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Coordinates: 55°44′58″N 37°36′49″E / 55.74944°N 37.61361°E / 55.74944; 37.61361

Diamond Fund
Алмазный фонд
USSR 3999-4004.jpg
Stamps exhibiting some of the Diamond Fund collection
Established2 November 1967; 54 years ago (1967-11-02)
LocationMoscow, Russia
TypeDiamond collection
WebsiteOfficial site

The Diamond Fund (Russian: Алмазный фонд) is a unique collection of gems, jewelry and natural nuggets, which are stored and exhibited in the Kremlin Armoury in Russia. The Fund was opened in 1967 and its collection dates back to the Russian Crown treasury instituted by Emperor Peter I of Russia in 1719.

History

Imperial treasury

Imperial scepter with the "Orlov" diamond
Imperial scepter with the "Orlov" diamond
A copy of the Imperial Crown of Russia as made in 1762 for the coronation of Catherine the Great
A copy of the Imperial Crown of Russia as made in 1762 for the coronation of Catherine the Great

The gem collection of Peter I, established in 1719, was later stored in the Diamond Chamber (Бриллиантовая комната) in the Winter Palace. All succeeding monarchs added their contributions to the Chamber. A 1922 study by Alexander Fersman identified 85% of all exhibits to be from 1719 to 1855, to emperors Peter I through Nicholas I, and only 15% attributed from the last three emperors.

Catherine the Great exhibited a particular interest for expensive rocks, even naming her stallion "Diamond."[1] The Diamond Fund received more contributions from her than any other monarch.[2]

Soviet Union

Daffodil Bouquet, 18th century, exhibited in the Diamond Fund (1971 postage stamp)
Daffodil Bouquet, 18th century, exhibited in the Diamond Fund (1971 postage stamp)

Preservation, sales and looting of Imperial treasures after the Russian Revolution of 1917 are a matter of controversy and speculation. The Imperial collection was moved from Saint Petersburg to Moscow during World War I; the Soviet Diamond Fund was officially established in 1922.[3]

The treasure was first exhibited to the public in November 1967. Originally a short-term show, it became a permanent exhibition in 1968. During the late Soviet period, the value of the Fund's collection was estimated to be $7 billion.[4]

Russian Federation

The Russian State retains the monopoly for mining and distribution of gemstones, as set by the 1998 law "On precious metals and precious stones". Diamond Fund operations are regulated by the 1999 presidential decree (official text). The Diamond Fund is part of a larger State Fund of Precious Stones, managed by the Ministry of Finance, and accumulates the most valuable items, in particular

Recent additions

Major exhibits

Seven Historical Gems

Shah Diamond (1971 postage stamp)
Shah Diamond (1971 postage stamp)

Crowns of Russia

Jewellery

Nuggets

Public access

The Diamond Fund is exhibited in the Kremlin Armoury building. For visitors, it is accessible only through tours of fixed duration due to the limited space inside the Fund. Tours in Russian are organized daily, at twenty-minute intervals. Foreign visitors can receive an audioguide in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese or Japanese.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ Зимин, Игорь (2013). "Ювелирные сокровища Российского императорского двора". Бриллиантовая комната Зимнего дворца (in Russian).
  2. ^ Непомнящий, Николай (2008). 100 великих сокровищ России (in Russian). ISBN 978-5-9533-2698-8.
  3. ^ official site Archived 2007-05-01 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Farrell-Robert, Janine (2007). Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel. Red Wheel Weiser. p. 451. ISBN 9781609258801. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Якутия передала в Алмазный фонд третий в России по величине алмаз" (in Russian). RIA. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Information for visitors". Retrieved 26 September 2018.