Lost Magnificence – Diamonds Part 1

Diamonds are what make the Romanov vault unique.  There are thousands of them.  We see them in so many different formats, styles, and colors it’s mindboggling.  All these items are kept in the Diamond Fund, exhibited in the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow, Russia except for the bow bracelets which were sold by Christie’s Geneva in 2006.

The diamond in this bracelet, called the “Tafelstein” or table-stone, entered the Imperial collections in 1771.  The diamond figured in several pieces over the years, but it was after the death of Alexander I in 1825, that the current bracelet was conceived as a “sentiment,” or memorial bracelet

This brooch was originally conceived as an aigrette for Catherine II.  Seeing it in the shape of a cornucopia makes it extra special. 

You’re not an Empress until you have some diamond bows!  They started as hair ornaments and then one was remounted as a brooch.  The description from the Catalog is worthy of study.

Originally there were two of these diamond bow bracelets.  Bows on your wrists, on your bodice and in your hair.

This pin features a blue diamond believed to have been cleft from the famed stone called “Le Tavernier” – the same stone as the Hope diamond.  It weighs 7.6 carats and measures 1-inch x ¾-inch.   The stone, originally set as a ring for Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Paul I, was given to the Diamond Fund in 1860 by her daughter-in-law, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. 

Join us next Tuesday as we continue our exploration of the Romanov diamonds!