WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the 95th annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony held by the National Park Service on the Ellipse near the White House on November 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

The chairman of Graff Diamonds has spoken out about Donald Trump’s claim to have slashed half off the price of the 15-carat engagement ring he purchased from the London-based brand.

When the President of the United States proposed to Melanie Trump in 2004, he told the media that he had bartered a $1 million discount on the $1.5 million ring in exchange for publicity.

Talking to the New York Times, Trump said: “Only a fool would say, ‘No thank you, I want to pay a million dollars more for a diamond”.


Last week the diamond company’s chairman, Laurence Graff, addressed the admission for the very first time, telling Forbes he never gave Mr Trump a discount.

Although he has not disclosed the price Trump did pay, Mr Graff says while it was a “pleasure” doing business with the now-president, he was given “no favours”.

Graff’s CFO. Nicholas Paine, reiterated: “We don’t sell items for publicity value.”

Another source told Forbes Mr Trump lied about the bargain, and actually paid the full sum immediately.

In the same year as the engagement ring purchase, Graff placed its product on The Apprentice in November, whereby the winning team of the second season received $50,000 to spend at the diamond jewellers New York location at the end on an episode.

In 2004, when the news of the exchange originally grabbed headlines, Graff declined to comment.

Neither Graff nor Forbes specify why the jeweller is commenting on the purchase 15 years later.

To add to the dispute, the weight of the ring has changed over the years, with The Post listing it at 13 carats, and The New York Times at 15 carats. Forbes safely lists it at “more than 10 carats.”