Laurence Graff was bornon 13 June 1938 in Gstaad, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Laurence Graff is #339 in List Billionaires People In The World. Diamond king Laurence Graff built his business from nothing, after dropping out of school at age 14 and scrubbing toilets as a jeweler's apprentice in London's Hatton Garden. Now he operates at the top of the diamond jewelry market. Clients have included Elizabeth Taylor, the Sultan of Brunei, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Larry Ellison. In 2008 he achieved full vertical integration when he bought a stake in publicly traded diamond miner Gem Diamonds. His son Francois serves as CEO of Graff Diamonds International and Graff is chairman. His assets include a polished diamond trading venture in Switzerland, real estate in London's tony Mayfair district, and a stake in a South African diamond wholesaler. He splits his time between homes in Gstaad, London, Cap Ferrat, St. Tropez, New York City and his 150-foot Feadship yacht. He also owns Delaire Graff Estate, a vineyard and winery with a boutique hotel and restaurant in Stellenbosch, the Napa Valley of South Africa. His modern and contemporary art collection is worth more than $600 million and he collects vintage cars, including period Ferraris, Aston Martins and Mercedes. His company continues to expand with more than 50 stores worldwide.
Graff was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the jewellery industry
In 2008, Graff purchased the Wittelsbach Diamond for £16
By 1974, he had begun specialising in selling to newly rich buyers from the Middle East
In 1966 he commissioned the English jewellery-designer Robert Thomas to design a diamond jewel to enter into the De Beers Diamond International Awards competition
"In 1962, he married Anne-Marie Graff, who is French
Graff was born in Stepney in 1938 into a Jewish family, the son of a Romanian mother, Rebecca Segal, and a Russian father, Harry Graff
In particular, he supplied many jewels for Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei, who became a lifelong client and friend