The Black Orlov has one of the most seemingly sinister histories of any famous diamond. With three owners leaping to their deaths, this stone was said to be cursed until its recutting in the 1950s. Discriminating collectors may add this unique black stone to their cache with a museum-quality cubic zirconia replica from The Stonecutter.
Weight of Rough:
28.12 x 25.78 x 13.89 mm
The Black Orlov’s color is the result of iron-based compounds—free iron, magnetite and hematite—within the diamond.
The Black Orlov was found in India. The stone is also known as “The Eye of Brahma” because it was believed to be set as the eye in a statue of the Hindu god in a temple in Pondicherry. According to legend, the stone was stolen by a monk, beginning a 300-year curse.
The diamond’s first “victim” was J.W. Paris, a diamond dealer who acquired the stone in 1932 and brought it to the United States. Within a week of his arrival, Paris sold the diamond and jumped to his death from the top of a skyscraper in Manhattan.
The next two owners suffered similar fates. In 1947, Russian princesses Leonila Viktorovna-Bariatinsky and Nadia Vygin-Orlov (after whom the stone was named) both committed suicide by leaping from buildings.
In the 1950s, Austrian jeweler Charles F. Wilson acquired the Black Orlov and had the stone recut in an attempt to break the curse. Reducing the original stone from 195 carats to 67.5, the smaller Black Orlov was set in the center of a 108-carat brooch, which hung from a 124-carat diamond necklace. The Black Orlov has since passed through the hands of many private owners, none of whom have suffered untimely deaths, so the curse seems to have been laid to rest with the recutting commissioned by Wilson.
With the diamond’s demons released, you can safely add the Black Orlov to your collection. The Stonecutter creates exacting replicas that offer the same lustrous black color and superb symmetry as the historic diamond itself. Order your Black Orlov replica online, and contact us for jeweler recommendations to set the stone.
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