Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond
The story of the Golden Empress, a remarkably large 132.55 ct Fancy Intense yellow diamond, starts when Graff the London-based diamond House founded by Laurence Graff in 1960, acquires a 299.35 ct yellow diamond found in 2010 at the mythical Letšeng mine in Lesotho, a mine in activity since 1968 with a significant improvement in efficiency after 2004, especially in the recovery of large diamonds with some remarkable gem finds since then. The crystal was finally cut into nine stones by master cutters at Safdico after months of study, a period that is common in the planning and cutting large and/or very special diamonds like this one, particularly if colour is involved. Note that proper planning and cut proportions will play a critical role in keeping the colour within the stone, bringing the best possible hue and brilliance to face up colour (remember that a fancy colour grade is determined by the colour in the face up position) and in a gem of this importance it justifies the time spent studying it to achieve the best result possible. The actual cutting and polishing process at the wheel also took many months in the making. The largest stone, named "The Golden Empress”, reached 132.55 ct with a Fancy Intense yellow colour grade (VVS1 clarity). Six more fancy colours were cut into pear shapes (largest 21.34 ct), and two smaller ones as round brilliants.
The diamond was seen used as a pendant in a lavish yellow diamond necklace by Graff accented with 30 more fancy coloured diamonds.