Famous Black Diamonds

The Hope Diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, Orlov, the Tiffany Yellow - practically household names among diamond afficionados. But did you know that black colored diamonds have a few (pardon the pun) "rock stars" of their own?


The Spirit of de Grisogono
black diamond ringThe Spirit of de Grisogono is a spectactular 312.24 carat mogul-cut black diamond. It was patiently coaxed out of a 587 carat rough over the course of more than a year and is believed to be the largest natural black diamond in the world. It is currently set in a white-gold ring with over 700 white diamonds (36 carat total weight). It's really a spectacular piece of jewelry in every respect!. The Spirit of de Grisogono was last sold to a private client of Grisogono Jewelers.

The Gruosi Diamond
The world's largest heart-shaped black diamond, weighing in 115.34 carats. Cut from a 300 carat rough, the Gruosi is said to have taken 3 years (and a lot of patience) to cut, due to it's fragility - a challenge common to working black diamonds. It is set in a necklace along with smaller black diamonds, white diamonds and green tsavorite garnets.
Black Star of Africa
A 202 carat black diamond. It's current whereabouts are unknown- it was last seen in Tokyo at an exhibit in 1971, when it was estimated to be worth over a million dollars. It is rumored to have been sold to an Asian buyer in the 1980's, but this sale has not been verified.
The Table of Islam
A 160 carat black diamond believed to be emerald-cut.
The Korloff Noir
black diamondThe Korloff Noir is a round-cut, 88 carat black diamond of uncertain origin. It is said by some to have originated in Russia, but this is highly unlikely since all black diamonds found to date have originated from Brazil or from the Central African Republic. What we do know is that is spent many decades in the hands of the Korloff-Sapozhnikov family and was purchased during the 1970's by French jeweler Daniel Paillasseur, who subsequently named his jewelry business Korloff Jewelers in honor of this beautiful stone. It has been on public display many times since it's purchase, primarily at events coinciding with the opening of a new Korloff boutique.
The Black Orlov (Orloff), aka The Eye of Brahma
There's a wonderful story about this 67.50 carat black diamond. Legend has it that it was a raw stone plucked from the eye of an idol in Pondicherry India. The sacrilegious theft put a curse upon the stone, and three subsequent owners, including a Russian princess by the name of Nadia Vyegin-Orlov (from whom it takes its name), are said to have been miserably unhappy to the point where they eventually killed themselves! However none of this has any basis in fact and modern-day consensus is that the story is just that - a fanciful tale, concocted to create an air of romance and perhaps to increase the auction price of the stone. However, the true origins of this spectacular gemstone remain a mystery.

We do know that this cushion-cut diamond, which is actually a very dark "gun metal" gray, is currently set in a diamond and platinum necklace, was widely exhibited during the mid 20th century and owned for a time by Charles Winston. Its last known sale was in 2006 at a Christie's auction where it sold for the sum of $352,000.
The Amsterdam Diamond
The Amsterdam Diamond is a pure black, pear shaped 33.74 carat diamond cut from a nearly 56 carat rough found in Africa. It was first exhibited in the early 1970's and reportedly sold at a Christie's auction in 2001.
The Black Diamond of Bahia
Discovered in Brazil, this massive, 350 carat rough was exhibited at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851.
The Black Moon
Believed to be the 3rd largest faceted black diamond in the world, the Black Moon is a 27.77 carat brilliant cut black diamond, owned by a private collector.
The Raven Diamond
the Raven Diamond - Public Domain via Wikimedia CommonsDiminutive in comparison to some of the other diamonds mentioned here, the Raven is a trilliant cut diamond weighing in at a "mere" 12.78 carats. It is in a private collection.


River Styx
A black crystal found in the Bultfontein mine in South Africa. It was cut into a 28.50 carat brilliant and a 7 carat marquise - a long and arduous process, due to the extreme knottiness of the stone. The River Styx was stolen during an armed robbery in 1958 and its current whereabouts are unknown.
Anton Dunkels' Necklace
Not a single stone, but worth noting here. This necklace was composed of many fancy-colored and black diamond drops. It takes its name from Anton Dunkens, a well-known diamond merchant back in the early diamond mining days in South Africa.
Carbonado Do Sergio
Weighing in at 3,167 carats, this is believed to be the largest carbonado ever discovered. It was found in 1905, in Bahia, Brazil. Another notable carbonado from the same region is the 2000 carat Caseo de Burro.