Graff Diamonds Presents: How to Cut a 299-Carat Rough to a Stunning 132-Carat Stone

Cutting and polishing a rough stone, especially extraordinary large stones of high-quality, to achieve a stunning piece of jewelry, is a delicate, complex process. Haute Time went to the masters – British jewelry Graff Diamonds – to find out how they cut a 299-carat rough into what is now called the Graff Golden Empress.

Several years ago, a rare gem was unearthed in the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho - an opaque 299-carat rough diamond – that caught the attention and imagination of the family-owned British jeweler.

Before the stone was cut, it spent months under the watchful gaze of Graff’s Senior Gemologists. They finally determined to cut the stone to one large-sized diamond and a few additional small ones. The cutters and polishers had wanted to add enough facets to let the light in but not too many, lest the stone loses its fire and depth of hue.

From this process emerged the 132.55-carat Fancy Intense cushion cut diamond, later named the Golden Empress. The 299-carat rough yielded one large stone, and eight smaller, smaller diamonds: six pear-shaped Fancy Yellow stones, with the largest at 21.34 carats, and two brilliant round stones

Now, the Golden Empress is set as the key pendant stone in a yellow-diamond necklace.

You can watch this video to get a glimpse of the stunning stone and the necklace it graces.