Angelina Jolie has worn one. So have Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Katherine Heigl, Evan Rachel Wood, and Sarah Jessica Parker. And fans of the popular TV show ‘Sex and the City’ would recognise them from the engagement rings that Mr. Big gave Carrie Bradshaw in an episode.

The black diamond is easily one of the most popular gems when you want to stand out, be ‘different’. And there is no other black diamond as large or as popular as the legendary Karloff Noir, an 88-carat black diamond that is now with the Korloff jewellers in France.

And now Dubai residents can have a peek at the famous gem when the newly refurbished Korloff boutique in the Dubai Mall is inaugurated tomorrow at 11am.

Daniel Paillasseur, founder of the Korloff brand, will present the 88-facet Korloff black diamond. Certified by HRD (the diamond certifying agency based in Antwerp) as a naturally black-coloured diamond, the Korloff black diamond will be presented to journalists and a few hand-picked VIP guests.

 

The story of this legendary diamond is fascinating: little is known about its origin except that it was first noticed in the possession of a noble Russian family called Korloff Sapojnikoff. The Russian Revolution turned the life of the family upside down and the diamond was found several years later on the premises of an eminent Antwerp diamond cutter, the Krochmal and Lieber family.

The diamond was cut twice: first to a weight of 110 carats, and then again over a period of several years to reach its current weight of 88 carats.

Diamonds incidentally are found in fantastically vibrant colours, such as red, violet, pink, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, champagne, gray, fancy white, and fancy black. Black diamonds are also different from most other diamonds (other than fancy white) in that they are entirely opaque.

Are black diamonds real? ‘Yes,’ says Daniel. ‘There are black diamonds, and there are natural fancy black diamonds. Though both types are real, the black colour in the first group is not natural. It is the result of heating treatments.’

Natural black diamonds are found in very few locations, mostly Brazil and Central Africa.

The most famous black diamond of all time is said to be the Black Orlov, a 67.50 carat, cushion-cut diamond brooch surrounded by 108 white diamonds and suspended from a 124-diamond necklace.

Other famous black diamonds include the Gruosi diamond, the Black Star of Africa, and the Spirit of de Grisogono diamond, and the Korloff Noir.

The old Moghul-cut, 312.24 carat, black Spirit of de Grisogono diamond is said to be the largest black diamond in the world. It was mined in the Central African Republic but very little, including it’s ownership, is known about it.

The Korloff Noir is the only black diamond that is still in the public eye after all these years.

After many years working in diamond trading Daniel decided to purchase it when the grandfather of his diamond merchant partner presented the Korloff Black to him over 40 years ago. ‘He said to me: ‘Daniel, close your eyes and hold out your hand,’ says Daniel. ‘Then he slid the biggest black diamond in the world into my hand and told me the story…’

Daniel has been hooked on it ever since. ‘To me, the value of the priceless piece is infinite because of its rarity and because it is symbolises the Korloff brand’s soul.’

See the legendary Korloff Noir black diamond in this video: