The Curse of the Black Orlov Diamond – Truth or Folklore?

What is the Black Orlov Diamond?

The Black Orlov Diamond is a 67.50-carat cushion cut black diamond, considered the 7th largest black diamond in the world. This one stone of many others with cursed names has a dark history and is shrouded in mystery. There are differing views as to whether the stone was really cursed, and there are a few strange occurrences that support the cursed stone lore.

The Eye of Brahma

Legend has it that in 19th century India, the 195-carat uncut black diamond was one of the eyes in a statue of the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma.

The stone is also known as the “Eye of Brahma”. The stone was stolen from the statue which stood in a shrine in Southern India, and after which it became cursed.

A Dark History With Tall Buildings

In 1932, the diamond was brought to the US by a European diamond dealer named J.W. Paris to sell the stone. Within one week of arriving in New York he had sold the diamond, and shortly thereafter, he jumped to his death from a skyscraper in the heart of 5th Avenue.

The diamond was also the possession of a Russian heir named Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov; the source of the black diamond’s name. In 1947, Princess Nadia leaped to her death from a building, in what was believed to have been a suicide.

Black Orlov Diamond Set in Diamond Necklace Setting on Display

Only one month earlier, another member of Russian royalty, Princess Leonila Viktorovna-Bariatinsky leap to her death in what again was also believed to have been a suicide. It was later discovered that at some point prior to her death she had been the owner of the Black Orlov Diamond.

In The Modern Era

In the 1950s, an attempt was made to finally break the curse when the diamond was re-cut at the request of its then owner, Charles F. Wilson. The diamond has since passed through the hands of several private dealers, none of whom seem to have been affected by the curse.

This mysterious necklace has even made an appearance at the Oscars, worn by actress Felicity Huffman in 2004. The 67.50-carat Black Orlov Diamond is currently set in a brooch with 108-diamonds and suspended from a necklace with another 124 diamonds.

The Black Orlov diamond has also been displayed in the American Museum of Natural History and in the London Museum of Natural History.

It is interesting that the setting of this supposed cursed stone is very similar to the setting of another cursed stone, The Hope Diamond. Both of these diamonds in their similar settings lead them to being commonly mistaken for each other.

If you want to learn more about the beautiful blue diamond which brought misfortune, insanity, and death to many of those who handled the stone, read our blog, “The Hope Diamond – Curse of the Most Famous Gemstone.”

Super Close Up of The Hope Diamond SIA Display

Restoring Jewelry Pieces

Though we’re not in the business of lifting curses, My Jewelry Repair can clean, polish, restore and repair your favorite pieces of diamond jewelry. Our experts are trained in handling all different metals, replacing gems, and will delicately care for your valuables, new or old.

Check out our homepage for more information, or fill out our online submission form to get started.

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