Billed as the world’s largest known black diamond, the 88-karat “Karloff Noir” made an appearance at a Dubai Mall last week to promote the reopening of a Karloff Paris boutique, a jewellery group with 50 boutiques worldwide and more than 450 points of sale.
The rarely publicly displayed gem was discovered in Siberia in 1917. It was cut from a 421-carat rough diamond and boasts a deep, rich black opaque colour. Daniel Paillasseur, founder and managing partner of Korloff Paris, purchased the precious stone in 1978 and named it after the royal Russian family, Korloff-Sapojnikoff, which originally owned it.
The Karloff Noir, insured for $37 million, resides in Paris, but Paillasseur told Emirates 24/7 that the reopening of the store in Dubai was more than a good reason to have flown the unusual and famous black diamond, as the country remains one of the best performing markets.
This black diamond is believed to bring happiness, luck and prosperity to any person who has the privilege of touching it. It has been brought outside of Paris only on select occasions, for the Sultan of Brunei and the Queen of Malaysia.
Black diamonds are different from other coloured rocks because they do not get their shade from chemical impurities, such as nitrogen, hydrogen or boron. Rather, black diamonds owe their colour to numerous dark inclusions (mostly graphite), and their opaqueness is caused by a “polycrystalline” structure that inhibits the reflection of light.