Just when you thought another diamond record couldn’t be broken, Graff Diamonds in London has pulled out a “trump” card. Say hello to the Graff Venus, the largest heart shaped diamond in the world. The Venus weighs an impressive 118.78 carats, making it the largest flawless heart shaped diamond ever to be certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Adding to the stone’s pedigree, GIA has certified that the Venus is an enviable top D color and has a Flawless clarity grade with excellent symmetry and polish. So sorry Lady Gaga, this makes your heart shaped diamond seem small in comparison!
Chairman of Graff Diamonds, Laurence Graff, commented; “We were given a once in a lifetime opportunity with the Graff Venus and we created absolute perfection. I am proud to say that we delivered the very best. The Graff Venus is a testament to the skill and expertise of our elite team.”
He added, “The stone itself is beyond words. It is the most beautiful heart shaped diamond I have ever seen.”
The rough was found in 2015 in the Letseng mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho. This particular mine has been on a “hot streak” since 2000, producing some very large diamonds. Jointly owned by the Kingdom of Lesotho and Gem Diamonds Ltd., the Letseng is the highest altitude diamond mine in the world where, at over 9843 feet, temperatures can drop to -20oC. Despite mainly providing low grade ore, it has the highest carat value yield of any mine in the world.
The list of important finds includes the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, which hit the headlines in 2007, followed by the 493 carat Letseng Legacy and the 478 carat Light of Letseng, which became the world’s first flawless round brilliant diamond to exceed 100 carats. All of these whoppers were bought by SAFDICO, an arm of London-based Graff Diamonds, one of the most important players in the world of high stake gems.
The Venus was cut from a 357 carat piece of diamond rough. It took 18 months for the stone to take shape. As with any rough diamond, it’s impossible to know exactly what lies inside until cutting and polishing begins, so it was with trepidation that Graff’s team embarked on creating this heart shaped marvel. They had to develop new technology to cut and polish the Venus and the 22 other satellite stones yielded from the same piece of rough.
As always, Mr. Graff prioritized perfection over size, instructing the polishers to shave 1/10 of a carat off the original weight in order to achieve Flawless clarity, the highest possible clarity grade. It’s a practice he is known for. In 2010, he courted controversy by recutting the historic Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, reducing its weight by four carats and taking it from VS2 clarity to Internally Flawless.