Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Diamond in the Buff

Rough diamonds have never looked better…billionaire and diamond-specialist Laurence Graff just closed the deal on a perfect pair; two parts of the same massive diamond. After more than a year of deals, the dazzling duo were finally reunited after having been separated in May.


These two massive rough diamonds, which would have originally been a single stone of 1,922 carats or more, fell apart during their collection from the earth into two pieces. The larger of the pair, the “Lesedi La Rona” diamond (meaning “our light” in the local Tswana language) weighs in at a whopping 1,109 carats, while its smaller sister is a still-substantial 813 carats. Both stones were confirmed to be type IIa, the purest and most exceptional quality a diamond can be.

Though these pieces were uncovered nearly two years ago in November of 2015, it has been quite a journey for them to make it into the hands of their new owner. After an initial auction in June 2016, in which Lesedi La Rona remained unsold due to under-bidding (for a time it was suggested that the stone was “too big to sell!”), it finally went to Graff at auction this September for $53 million…a $17 million discount from its original asking price of $70 million!

“This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona.” said Graff regarding future plans for the pair. “The stone will tell us its story. It will dictate how it wants to be cut and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties…Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature.”

The “Cullinan” diamond before it was separated into the separate crown jewels.

The stone itself is recorded as the second largest rough diamond of gem-quality to have been uncovered in history, the only diamond larger having been the famous “Cullinan” diamond which now resides in the crown jewels in London…Perhaps the second largest will also be fit for royalty, once it is finally cut and polished? We’ll find out!