Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Getting Stoned: Graff's 224-carat Necklace

If only this post opened with the theme music from Titanic...

Meet the Lesotho Promise, a 224-carat Graff necklace, comprised of 26 white D-flawless diamonds (only the most valuable on the grading system) that has been inducing gasps since its introduction last Thursday. Remember when 5-carats seemed gaudy? No? Ok, moving on...

All of the stones were extracted from a 603-carat stone - the 15th largest rough diamond ever found - discovered in a mine in Lesotho, South Africa, last year. The stones themselves have an estimated value of $50 million, however Graff execs wouldn’t disclose the necklace's asking price.

For now, the necklace is on display at the Salle d’Empire at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco, along with several other ultra-rare gems. But the company doesn't expect it to be there long - there has already been much interest in purchasing the piece. “In bad times, the diamond jewelry business is very successful,” said the company's managing director François Graff. “It’s another class of investment, increasingly recognized by new economies like Russia and China. They consider it to be treasure, something safe to pass on for generations.”