dark steely grey stone is a cushion cut, 67 carat diamond. The
Black Orlov has been exhibited at several exhibitions including
the State Fair of Texas in 1964, The Carnegie Museum and the American
Museum of Natural History.
Charles Winson owned the gem he valued it $150,000. The New York
jeweler began showing the black diamond in the early 1950's. In
1969 Winson sold it for $300,000. It has since been bought and
sold several times. The latest being at Sotheby's in 1990 for
$99,000 and again in 1995 by the auction house for for $1.5 million.
history of the stone has been shrouded in mystery. Legend is that
once the black diamond was called The Eye of Brahma. It was supposedly
an uncut stone of 195 carats. This stone was set into an idol
in the vicinity of Pondicherry, India and stolen by a monk. Some
say that black is a bad luck color for Hindus and they would never
have put a black stone on an idol. Research shows that in the
Hindu belief of the 3 eyes - one is the sun and one is the moon,
on opposite sides of the head. The sun represents the light and
the moon, the dark. So it may have been that a black diamond would
have been used for the "moon eye."
to our Black Orlov Diamond - legend also says that it once belonged
to the Russian Princess Nadia Orlov. Many sources disregard this
by saying there never was a princess by that name.
I have found is that there WAS a Russian Princess by the name
of Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov. Now the familiar name Nadia is often
associated with the more formal Nadezhda. So, there is possibility.
Petrovna Orlov fled Russian after the revolution and may have
sold jewels to fund the journey - as many of the nobility did.
Many jewels were being sold at the time of the Russian Revolution.
would also like to put forward my theory that the Orlov family
had estates on "the Black Lake" and also bred horses
known as Black Orlov's. It doesn't seem a stretch that the Black
Orlov may have well indeed belonged to a Russian Princess Orlov.
should be noted that another large diamond, known as The Orlov,
was purchased by Prince Orlov as a gift for Catherine the Great.
This diamond also has a legend of being stolen from an idol in
India. Perhaps the history of the 2 Orlov diamonds became muddled
unsubstantiated rumors of a curse on the Black Orlov Diamond are
being spread. The owner and diamond dealer who purchased the black
diamond in 2004, Dennis Petimezas, currently has the diamond on
tour. He "says" he has researched the diamond and claims:
1947 Princess Nadia Vyegin Orlov and Princess Leonila Galitsine
Bariatinsky - both former owners of the Black Orlov - leapt to
their deaths in apparent suicides. Fifteen years earlier, J.W.
Paris, the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the USA, jumped
from one of New York's tallest buildings shortly after concluding
the sale of the jewel."
such events can be found however. Princess Leonilla Bariatinska
lived to the ripe old age of 102, d -1918 in Switzerland. And
the Princess (Nadia) Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov lived to be 90 years,
d - 1988 in France. We can find no mention anywhere of a jeweler
who jumped in New York.
can only suppose (until such time as concrete evidence can be
shown) that the current "hype" by the owner of the Black
Orlov is to promote his loaning it be worn at the Oscars.