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Article: The Black Orlov: The Fascinating Story Of The Cursed Diamond

The Black Orlov: The Fascinating Story Of The Cursed Diamond - DSF Antique Jewelry

The Black Orlov: The Fascinating Story Of The Cursed Diamond

The story of the Black Orlov Diamond continues to captivate collectors and jewelry enthusiasts, as it is said to be cursed. Have you heard this intriguing tale?

Originating from India in the 19th century, this 67.50-carat diamond, also known as the Eye of Brahma Diamond, was once part of a much larger uncut 195-carat diamond.
According to legend, the uncut stone served as one of the eyes in a statue of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, located in a shrine in Pondicherry, southern India. It is believed that a wandering monk took the diamond from the statue, leading to its cursed reputation.
The Black Orlov  Fascinating Story Of The Cursed Diamond
The Black Orlov (source : YouTube Screenshot)

The history of the seventh-largest black diamond ever discovered is full of twists and turns, featuring larger-than-life characters, conspiracies, gray areas, and little white lies. Despite this, the diamond's allure and mysticism have never waned.

The Curse of the Black Orlov

The Black Orlov is said to have been connected to three suicides in the first half of the 20th century. One story revolves around a European diamond salesman named Mr. J.W. Paris, who imported the diamond to the United States in 1932 to find a buyer. He allegedly sold the diamond a week after arriving in New York and then tragically committed suicide by jumping from a Manhattan skyscraper on April 7 of the same year. While this tale is widely known, there is no confirmed evidence to support it.

The Russian Princesses

Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov, a Russian heiress, was the owner of the Black Orlov during the early 20th century. She earned the diamond its moniker "black diamond" due to a later incident that gave rise to the diamond's mythology. Like many Russian royals during the 1917 Russian Revolution, Princess Nadia sought refuge in Rome, Italy. She tragically jumped to her death from a skyscraper in Rome on December 2, 1947, just 15 years after J.W. Paris's death.
The circumstances of her passing remain unclear. Another Russian noblewoman, Princess Leonila Viktorovna-Bariatinsky, also died in a similar manner just one month before Princess Nadia. Princess Leonila had previously owned the Black Orlov Diamond, which added to the diamond's mysterious reputation.

The Origins of the Black Orlov

The Black Orlov's history has many uncertainties. While some experts argue that India is an unlikely origin for a black diamond, as the region is not known for producing them, the lack of fact-checking in the past and the allure of the story make it difficult to disregard.
The stone's journey to Russia and how Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov acquired it are also shrouded in mystery. In fact, there is no official record of such a princess in Russia.

The Myth

Recent studies have questioned the authenticity of Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov and the diamond's Indian provenance, casting doubts on the early history of the Black Orlov. Nevertheless, the diamond was eventually recut into three separate stones in an attempt to break the curse, and subsequent owners of the Black Orlov, now in a pendant form with a diamond laurel wreath surround, seem to have avoided misfortune.

The Black Orlov Diamond, with its unique cushion shape and striking gun-metal hue, is considered one of the rarest of its kind. Black crystalline diamonds are already uncommon, making the Black Orlov even more extraordinary.

Charles F. Winson acquired the diamond and decided to break it into three parts in a bid to break the curse. The 67.5-carat Black Orlov, along with a 108-diamond brooch, was suspended from a necklace adorned with 124 diamonds. Dennis Petimezas, a diamond trader, purchased the diamond in 2004, stating that he was confident the curse had been broken.

The Black Orlov Diamond is now on display at the Natural History Museum in London and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Its captivating history and aura of mystery continue to enthrall all who encounter it.
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