Thursday, January 6, 2011

Black Orlov Diamond

The Black Orlov diamond also known as “the Eye of Brahma,” was discovered in India in the early 1800’s. According to legend the 195-carat black diamond was allegedly found in a Hindu idol at a shrine near Pondicherry, India, where it was stolen by a Hindu monk. The theft of the diamond supposedly summoned a malicious spirit to embrace the Eye and the Eye’s owners.
The “cursed” jewel took its name from Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov in the late 1800’s. Coincidentally, the diamond was named the Black Orlov because of its “natural fancy black color but also to differentiate it from the Orlov Diamond, a 189.6 carat white diamond with its own storied past.
According to an Associated Press article, Princess Nadia Orlov leapt from a building in an apparent suicide in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 2, 1947, after fleeing during the Russian Revolution and selling her family jewels.
Russian Princess Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky also previously owned the Black Orlov. In a disturbing coincidence in November 1947, Galitsine-Bariatinsky also committed suicide by leaping from a building.
Some fifteen years earlier, J.W. Paris imported the Black Orlov into the United States and after securing the sale of the diamond also leapt to his death on April 7, 1932. After the two Russian princesses committed suicide, supposedly the curse was broken when Charles S. Winson, another jeweler in New York, purchased the Black Orlov on Friday, May 13, 1949.
Just another “cursed” gemstone.  If I were a treasure hunter, I would leave the gemstones.