The Black Orlov Diamond
I'm a sucker for a cursed diamond story and there is perhaps none more mysterious than the Black Orlov currently on display in London. The rare black diamond is said to have been cursed when it was removed from a Hindu idol in India two centuries ago. The stone, also known as the "Eye of Brahma" is a late addition to the exhibition. How cursed is it? At least three former owners seem to have killed themselves. In 1932 the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the United States, jumped to his death from one of New York's tallest buildings and 15 years later, a pair of Russian princesses, Nadia Vyegin-Orlov and Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky, leapt to their deaths within a month of each other. Hoping to escape the curse, the 195 carat stone was divided into three separate stones and the Black Orlov is a 67.5 carat stone which is set in a 108-diamond brooch suspended from a 124-diamond necklace. After the diamonds exhibition closes in February, the necklace will travel to California and some brave soul will wear it to the 2006 Oscars ceremony. I wonder who will be taking on the curse.