"Cursed" Diamond To Come To SW7

By london_will Last edited 142 months ago
"Cursed" Diamond To Come To SW7
Oh, Marcus. What are you trying to do, scare me? You sound like my mother. We've known each other for a long time. I don't believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I'm going after a find of incredible historical significance, you're talking about the boogie man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am.

This is real Boy's Own Adventure stuff. A black diamond, allegedly stolen from a Hindu temple and said to be cursed, is to go on display in the Natural History Museum. Three of its previous owners have committed suicide.

Whether the stone will be accompanied by the requisite armies of the undead and plagues of locusts is not yet known. Why not bring the kids?

The BBC story is crammed with garish detail:

The Black Orlov, also known as The Eye of Brahma, was said to have been removed from a Hindu idol in India. [...]

The diamond's history is unclear, but legend tells of a monk removing the original rough 195-carat diamond from the eye of the Idol of Brahma at a shrine near Pondicherry.

In 1947, Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov and Princess Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky [We swear we're not making this up - eds] - both said to be former owners of the Black Orlov - leapt to their deaths in apparent suicides.

Fifteen years earlier, JW Paris, the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the USA, had jumped to his death from one of New York's tallest buildings shortly after concluding the sale of the jewel.

The stone has since been cut into three in order to break the curse. It might have been nice to have tried to return it to Pondicherry, but it sounds as though they might have been pleased to see the back of it.

Anyway, the present owner seems unaffected, and gave the Beeb this chirpy quote:

"In the middle of the 20th Century, the media christened it the 'Evil Death Gem' but I've never felt nervous about owning the Black Orlov," said Dennis Petimezas, the current owner.

Note to insurance salesmen: avoid this man.

Last Updated 20 September 2005