Famous Black Diamonds

The Spirit of de Grisogono

At any size or shape, black diamonds are found once in a blue moon, and The Spirit of de Grisogono is the world’s largest cut black diamond. The diamond was originally found in West Central Africa at an astonishing weight of 587 carats before being exported to Switzerland and taken to the Swiss jeweller de Grisogono, owned by the renowned ‘Father of the Black Diamond’, Fawaz Gruoni. It took Gruoni 3 years to cut the diamond down to a weight of 312.24 carats. The black diamond is now set into a ring containing 702 smaller white diamonds on a large mount of white gold which has inspired many black diamond engagement ring designs today.

The Amsterdam Black Diamond

Some coloured diamonds are known for their carats, others for their iconic shaped cut, but the Amsterdam Diamond is known for its intrinsic high quality. The Amsterdam Black Diamond was found in 1972 by D. Drukker and Sons Jeweller Company, based in Amsterdam, at a mine in Africa. The stone’s unusually pure black colour is caused by the presence of small graphite particles within the lattice. The diffusions within the feathers are similar to the mechanisms observed in storm clouds. The gem is officially classified as fancy black, natural by the Gemmological Institute of America, and is regarded as one of the highest quality diamonds in history.

The Black Orlov

The Black Orlov is believed by many to have been discovered in the early 19th century in a mine in India. It was then cut down to a more circular shape and to a weight of 67.50 carats. The diamond’s mythological origins state that it was one of the eyes of the Hindu god Brahma in ancient Pondicherry, the ‘French Riviera of the East,’ until it was stolen by a monk. According to the story, this act of thievery caused the diamond to be cursed forever.

Even stranger than the spiritual beliefs connected to the Black Orlov are the stories and legends surrounding it that can be found in recorded history. In 1932, a diamond dealer named J.W. Paris took the diamond from India to the United States, and was soon after reported to have leapt to his death from a skyscraper in New York City. In 1947, two Russian princesses fell victim to the same fate, Leonila Galatsine Bariatinsky and Nadia Vygin Orlov (who gave the Orlov its name), allegedly committed suicide, in the same way, within a month of each other.

The Korloff Noir Diamond

The Korloff Noir diamond is at the other end of the superstition scale. It is also a stone of impressive size at 421 carats, but its true claim to fame is the luck and good fortune it seems to bring to all who touch it. Notables such as Pete Sampras, Gary Kasparov and Alexei Yagudin have all given a little bit of credit to this gem for their personal successes after touching it.