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The Beauty within the Russian Diamond Fund

The Russian Diamond Fund is a distinctive collection of jewelry, natural nuggets and gems which are exhibited in the Moscow Kremlin, Russia. This superb collection is open for public viewing and has great artistic and historic value.

Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted the Russian Crown treasury in 1719, which was stored in the Diamond Chamber in the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg. All monarchs that succeeded Peter I added their precious gems and jewelry to the collection held in the Chamber. Peter’s daughter, Elizabeth I (1741-1761,) loved beautiful and unusual jewelry. Some of the most striking pieces in the collection, such as earrings in the form of garlands of flowers complete with bees, date back to her reign. In 1922 an assessment of the jewels was made by Alexander Fersman who concluded that 85% of all the exhibits dated back to the period of 1719-1855, which was the time period from when Peter I reigned to when Nicholas I was emperor. The balance of 15% had been added by the last three emperors.

During World War I the Imperial collection was moved to Moscow from St. Petersburg and is now housed in the State Armory at the Moscow Kremlin. This magnificent exhibition of treasure was first shown to the public in November 1967. It started with the intention of being a short-term exhibition, but due to popular demand, it became a permanent exhibition in 1968. The Soviet Diamond Fund was officially established in 1922 and later became the Russian Diamond Fund.

Some of the highlights of the collection include the priceless gold Coronation Crown, encrusted with diamonds and pearls, which was made for Catherine the Great. Also on display is the 190-carat Orlov Diamond set into the Imperial Scepter. Count Grigory Orlov, who is said to have been her lover, gave this huge diamond to the Empress. There are many jeweled earrings and necklaces in the exhibition, as well as the world’s largest Ceylon sapphire (258.8 carats), the Shah diamond (88.7 carats) and the largest preserved gold nugget in the world, “The Triangle” (36Kgs). Some exquisite Faberge Eggs are also on show.

Russia has a wealth of mineral resources and is one of the largest diamond producing countries in the world. Visitors that travel to Russia should make a point of seeing the Russian Diamond Fund exhibition in Moscow. It will give you great insight into the wealth, culture and history of this amazing country and its interesting people.

 



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