Graff: Launch of New Tribal Collection Coincides with Spring Equinox

Long ago, there was a girl. One day, she took a handful of ash from a fire pit and threw it up into the air. The ash scattered and a star-lit road appeared in the sky. Ever since, this bright, starry trail has illuminated the earth at night with its soft light so that people can find their way home. This is an excerpt from Bushman folklore that tells the story of the girl who created the stars - the starting point for the creation of a new high jewellery collection by Graff called Tribal.

The launch of Tribal was timed to coincide with the Spring Equinox: 20 March, an unusual date after which the number of daylight hours noticeably increases and the length of night decreases. At the same time, nature begins to awaken and generously share its energy flows with us. In many cultures and religions, the Spring Equinox is a ritual day observed since ancient times, when our ancestors attributed human qualities and characteristics to heavenly bodies and natural phenomena.

A matching suite of diamond jewels from the Graff Tribal High Jewellery Collection

The Tribal collection contains approximately 35 pieces, the majority of which are one-of-a-kind. Sumptuous necklaces, pendants, long earrings and studs, cocktail rings and bracelets are imbued with mysterious symbolism. Take a closer look: the colourless diamonds represent a long and cold winter with accompanying monochrome landscapes; the yellow Fancy diamonds - the warm rays of the rising dawn; and a chic set of luscious green emeralds - the awakening of nature after a long hibernation.

Undoubtedly the most striking and, I am sure, the most labour-intensive set is the matching Colombian emerald and diamond necklace and earrings. Just imagine: the necklace alone required 418 carats of emeralds, and the two earrings - another 60 carats. Putting together emeralds that match each other in both colour and clarity, let alone in such quantities, is a challenging task that takes years of searching. But this, of course, did not stop Graff’s gemmologists.

Pieces from the Graff Tribal High Jewellery Collection, including a pair of earrings with 60 carats of emeralds and 9 carats of diamonds and a matching necklace with 418 carats of emeralds and 76 carats of diamonds

Now I would suggest taking a look at the collection’s most popular stone: the colourless diamond. The variety of cut diamond designs here reinforces Graff’s reputation for cutting, polishing and setting these incredible stones in-house, as a world leader in high-end diamonds. Don’t forget that Laurence Graff has acquired more significant diamonds in his lifetime than any other jeweller. Among them is the historic Graff Lesedi La Rona, a 302.37 carat D-colour diamond, the largest diamond with the highest colour and clarity ratings ever to be certified by the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America), and the largest square emerald cut diamond in the world.

Two necklaces from the Graff Tribal High Jewellery Collection with 52 carats and 43 carats of diamonds, respectively

Two necklaces from the Tribal collection are bestowed with a duo of yellow and colourless diamonds, 65 and 98 carats in total, as well as matching 15 and 25-carat earrings. The necklace with yellow pear-shaped diamonds faithfully mimics the design of its monochrome sibling, while the round Fancy diamonds have been granted an original design.

The collection also includes less opulent pendant necklaces that, regardless of the more modest carat weights, each boasts a sculptural, expressive form. This collection offers not one, but three diamond-centred jewellery declinations, each with its own equally recognisable qualities: Graff Gateway, New Dawn and Night Moon.

A 39 carat diamond necklace, a 4 carat diamond ring and a pair of 3 carat diamond earrings from the Graff Tribal High Jewellery Collection

The minimalist Graff Gateway earrings, ring and pendant are equally appropriate for day and night, but the Night Moon necklace is the perfect piece for the red carpet, boasting 43 carats of diamonds. The New Dawn jewels, meanwhile, symbolise life and energy, outwardly resembling a scorching sun whose rays are visible from beyond the horizon.

Tribal’s advertising campaign has been thought through down to the smallest details, just like the collection itself. The Graff team travelled to South Africa for the photo shoot, together with fashion photographer Mikael Jansson and Portuguese supermodel Sara Sampaio, who has previously shone in the brand’s creations. The setting chosen was stark: just rolling desert sands, Sara and crescent-shaped steel sculptures visible in the frame, with the obvious message: nothing should distract attention from the beauty of Graff’s jewellery.

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