Black Diamond Rings
Curse of the Black Orlov?
No mysterious diamond worth its salt would be complete without a curse attached
Such is the case with The Black Orlov – sometimes called The Eye of Brahma.
Whether it is true or not is almost beside the point. The mere fact that the
story exists is enough to spur interest. Roughly, the tale goes as follows. The
diamond in question was once one of the eyes of the Hindu Idol of Brahma in
Pondicherry, India. Somewhere along the line, a rebellious monk stole the
195-carat stone. From that point on, the stone was cursed. Little is known for
certain until 1932. In that year, a European diamond dealer, J.W. Paris,
imported the jewel to the United States. Shortly after its arrival, he jumped to
his death from one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan. The jewel had also
been in the possession, successively, of two white Russian princesses: Leonila
Galitsine-Bariatinsky and Nadia Vyegin-Orlov – from the latter taking its name.
In 1947, within weeks of each other, these two also jumped to their deaths in
In the 1950s, the New York gem dealer, Charles F. Winson, acquired the stone. In
an effort to break the black diamond’s curse, the stone was re-cut to a
67.5-carat cushion, set in a 108-diamond brooch and suspended from a 124-diamond
necklace. After several sales and re-sales, at varying prices and without
incident, The Black Orlov was sold to Pennsylvania diamond dealer, Dennis
Petimezas in 1995 for 1.5 million dollars. He has since put a two million dollar
price tag on the piece. The Black Orlov has most recently graced the necks of
Nicole Sheridan and Felicity Huffman at the last two Academy Award ceremonies.
Since these two actresses are alive and well and appearing in the phenomenally
successful television series, “Desperate Housewives”, it looks like the curse of
the Black Orlov has been finally put to rest. So, should you care to pony up the
asking price, you can feel safe in your purchase.
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