Famous Black Diamonds

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

November 18, 2016

Perhaps you already read about the origins of black diamonds. Now it's time to find out what the most spectacular and historically important famous black diamonds are that are found on this beautiful earth. Let me tell you about the 4 stunning black diamonds that my colleagues and I would do anything for to get their hands on.

No 1. Black Amsterdam Diamond

The Black Amsterdam Diamond in pendant and loose
When found in the mine, this rough diamond was 55.85 carat. After cutting, it was still a staggering 33,74-carat black diamond. The Black Amsterdam Diamond comes from South Africa, in 1972. It thanks its name to the city where it got cut. The diamond is now a beautiful pear shape fancy black diamond. After cutting it in this shape, the polisher named the stone “The Black Amsterdam Diamond” in honor of the 700th year anniversary of the city. A perfect fit because Amsterdam’s nickname is the City of Diamonds. It was an example of amazing craftsmanship that the rough diamond was cut at all. Because the original rock was extremely hard and porous. The stone is currently in a pendant with 15 brilliant (white) diamonds. A true mark of pride that confirms the renowned craftsmanship of the Amsterdam diamond polishers.

No 2. The “Spirit of the Grisogono”

The Spirit of the Grisogono set in a ring
To this day, this black beauty is still the world’s largest cut black diamond ever. And it is the fifth largest diamond in the world. It originates from Central Africa and was 587 carat when it rose from the earth. Word spread around the world and famous craftsmen – including the ones from Coster Diamonds – were potential candidates to cut it. But the honor finally went to the renowned Swiss jeweler: “Grisogono”. Their polishers used the same techniques the Coster craftsmen and -women were famous for. These techniques were also used to polish the famous “Indian stones of the Moguls”. When the diamond was done, it weighed 312.24 carats. Gisogono put it in a white gold ring with 702 smaller white diamonds to a total of 36.69 carats. Now that’s a statement ring!

No 3. The Rembrandt

The black Rembrandt with Rijksmuseum Amsterda
Another one Amsterdam’s stunning famous black diamonds. This 42.27-carat black diamond gets its name because it was revealed at the Rijksmuseum (located next to Royal Coster) by Rembrandt specialist Gerry Schwartz. Cut from a 125-carat rough black diamond, it took three years and three days to polish this extremely hard stone. Now, it is a remarkable brilliant cut diamond shape. This black diamond is now a beautiful collier alongside a row of brilliant-cut white diamonds. The diamond is on display at the Diamond Museum Amsterdam.

No 4. The Black Orlov

The Black Orlov Diamond in necklace and loose
The Black Orlov’s nickname is the Eye of Brahma. You can see why the diamond reminds one at the eye of the Hindu god of creation. The story that goes with it probably makes it the most famous black diamond in this list. It weighs 67.5 carat and the rough stone weighed 195 carats.

This black diamond was found in India in the early 19th century. It was in a statue of the Hindu god Brahma in Pondicherry. The diamond stayed there until the news came out someone stole it. According to legend, a holy monk stole the diamond and the stone became cursed. Proof? Well, the curse showed its devilish powers for the first time in 1932. The diamond merchant J.W. Paris committed suicide by jumping from a skyscraper in New York after he brought the cursed stone to America. Subsequent owners, including two Russian princesses, also committed suicide by jumping from tall buildings. One of these princesses names was Nadia Vygin-Orlov. That’s why this diamond’s name is The Black Orlov.

Break the curse of the Black Orlov

To break the curse, another owner, Charles F. Winson, split the stone into three pieces instead of one. Lifting a curse is just that easy, I guess. These 3 black diamonds were later put in a brooch along with 108 white brilliant cut diamonds. These came from the necklace where the Orlov originally was set in when it was still in one piece. Today, the black diamond is on display at the Natural History Museum in London.
And about that curse? Remember that the diamond went through the hands of dozens of owners and in that time people died a lot faster. But having a great story to tell, makes a diamond even more desirable. So, maybe cursed after all… (No, it wasn’t.)

No 5. The Sergio

polished and rough sergio black diamond
The Segio is a black carbonado diamond. This rare 3167-carat diamond was discovered in 1895 in the state of Bahia in Brazil. Black carbonado diamonds are rare and the Sergio is the largest carbonado ever. It is also the largest rough diamond ever. That makes it the first diamond in the list of largest diamonds found till yet. Like other carbonadoes, diamond experts believe, this diamond comes from outer space as part of a meteor.

Black Diamond Jewelry

Famous Black diamonds are great but all black diamonds are beautiful. Especially in jewelry for that special luxury evening. Or when attending that movie night premiere with the rest of Hollywood. If you want to purchase black diamonds or black diamond jewelry, please check out our diamond jewelry collection. You can find an impression on our website. For more (black) diamonds, please contact a diamond consultant.

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