high jewellery have become the cornerstone of the brand, GRAFF does not skimp on its fine jewellery section, holding the same principles and standards to its signature lines. The Butterfly collection, especially, echoes the gem-led
design vision that has become tantamount to the house. The Classic Butterfly, for instance, recreates the winged creature’s outline by using pear-shaped and marquise diamonds. An enduring motif that has helped shape GRAFF into the powerhouse it is today, the Butterfly draws parallels between the life cycle of the Lepidoptera and the brand’s philosophy.

Just like the metamorphosis of a butterfly that begins with an unrefined caterpillar, GRAFF’s unwavering dedication to transforming nature’s unexplored diamonds into exceptional jewels persists. Indeed, the land is a gift that keeps on giving and from it, GRAFF has delivered countless iconic numbers including the tour de force that is Wild Flower.

Paying homage to the neatly clipped English Gardens, the house presents a modern take on the feminine flowers that release it from the chains of convention and tradition. Here, every petal is painstakingly placed to lift towards its wearer with unfathomable grace. The immaculate pavé diamonds that trace the delicate blossoms across all sculptured creations including the rings, earrings, and necklaces elevate the design to a whole new level. Outside of the glittering biosphere, GRAFF looks to the realm of fashion for inspiration. The uber-elegant Tilda’s
Bow collection, as its name suggests, references a bow and its femininity, delicacy, as well as sensuality. The vision is simple: a woman is tying a bow on her dress and the silk transforms at her touch into diamond ribbons. To bring this fantasy to life, the craftspeople at GRAFF have custom-cut each diamond by hand to create snaking curves and sleek silhouettes.

Bride to Bait

GRAFF is, at the heart of it, a family-run business. Decades after its establishment, Laurence Graff OBE remains the crucial custodian of the brand in his role as chairman, while his son François occupies the chief executive officer seat. This exact appreciation of family values led to the conception of a collection that pays tribute to the very foundation of family life—marriage. The house’s Bridal jewellery reframes what a symbol of enduring love shall look like.

Sticking to the signature stone-led artistry, the engagement rings place emphasis on the diamonds, possibly more than usual, with designs, that cradle their unique silhouette as well as the approach to diamond selection—a member of the family would assess the white diamonds individually for the best character, artistry, and energy. The master ring mounters would then take over and ensure each stone is perfectly positioned to maximise light reflection.

To achieve the said effect, GRAFF has devised no less than seven setting designs namely Constellation, Flame, Icon, Laurence Graff Signature, Legacy, Paragon, and Promise. The eponymous Laurence Graff Signature setting is especially notable as it reverberates the founder’s passion for diamonds, bringing the narrative full circle. Allowing brides-to-be the freedom of expression, the setting is made available with or without pavé diamonds.

It is one of the many reasons why the Laurence Graff Signature wedding bands are the favourite among those who wish to materialise their lifelong commitment to one another. Their sculptural contours, whether in white, yellow, or rose gold exude the elegance that GRAFF is known for. The all-metal styles, on the other hand, are matched with pavé diamonds. There are also versions with pink and yellow diamonds for couples with a knack for whimsical beauty.

These thoughtfully crafted pieces shall forge an emotional connection not only between two lovers but also with the brand, and serve as an heirloom to pass down to the next generation of jewellery wearers. Emotionally resonant and aesthetically ravishing, it is no surprise that GRAFF has been widely lauded as the most desirable jewellery brand.

But don’t take anyone’s word for it: head to Graff.com or visit the house’s Southeast Asia Flagship store at Singapore ION Orchard and see it for yourself.