The Black Orlov Diamond: Monday Mystery Part 4

Oct 15, 2012

Embed from Getty Images

It seems as though all the best cursed gemstones come from India. The Black Orlov, also known as the Eye of Brahma Diamond, is a 67.50 carat black beauty believed to come out of India in the 19th century. The original diamond was said to have been an un-cut 195 carats, but even at its current state, it remains the largest black diamond to date.

Legend says that the Black Orlov originally served as one of the eyes in a statue of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation in Pondicherry. The diamond was stolen from the statue by a traveling monk and the stone has remained cursed since. After that point, the diamond’s history gets slightly obscured.

Embed from Getty Images

Explore King Jewelers Exclusive Collections of Diamond Jewelry from Top Designers

The diamond was brought to the United States by diamond dealer J.W. Paris in 1932. Not long after, he was said to have committed suicide by jumping off a skyscraper in New York City. In the early 1900s, two women were owners of the diamond, Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov (for whom the diamond is named) and Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky. Both of these women were also to have said to committed suicide by jumping as well.

Charles F. Winson later purchased the diamond and had it set into a brooch with a halo of 108 round-cut diamonds. It is said that he cut the diamond into a smaller size to detract from the diamond’s terrible curse. The brooch hangs from a strand necklace of 124 diamonds. Later the diamond was bought by Dennis Petimezas in 2004 who was quoted as saying that he was “pretty confident that the curse has been broken.” Today, the Black Orlov diamond is part of the proud collection of the American Museum of Natural History, along with the Delhi Purple Sapphire.

However, it is highly debatable today how much of the Black Orlov’s story is true. Most black diamonds come from Brazil and Africa, rather than India. Most Hindus consider the color black to be unfavorable. History also indicates that Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky lived to a ripe old age of 102 and while most historians doubt the existence of a Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov, there was a Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov. This woman is recorded to have left Russian after the revolution and she may have sold jewels to pay for the journey.

Whether the story is true or not, the rule of thumb appears to remain that all famous diamonds have some degree of notoriety. After all, if assured death or a cursed life doesn’t discourage a thief, not much else will.

See Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 of the Monday Mystery series.

Established in 1912, the King family has owned and operated King Jewelers for five generations while building an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value, and first-class service. Today, King Jewelers has brick-and-mortar stores located in Aventura, FL, and Nashville, TN, both of which have won numerous regional and national awards of distinction. Offering a magnificent selection of fine jewelry collections including the hottest Italian designs, estate jewelry, colored gemstones, and fancy-colored diamonds, as well as luxury European timepieces, King Jewelers prides itself in being one step ahead of the trend. Additionally, King Jewelers offers on-site jewelry and watch repairs, custom design services, appraisals, estate buying, and corporate gift programs. For more information, visit www.kingjewelers.com.

Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing to your newsletter. We’ll keep you posted on the latest news and updates with King Jewelers.

Great! You ‘ve been added to our mailing list

Recommended For You

Based on your recently viewed products

Latest Editorials

Find out what's up and coming in King Jewelers
Girard Perregaux Unveils New Laureato Absolute Martin F1 Edition
Blog

Girard Perregaux Unveils New Laureato Absolute Martin F1 Edition

May 13, 2022
10 Luxury Graduation Gift Ideas for 2022 Graduates
Blog

10 Luxury Graduation Gift Ideas for 2022 Graduates

May 6, 2022
Bell & Ross Becomes the Official Timekeeper of GRID Legends
Blog

Bell & Ross Becomes the Official Timekeeper of GRID Legends

April 25, 2022
Mother’s Day Trunk Show
Blog

Mother’s Day Trunk Show

April 13, 2022
READ MORE ARTICLES

Stay up to date

Follow us on Instagram and catch the latest updates

Sign in

Forgot your password?
login using fbSign in with facebook Create an account

Create an account

Must be at least 12 characters

Forgot Password

Enter your email address below, and if an account exists, we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Select your ring size

Need help with your ring size? Read our article here. Don't see your size? Contact us!

Add to bag

Select your ring size

Need help with your ring size? Read our article here. Don't see your size? Contact us!

Add to favorites

Oops! We've run out of stock.

Filter By

    Filter By