Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laurence Graff

Net Worth:$2.2 bil
Fortune:self made
Source:diamond jewelry
Country Of Citizenship:United Kingdom
Marital Status:married, 3 children

Jewelry business insiders call British diamond merchant Graff the new Harry Winston. Specializing in the highest end of jewelry retailing, Graff has 30 stores worldwide. Clients include the Sultan and Queen of Brunei and Donald Trump. As financial markets tanked this year, Graff made bold public purchases, including the 35-carat Wittelsbach Diamond, which he snapped up in December at a Christie's auction in London for $24 million, the most ever paid for a diamond at auction. A self-made tycoon, Graff spent childhood in London's gritty East End, dropping out of school at age 14 to become a jeweler's apprentice. In 2008 Graff achieved full vertical integration when he bought a stake in publicly traded diamond miner Gem Diamonds. Other assets include jewelry company Graff Diamonds International, a polished diamond trading company in Antwerp, a real estate company in Luxembourg and a stake in a South African diamond wholesaler. Graff splits his time between homes in Gstaad, London, Cap Ferrat, New York City and his 150-foot Feadship yacht. Also owns a vineyard and winery in Stellenbosch, the Napa Valley of South Africa, and an extensive modern and contemporary art collection.

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