Graff Gobbles Up The Wittelsbach Diamond
One person who doesn't seem to have run out of money in this poor economy is Laurence Graff. His company Graff Diamonds just purchased the Wittelsbach Diamond, a grayish-blue 35.56 carat stone with an impressive historical provenance, for $24.3 million. The purchase set a record for a any jewel sold at auction at the Christie's London jewelry auction. The total auction brought in $27.22 million total with 45% of the lots unsold.
Graff has a notorious hunger for important stones and this one, which was given to Infanta Margarita Teresa by her father King Philip IV of Spain as part of her dowry to the Emperor Leopold I of Austria back in 1667, is one of the best. Bloomberg quotes Francois Graff, Laurence's son and managing director of Graff Diamonds as saying that the size and color of the stone was the reason for the purchase and that the history of the stone wasn't a major consideration. In fact, Graff Diamonds is already planning a little diamond renovation, a recut to make the stone flawless and showcase the color.
Gallery: Graff And The Diamonds