Founded by Laurence Graff 57 years ago, Graff Diamonds today has more than 50 stores around the world, including three in Hong Kong. And, in May, its flagship store in Central hosted the Rare Jewels Exhibition, where masterpieces such as the Graff Fascination and the Carissa collection were on display.

The Carissa collection is inspired by a flower – the carissa, which means “beloved” in Greek. This elegant five-petalled flower is native to South Africa. And in the gardens of Graff’s sprawling Delaire estate, set in Africa’s wine country, the carissa is painstakingly cultivated.

The Carissa collection comprises a bib necklace, cascading earrings and a chunky bracelet. As with all Graff pieces, the gemstones are the focus and there is very little metal visible. Every piece boasts serious carat weight – the all-diamond necklace is 98.02ct, the matching bracelet and earrings are 31.93ct and 17.58ct, respectively. Using exquisitely cut pear-shaped, round brilliant and marquise diamonds, the stones are arranged to display a lifelike 3D effect, much like real flowers.

There are four versions of the collection – rubies and diamonds, sapphires and diamonds, emeralds and diamonds, and all-diamond. The all-diamond version was on display at the exhibition.

But the true showstopper was the Graff Fascination. With an estimated value of US$40 million, it is one of the most expensive timepieces in the world, and Graff’s second-most expensive (after the Hallucination – a wristwatch entirely encrusted with diamonds and valued at US$55 million).

But the Fascination is no mere trinket. It is made up of 153 white diamonds of the highest quality and weighs a total of 152.96ct. The centrepiece is a large and rare D-colour internally flawless pear-shaped diamond of 38.13ct, cut and polished in-house.

The piece is convertible and can be worn as a watch, a bracelet or a ring. Keeping the central diamond in place makes it wearable as a sculptural bracelet, while removing the diamond and replacing it with a watch mechanism transforms it into a watch. Lastly, the central diamond can be inserted into a specially designed shank and worn as a ring. Despite its solid appearance, the bracelet is flexible and comfortable on the wrist, as every diamond along it is individually articulated.

As with all pieces of this calibre, the Fascination is the only one of its kind. For connoisseurs, the chance to view this outstanding piece was not to be missed.

Other large impressive diamonds at the exhibition included a massive 50.07ct cushion-cut yellow diamond and a D-colour flawless heart-shaped white diamond. The yellow diamond is graded fancy vivid yellow, and it is rare to find one of this size. It is set in a ring flanked by white diamonds.

Unfortunately, the heart-shaped diamond on display was not the Graff Venus – which was unveiled last year as the largest flawless heart-shaped diamond in the world – but it was nevertheless a very rare and beautiful piece, perfectly shaped and weighing a startling 42.72ct.

The heart-shaped diamond is one of the most difficult cuts to create due to the need for symmetry and its tricky proportions. The shape has seen a resurgence in popularity since Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj flaunted their engagement rings.

The event brought together more than 100 jewels, including a diamond necklace, with 62.51ct worth of vivid red rubies; a baroque diamond cuff bracelet and a matching sapphire and diamond bracelet, and double strand necklace. The Exhibition of Rare Jewels ran at Graff’s store on St. George’s Building, in Central.