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Graff Engagement Rings

The British jeweler Sir Laurence Graff (b. 1938) became utterly mesmerized by diamonds when he undertook his first apprenticeship at age 15 in London’s Hatton Garden jewelry district. It wasn't long before he established his now-celebrated eponymous brand, which produces engagement rings, necklaces, rings, earrings, stand-alone jewels, watches and more — all entirely in-house.

Graff had enrolled in classes at Central School of Arts and Crafts, and while he initially showed promise and was highly regarded, the shop owner, Mr. Schindler — who had his apprentice scrubbing floors and toilets — soon changed his tune, deeming him subpar. Undeterred, Graff learned to repair rings and designed small jewels at a humble workbench in his bedroom. He opened a 24-hour ring-repair service with a business partner and, in 1960, founded his luxury house. Two retail locations followed in London in 1962. Graff would go on to become one of the finest diamantaires in the world and was appointed an OBE in 2013 by Queen Elizabeth for his services to the jewelry industry.

Graff is known for handling some of the most famous diamonds in the world, including the Windsor Yellows, the Paragon, the Lesotho Promise and the Wittelsbach-Graff. He also purchased the 302.37-carat Graff Lesedi La Rona, which, at the time, was the largest diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA certified the diamond — then the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond on record — as being of highest color and highest clarity. Lucara Diamond Corporation workers discovered the 1,109-carat rough diamond in 2015 at the Karowe mine in Botswana, and after Graff purchased the diamond in 2017, his gemologists and craftsmen spent more than 18 months polishing its final facets.

While many jewels, such as the Graff Lesedi La Rona, remain in Graff’s collection, he does sell extremely high-quality stand-alone jewels. Gems in his showrooms can reportedly fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars on average. Although these stones are perhaps slightly out of the budget of a typical Graff jewelry client, the house does work with more reasonably priced, but no less exceptional gems for its collections.

Naturally, diamonds feature prominently in Graff jewelry, which is known for being more avant-garde than traditional, although Graff does create classic engagement rings, too. The jeweler’s ready-to-wear collections integrate naturalistic motifs like butterflies, bows and sunbursts, as well as striking silhouettes like the crisscrossed Kiss, the clustered Threads and the swirling Inspired by Twombly line, which pays homage to the work of American painter and sculptor Cy Twombly. And while diamonds are the main focus for Graff, his jewelry occasionally features other precious and semiprecious stones.

Browse Graff watches, rings, earrings and other accessories on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Graff
Graff Platinum Cushion Cut Diamond Promise Ring 0.90ct G/VS1
By Graff
Located in London, GB
A gorgeous platinum diamond engagement ring by Graff from the Promise collection. The centre of the ring is adorned with a cushion cut diamond weighing 0.90ct, G colour and VS1 clari...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary British Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

Graff 0.57 Carat Diamond Promise Ring
By Graff
Located in London, GB
Here we have a fabulous diamond engagement ring from the luxury jewellery designer Graff. The ring features a single round brilliant cut diamond at the centre. This principal stone s...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

Vintage GRAFF GIA Certified Oval Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring in Platinum
By Graff
Located in London, GB
A beautiful vintage GRAFF oval cut diamond three stone ring set in platinum. The piece is centrally set with a sparkly certified 0.57 carat oval cut diamon...
Category

2010s Modern Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

GRAFF Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring
By Graff
Located in Rome, IT
GRAFF Diamond set in a 18k & Platinum Ring
Category

2010s American Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, White Diamond, 18k Gold, White Gold, Platinum

Exceptional 2.34 Carat GIA Certified Diamond Ring in Platinum by Graff
By Graff
Located in Lucerne, CH
The world famous Graff Diamonds was founded in 1960 in London. From its early days, it creates unique jewelry that radiate the divine essence of femininity through their timeless design. Collection of Graff designs really captures the imagination, but one of the most desirable pieces are the iconic diamond rings. This radiant ring in platinum is set with an exceptional 2.34 carats brilliant of H color and vvs2 clarity. As an elegant touch, the stone has beautiful shoulders of 2 pear-shaped diamonds of F-H colour and vs clarity totaling 0.62 carats. The centerpiece is accompanied by GIA Diamond Grading Report Nr. 2215435651, dated 30 January 2021. The ring also comes with an original Graff box...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary European Modern Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

WGI certified 10.70 carat emerald cut diamond - 1.40 carat trillion cut diamonds
By Graff
Located in Monte-Carlo, MC
"950" platinium elegant ring designed with 1 emerald cut center natural diamond weighing 10.70 carat surronded by 2 trillion natural cut diamonds weighing 1.40 carat. Quality of the...
Category

2010s Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold, Platinum

Graff 18K Yellow Gold 1.27 ct Yellow and White Diamond Ring
By Graff
Located in Southampton, PA
There’s something stunning about this impeccable ring from Graff. This luxury piece features a 2mm wide band crafted from 18K Yellow Gold, which comes ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, White Diamond, Yellow Gold, 18k Gold

Graff 10.01 Carat GIA H VS1 Cushion Cut Diamond Ring
By Graff
Located in New York, NY
This Graff diamond ring crafted in Platinum features a 10.01-carat Cushion Cut diamond as the center stone with H color and VS1 clarity, it is set w...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

Graff GIA Certified 0.74 Carat Marquise Ring with Round White and Pink Diamonds
By Graff
Located in New York, NY
A stunning Graff GIA Certified 0.74 carat Marquise Ring with Round White and Pink Diamonds, made in 18 Karat Yellow Gold. The GIA Certificate states that the 0.74 carat Marquise Diam...
Category

20th Century Graff Engagement Rings

Materials

Diamond, Pink Diamond, 18k Gold

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Previously Available Items
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Graff Platinum Cushion Cut Diamond Promise Ring 0.90ct G/VS1
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GIA Graff Natural Fancy Yellow Diamond 18K Yellow Gold Engagement Ring
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Graff Flame Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring 1.03ct I/VVS2 GIA Certified
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Graff Diamond Pink Sapphire Engagement / Cocktail Ring in 18K Gold "As New"
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Graff 'Diamond on Diamond' White Gold Ring
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Graff Diamond and Yellow Diamond 'Diamond on Diamond' White Gold Ring
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Graff 5.03ct. Fancy Intense Yellow Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Platinum
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Located in New York, NY
Three-Stone Estate Engagement Ring signed by Graff with a 5.03 ct. radiant cut fancy intense yellow diamond with VS2 clarity graded by GIA, finely crafted and set in 18 karat yellow ...
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Untreated Pink Sapphire Ring by Graff, 7.51 Carats
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Shop Antique, New and Vintage Engagement Rings on 1stDibs

Shopping for the right antique, new or vintage engagement ring can prove daunting. Whether you’re looking for that perfect Art Deco engagement ring, an antique Edwardian period engagement ring or a fashionable contemporary alternative, it’s important to choose a style that speaks to you.

Rings have long been signifiers of marriage and committed relationships. The modern diamond engagement ring can be traced back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria commissioned an expensive diamond ring for his betrothed. Diamond rings subsequently became extremely popular among the European aristocracy. Later, during the Victorian era, the popularity of diamond engagement rings had filtered down to the middle class, owing to the increasing accessibility — and affordability — of gold and diamonds.

Authentic antique Victorian-era engagement rings were frequently set in rose or yellow gold and they are highly collectible. Designs for Victorian engagement rings often featured repoussé work and chasing, in which patterns are hammered into the metal. Diamonds were likely to be small rose- or old-mine-cut (the ancestor of today’s cushion-cut) stones. The former are often associated with antique styles like Victorian or Georgian, as rose-cut diamonds are uncommon in modern jewelry. The diamonds were typically set in a group of five in a band or as a solitaire.

Victorian-era engagement rings also saw other gemstones accompanying diamonds. Small seed pearls and moonstones were popular. Other sentimental and romantic motifs such as hearts and stars took hold as well. When Prince Albert became engaged to Queen Victoria, he gave her a serpent ring with emerald eyes, her birthstone. This initiated a widespread craze for snake jewelry.

In 1886, esteemed American luxury firm Tiffany & Co. introduced its solitaire diamond design, which is still among the most popular styles of engagement rings. The Tiffany Setting raises the stone above the band on six prongs, allowing its facets to catch the light and reflect through the stone.

French jewelry house Cartier, which pioneered the use of platinum in fine jewelry and helped define Art Deco, ​​sought to render the diamonds in their engagement rings and other rings as brilliantly as possible. The brand’s timeless Solitaire 1895 engagement ring gave the impression of delicate lace.

Edwardian and, afterward, Art Deco engagement rings that followed in the wake of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 would be characterized by complex geometric designs and platinum settings. Owing to the Art Nouveau movement, nature was a major theme for Edwardian jewelry, while the diamond ring designs of the Art Deco period were inspired by Cubism as well as ancient Egypt. Art Deco engagement rings are bold and colorful and feature gems cut in nontraditional ways.

Engagement rings designed during World War II were made from two-toned metals and smaller stones. Large stones were scarce, and platinum was reserved for the military. Postwar engagement rings were intended to be simpler and focused on the beauty of the diamond. In 1947, De Beers Consolidated Mines, with the support of Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer & Son, introduced the slogan “A diamond is forever” in a marketing campaign that emphasized a connection between diamonds and romance. Diamond sales skyrocketed, and diamond engagement rings became intertwined with the post–World War II marriage boom, which coincided with the ascension of specific diamond cuts.

The round brilliant cut, which consists of an astounding 58 facets, continues to be the most popular cut to this day. Jewelers such as Harry Winston had already gained a reputation for his talents by the time the De Beers campaign debuted, and he is said to have favored emerald-cut diamonds.

For everything from understanding the 4Cs to choosing between antique, vintage, contemporary and custom styles, get expert tips to help you find just the right ring. 

When you’re ready to mark your momentous occasion, find a vast collection of engagement rings on 1stDibs.

Questions About Graff Engagement Rings
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 27, 2024
    Yes, Graff is high-end. Since its founding by Sir Laurence Graff, the British jewelry maker has become well known for carefully crafting jewelry using premium precious metals and gemstones. Graff is known for handling some of the most famous diamonds in the world, including the Windsor Yellows, the Paragon, the Lesotho Promise and the Wittelsbach-Graff. On 1stDibs, find a wide range of Graff jewelry.

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