Laurence Graff is a British jeweler and diamond merchant. He is also the founder of Graff Diamonds, one of the biggest suppliers of rare jewels and jewelry. He is also a philanthropist, as well as an ardent collector of contemporary and modern art. According to Forbes, Graff is the 299th richest person on earth, with an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion as of March, 2013.
Net Worth: $4.3 billion
Source: Jewelry. Self-made
Born: June 13, 1938 (Age 75)
Nationality: United Kingdom
Marital Status: Married
Graff was born in 1938 in Stepney, London, UK to a Russian father, Harry Graff and a Romanian mother, Rebecca Segal. Today, there are those who like to call him the new Harry Winston, while there are those that only know him as the great British diamond merchant. There is no doubt that Laurence Graff is good at what he does, which is supplying jewelry. He is a supplier of jewelry not just in Europe, but also in other parts of the world. According to Forbes, Graff has an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion and is currently the 299th wealthiest person in the world.
Graff became an apprentice while he was only a teenager (at 15). He started off by entering into a partnership with a jeweler known as Schindler. The two specialized in creating and repairing small pieces of jewelry. After some time, the small shop at which the two were operating their small business from went out of business, compelling the two business partners to part ways. Graff started selling his jewelry designs independently, and soon after that, he was selling jewelry designs to different jewelers all over Europe.
By 1962, Graff owned two jewelry shops, including the Graff Diamonds Company. He not only sold jewelry all over England, but he made supplies to wealthy customers beyond the boarders. Some of his notable clients from that era included the 29th Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah and Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz. Graff has managed to go far and wide to expand his empire, and has famous celebrities and wealthy people as his clients. So far, he has more than 35 stores in different parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, US, Middle East and Africa.
When Graff’s attention is not on diamonds, then it will definitely be on contemporary and modern art. He is a passionate collector of such art, and even sits on the Board of Governors of various museums from different parts of the world. Graff is also a philanthropist and supports various charities through his Graff Diamonds Foundation. He is the founder of the FACET foundation that extends grants to charitable projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
His contribution to the jewelry industry hasn’t been unnoticed. Graff was appointed the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 Birthday Honors. In July 2013, he was named as one of the world’s top 200 art collectors by Art News.
Graff is married to Anne-Marie, whom he married in 1962. Together they have two sons (Francois and Stephane) and a daughter (Kristelle). Graff also admitted to have fathered a child out of wedlock with a woman named Josephine Daniel.
Interesting Facts about Laurence Graff