Jewel Collection: The Diamond Fund

Diamond Fund

Jewel Collection: The Diamond Fund

When in Moscow, a trip to Kremlin and Red Square is effectively obligatory. Both sites are included in UNESCO List of World Natural Heritage sights, as they are inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century’. According to the UNESCO website: ‘Heritage is our legacy from the past…our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration’. Even though the Diamond Fund [Алмазный фонд] doesn’t officially belong to the Kremlin, despite its location, it definitely deserves the appellation of ‘heritage’.

History

The collection, which was initially kept in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, was founded by Peter I in 1719. He believed that the most precious items should belong to the state and ordered that his successors leave a number of their jewels to the state. These these jewels could never be sold, altered or given away. Although a large selection was auctioned off to boost the struggling Soviet economy, nevertheless what remains today is still a breath-taking collection of precious items.

It is one of the three most valuable collections in the world, which includes the Crown Jewels in the UK and the Imperial Crown Jewels of Iran. The exhibition consists of a unique collection of gold, platinum, precious stones, pieces of state regalia, medals, jewellery, and of course- diamonds. It includes: the 190 carat eponymous Orlov diamond- which was gifted to Catherine the Great by her lover Grigory Orlov, The Great Imperial Crown with boasts an eye-watering 4936 diamonds, the world’s largest sapphire, and several Faberge eggs.

Visiting

The Diamond Fund located is located in the Armoury Museum Building in the Kremlin but is, however, under the control of the Ministry of Finance. So, as you can imagine, security is very tight. Bag must be kept in the luggage office before actually entering the Kremlin, and within the actual exhibition phones and cameras are strictly prohibited. To be fair, however, I don’t think a photo would do justice to these beautiful jewels. At the reception they offer audio guides in a selection of languages, which are incredibly informative- so be sure to pick one up! Additionally, as mentioned, the Diamond Fund is separate from the other Kremlin museums and therefore requires a separate ticket. Do not learn this the hard way, as you attempt to banter your way into the Armoury. Trust me- it will not work.

So, if you’re into gawping at sparkly thing that you can’t afford or are in the market for a new tiara- you should definitely visit the Diamond Fund.

 

This post was brought to you by Lola, currently studying at Liden & Denz Moscow

 

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