Stolen Graff jewel turns up in Hong Kong

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Jeweller to sue pawn shop after it refuses to hand back diamond.

A yellow diamond stolen from Graff on London’s Sloane Street in a 2007 robbery has surfaced in a Hong Kong pawn shop.

The stolen 16.64ct yellow diamond had been recut into a 16.28ct modified cushion-cut diamond but was still recognised by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in New York when it was sent by pawn shop Yau On Pawn for certification in 2011.

At the time of the robbery in 2007, when more than £13 million of jewellery was stolen in a single heist, police circulated details of the jewellery to jewellers around the globe but none of the items have turned up until now.

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Once the GIA determined that the diamond sent to it was a Graff stone it informed the British diamond company which in turn asked Yau On Pawn to return the stone in January last year. The pawn shop refused and so Graff has now taken the matter to court in the US claiming that as the diamond is stolen goods, Yau On Pawn has no right to the stone.

Yau On Pawn has denied recognising the stolen Graff diamond when it bought the stone from a customer for HKD3 million (£251,000). The store claims that the diamond was sold to it with full source documentation.

The 2007 robbery at Graff’s Sloane Street store was the stuff of legend when two suited-and-booted men arrived at the shop in a Bentley. Once inside the store they chatted briefly to staff before pulling out silver handguns and leaving with a haul of jewellery worth more than £13 million.

Graff declined to comment. 

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