Imperial Russian Jewelry and Gemstones

Hi! I’m sorry to bother everyone with this, but I am having
trouble finding some I am currently taking an
Imperial Russian history class and since spring break is here I
am attempting to finish my term paper early. We were allowed to
choose anything pertaining to Imperial Russia and I chose
gemstone jewelry of that period as my topic. My problem is I am
having a terrible time finding on Russian jewelry! I
can’t even find detailed about the Russian crown
jewels. A week or so ago a student emailed you all about black
diamonds and you had info for him (or her) so I figured maybe you
would know something about this. ANY INFORMATION IS APPRECIATED!
Again I am so sorry for bothering you and taking up your time.
(and I hope this won’t be considered off topic for Orchid.)

Thank you so much!

Susan Leonetti

Orchid Digest Post:
Imperial Russian Jewelry and Gemstones.From: “Rex & Gabrielle Merten”

Dear Susan Leonetti, The following three books would be very
useful, and would give you further directions in which to
research. You may have to go to libraries or pursue them through
the Internet second-hand book dealers. They may not be currently
in print.

“Peter Carl Faberge” by Henry Charles Bainbridge, published by
Spring Books in 1966 (originally by Batsford, London, 1949)

“Carl Faberge” by Kenneth Snowman, pub. Debrett, London, 1980

These are both excellent.

“Famous Diamonds” by Ian Balfour, pub. William Collins, London,
1987 This is surprisingly interesting for what it reveals about
the movement and changing ownership of these gems. Specifically
pages 45, and 77-80 would be useful, although there are many
other references throughout.

“The Art of Jewellery” by Graham Hughes, pub. Peerage Books,
London, 1972. Pp 218-222 are most relevant, although there are
further references in the very complete index (hey, I even rate a

I’m sure you’ll get lots more reference from the Orchidists.
Hope this helps. Lots of luck with the thesis, Rex from Oz


Dear Susan…I just saw a wonderful series on the Biography
Channel on FABREGE and his connection to the csars. The videos
could be purchased…or most likely (and easily) gotten thru the
library!! Hope this helps… crux


First of all think Faberge’. There is a wealth of information
on the The Faberge’ legacy.

Czar Alexander was known for his excess. Check his dynasty.
Then I believe it was Katherine’s Winter Palace that had rooms
made with Malachite walls…

(Next, here’s where a mother get’s to throw out that,
nonchalantly mind you, bits of otherwise irrelavent information
about her daughter.) My daughter is a senior majoring in Russian
Area Studies…with a minor in linguistics…I will forward your
email to her and see if she can help with some leads…Makes a
mother so proud.


From: “Brian Saynor”

Hi again Susan
Try this URL.

There is alot of Russian Art & Culture here.

From: “Kelvin Mok”

I remember an old article in the National Geographic which
traced the history of Russian royalty including their crown
jewels. This included very beautiful color pictures of the
surviving crowns. The problem with Russian crowns was that
there was no formal Crown of State as one would find in the
British crown jewels (itself a fairly recent innovation) . A new
Tsar would dismantle the last Tsar’s crown and pick the best
jewels to make an entirely new crown for himself.

Ask your librarian to look up those NG issue(s).

Kelvin Mok (

Home: (780) 463-4099 | Home FAX: (780) 430-7120

From: “Rob & Charolette Purviance Jr.”

hope this helps a little, term papers are the pits as far as I’m
concerned : )…Char


Hi, try getting about the Fabrege eggs, and the lore
and history of the gemstone alexanderite. It’s a start. deb

From: “LYNN K. WALL”

Try the Borzoi Club of America, can be found on web, also
through the AKC site. Some of these people are collectors of
various artifacts of the Imperial Russia, and are quite knowlegeable. =

Lynn Wall

From: Teresa Masters

Susan, I recently found several books on Russian Jewels at Barnes
and Nobles bargain racks. They included everything you need and
are both in English and Russian.

Bob Jones of Rock and Gem Magazine has a self narrated video on
Russian Treasures. That is available through the Magazine.

I have found a Russian Web Site dedicated to Bead work. Bet with
a good search engine you will find alot of what you need online.

From: “Lorraine”


Try a WEB Search of Peter Carl Faberg=E9 or other reference
sources for Imperial Russian jewel work! His eggs were fabulous
and requested by the Czars! Try looking at and for
other sites that might help you out!

Good luck!

From: “Gail Selig”

Susan, there was a great exhibit in Wilmington a few months ago
on the Royal Russian family, including their jewels… I’d check
out if any catalogues or books accompanied the exhibit (which I hear w=
as fabulous).

I don’t know if this will be much help, but there is an exhibit
that is currently traveling to museums in the U.S. about Russian
Imperial art, including some jewelry. The exhibit is called A
Taste for Splendor, the Hillwood Collection of Russian and
European Treasures. I’m not sure where the exhibit is right now,
but I do know that it will be at the San Antonio Museum of Art at
the end of May. There is a rather large catalog for the exhibit
which may have some useful If you call the gift
shop at the museum, I’m sure they would be happy to help you get
what you need or know where else you could look. If you call,
ask for Janet Goddard at 210-978-8147. Hope it helps.

The exhibit is currently in Kalamazoo through mid April Ron

does anybody know the Russian name for petersite? Ringman john

John, The proper spelling of this is Pietersite (SiO2 with
inclusions of pseudomorphs after asbestos) Tim

does anybody know the Russian name for petersite? Ringman john

The material is pietersite and is from Africa, but I don’t know
what term the Russians use for it. Pam Chott

DANA CLASSIFICATION NUMBER: (42) Hydrated Phosphates,
etc., Containing Hydroxyl or Halogen with Dana Type No.(42.5) ,
Dana Group No.(42.5.2) CRYSTAL SYSTEM: Hexagonal

Hope this helps…Char (Joanie Miller)

Joanie: thank you for your prompt reply. What I am looking for
is what they call the stone in russian I have a contact in the
USSR and he cannot find the stone as called pietersite, so there
must be a local russian name for the stone! Any info is greatly
appreciated and thanks for being responsive …Ringman John

    What I am looking for is what they call the stone in
russian I have a contact in the USSR and  he cannot find the
stone as called pietersite, so there must be a local russian
name for the stone! 

I can advise of a supplier (rough material as well as finished
stones) if that would help. You may contact me off line.