Graff Blue Diamond

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Origin of name

The Graff Blue diamond is one of the eponymous diamonds bearing the name Graff, and is listed among the 36 Graff diamonds given in the web pages of the company. The name reflects the name of the owner and the color of the diamond.

Characteristics of the diamond

The Graff Blue diamond is a pear-shaped, fancy intense blue stone, weighing 6.19 carats. The stone is set in a ring, probably by expert craftsmen of the handcrafted jewelry workshop of Graff, situated in London.

The Graff Blue diamond is a Type IIb diamond, which is nitrogen-free, and the blue color is caused by the presence of trace quantities of boron, which has an atomic size comparable to that of carbon, and can be incorporated into the crystal structure of diamond. Unlike other diamonds which are non-conductors of electricity, Type IIb diamonds are semi-conductors.

In the table given below, the Graff Blue diamond, occupies the 10th position, which is the last row on the table. In this table, the largest diamond which is the Hope Diamond, has a weight of only 45.52 carats and the smallest diamond has a weight of 6.19 carats. Thus blue diamonds have a restricted weight compared to other diamonds such as the colorless diamonds or yellow diamonds.

List of famous blue diamonds in the world



carat weight


1 Hope diamond 45.52 fancy dark grayish blue
2 Tereschenko 42.92 fancy blue
3 Wittelsbach 35.56 fancy intense blue
4 Sultan of Morocco 35.27 fancy grayish blue
5 The Blue Heart 30.82 fancy intense blue
6 The Heart of Eternity 27.64 fancy vivid blue
7 Transvaal Blue 25.00 unknown color grade
8 The Blue Empress 14.00 unknown color grade
9 The Blue Magic 12.02 fancy vivid blue
10 Graff Blue 6.19 fancy intense blue



The early history of the diamond, such as the country of origin, mine of origin, original owners of the diamond, date of discovery etc. are not known. In spite of it's relatively small size, the fancy intense natural blue color of the stone. makes it an extremely rare gem, with the potential of becoming a famous and notable diamond in the future.

Among natural diamonds the commonest colors are yellow and brown, eg. the Cape Series, and the Argyle diamonds, followed by colorless and grey, and then the fancy colored diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds are generally very rare. The rarest fancy colored diamonds are orange, red, purple and green. The next rarest are pink and blue. Black diamonds, also known as Carbonado, are found mainly in two countries, Brazil and Central African Republic, but most of these diamonds are industrial quality. Gem quality black diamonds are quite rare.

The occurrence of blue diamonds is only about 0.1 % of all natural diamonds. Actually they are even rarer than this rough estimate. In the Premier diamond mines of South Africa, which is the main source of blue diamonds in the world today, only one significant blue diamond is mined per year out of all the rough production in the mine. This must be definitely less than 0.1 %. In the Argyle mines only one carat of pink diamond is produced for every 1,000,000 carats of rough diamonds. This works out to a very low percentage of 0.0001 % ! This is a more realistic estimate of the occurrence of pink diamonds.

Thus the phenomenon of blue diamonds is extremely rare. Among the various shades of blue, fancy intense blue, is still rarer, that if not for the renowned Graff name worldwide, a symbol of rarity, beauty, excellence and quality, the above diamond, would have been considered to be an artificially irradiated stone.

Prior to the 19th century, the world's only known source of blue diamonds, was the Golconda mines of Southern India, near Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh. But, later Premier diamond mines in South Africa, became the main source of these extremely rare diamonds. The collection of eleven extremely rare, exceptional quality, blue diamonds, known as the De Beers Millennium Diamond Collection, and displayed at the London's Millennium Dome, throughout the new millennium year 2000, were all sourced from the famous Premier diamond mines of South Africa. Even the Graff Blue diamond must have originated in the Premier diamond mines, even though the mine of origin of the diamond is not known.

With respect to pricing of fancy colored diamonds, besides the normal criteria of cut, clarity, shape and weight used in the pricing of colorless or white stones, additional criteria, such as the rarity of the color, and it's intensity, also play a very important part in the pricing of fancy colored diamonds. Thus the price  per carat of exceptional quality, rare fancy colored diamonds, of high color intensity, are generally much higher, than the price per carat of high quality colorless diamonds.

Red and purple being the rarest fetch the highest prices, followed by orange and green and then blue and pink. Fancy intense yellow and golden brown diamonds have also been fetching fairly high prices. The 0.95-carat Hancock Red diamond sold for a record price of $ 880,000 at a Sotheby's auction in 1987, and was purchased by an agent of the Sultan of Brunei. This works out to about $ 926,000 per carat. The current price per carat for exceptional quality blue diamonds is about $ 500,000 to $ 600,000. Based on this value the current estimated value of the Graff blue diamond which has a carat weight of 6.19 carats is over $ 3,000,000.

The world's largest colored diamond collection, is said to be owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Another renowned colored diamond collection is the Aurora Collection, which consists of 296 colored diamonds weighing 267.45 carats, and owned by Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman, who collected the diamonds over a period of 25 years.


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Dr Shihaan Larif
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