The Orlov Diamond truly is a thing of beauty and it currently resides in the Diamond fund in The Kremlin here in Moscow. The origin of the diamond – described as having the shape and proportions of half a chicken’s egg, can in fact be traced back to the second century Sri Ranganathaswamy Hindu temple, in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India where it once served as the eye of the presiding deity, before being stolen and sold by a French soldier and Hindu convert in 1747.
The diamond was in fact minded in Andhra Pradesh in India, at the Kollur Mine. This is one of the most beautiful and valuable which the country has, and here is a little more about it.
Prior to Count Grigory Grigorievich Orlov buying this diamond and of course naming it after himself, there was am Iranian millionaire who owned the diamond and who had wished to sell it. Orlov may not have known at the time, but this diamond which he had just acquired, would soon become a vital piece in his future.
Offering The Gift
Orlov had been romantically involved with the Empress Consort of Russia, Catherine the Great. Grigory Orlov led the way in the dethronement of her husband in a coup d’état and the elevation of Catherine to power. Now the young man may have thought that this would be all that was required, but Catherine soon took an interest in Alexandrovich Potemkin and the pair began a relationship.
Desperate to get the Empress back, Orlov offered the diamond to her, yet this would not be enough to win her romance once again.
Failed to Win
Orlov may very well have failed to get back into a romance with the Empress but she did always look only on the Count and would often shower him with gifts such as the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg ,not to mention the design of a Scepter which was hand crafted by her jeweler, just for him.
This is a stunning diamond with a fabulous story behind it, and one which very much belongs in Russia.