Priceless black diamond on display in Dubai at Korloff boutique

The French jewellery brand, which owns the precious stone, only brings it out on special occasions

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French luxury jewellery brand Korloff has brought back its famed 88-carat black diamond, one of the largest in the world and considered priceless, to the UAE to mark the reopening of its flagship boutique in the Dubai Mall.

On display at the renovated Korloff boutique until Sunday, the black diamond, which remains mostly hidden at a secret location in Paris, is brought out only for special occasions.

Its history is also inextricably linked to the brand. Believed to have been discovered in Brazil in the 1800s, the black diamond originally belonged to the Korloff-Sapojnikoff family, who were members of Russian nobility. Then a 200-carat nugget, it was handed down from generation to generation within the family. But after the tsarist regime was overthrown in Russia, the Korloff-Sapojnikoff family fled to Western Europe and the diamond was acquired by merchants Krochmal & Lieber, who then sold it to French gemstone broker Daniel Paillasseur.

In 1978, Paillasseur established a jewellery and diamond trading business and named it Maison Korloff, as an ode to the black diamond. The diamond would later be cut to an 88-carat stone to enhance its deep dark appearance.

The Korloff is a carbonado black diamond, which are considered exceptionally old. Experts date them to be about 2.6 to 3.8 billion years old, and they are believed to have been formed as a result of a meteorite's impact with the Earth. They contain interstellar metallic hydrogen that is not found on our planet, making scientists believe they have extraterrestrial origins.

The black diamond is, therefore, often associated with positive energies. In Greco-Roman mythology, it symbolises eternal love. In India, women wear black diamonds as jewellery to become pregnant. The 88-carat Korloff diamond is also considered lucky as per the number eight's standing in Chinese numerology. In Mandarin, the pronunciation of the number eight is similar to the verb "to prosper" and thus it is associated with good fortune, happiness, health and success.

Updated: March 15, 2023, 2:21 PM