A record breaking jewel revealed in Cape Town

12 April, 2019 | The 302.37 carat Graff Lesedi La Rona is the largest highest colour, highest clarity diamond ever certified by the GIA, and the world’s largest square emerald cut diamond.

Graff Lesedi La Rona

All images courtesy of Graff

“My love affair with diamonds is life-long and crafting the Graff Lesedi La Rona has been an honour. This diamond, our diamond, is beyond words,” said Graff founder Laurence Graff.

This rare marvel required over 18 months of meticulous craftsmanship, and marks a historic moment in diamond history.

Found at the Lucara Karowe mine in Botswana, the 1109 carat rough diamond was the largest gem quality rough diamond discovered in over 100 years and the second largest ever found. The record-breaking stone was given the name Lesedi La Rona, which means “our light” in Tswana, the official language of Botswana.

At first, the analysis of the stone concluded that a 300 carat principal diamond simply wasn’t achievable. Laurence Graff, however, was convinced that it could be possible and he set the challenge to the team of expert gemmologists and highly skilled polishers.

The initial incisions to the stone were made with state-of-the-art lasers. Graff’s master craftsman, an expert in this field and a classically trained musician, used his highly attuned musician’s ear to listen for the smooth progression of the laser.

Upon sending this masterpiece of technical audacity and diamond artistry to the GIA for certification, it was confirmed that Laurence Graff’s challenge had not only been met, but exceeded. The Graff Lesedi La Rona weighed an awe-inspiring 302.37 carats and was a top D colour, with exceptional clarity and both excellent polish and symmetry.

Alongside the Graff Lesedi La Rona, a total of 66 beautiful “satellite” diamonds were also polished from the world-famous rough diamond, ranging in size from under a carat to in excess of 26 carats. Each diamond is inscribed with Graff, Lesedi La Rona and its unique GIA number, and accompanied with a certificate of authenticity from Graff and the GIA.

For more gems of gems visit our Watches and Jewellery section.

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  1. Lent Mantshonyane

    First things first!I’m a native Motswana and I take exception in the fact that your article omits to state that this Diamond was mined in a democratic and independent country of Botswana and the fact that you willfully omit to mention that simple fact in your article is nauseating and regrettable and to tell you the truth belittling.It is lying by exclusion.

    This is the type of attitude and willful ignorance that will turn the people of Botswana against corporations like yourself.

    I hope you will edit and republish that article with the right information.

    I’ll be watching you.

    Lent Mantshonyane.

    1. Author
      Private Edition Editor

      Hi Lent,

      The raw diamond was found at the Lucara Karowe mine in Botswana. The record-breaking stone was given the name Lesedi La Rona, which means “our light” in Tswana, the official language of Botswana. We have updated the article accordingly to include this information. It was the final cut and polished diamond – the full weight and clarity – that was revealed in Cape Town last week.

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