Orders of the Russian Empire, presented at the exhibition, were made specially for rewarding members of the Imperial House. Like all other crown jewels from the collection they were used during the most important ceremonies. They differ from all similar state orders with plenty of gold, silver, rare gems, diamonds and most careful craftsmanship.
Until 1917 the highest Russian order was the Order of St. Andrew established by Peter the Great at the end of the 17th century. Badge of the Order is in the form of blue oblique cross with the figure of crucified St. Andrew, who was the first follower of Jesus Christ. The cross is placed on the emblem of the Russian state – a double-headed eagle under an imperial crown and a cross. St. Andrew has long been considered the patron of the state. According to legend, he was the first who travelled with the cross round the lands, where the Russian State was later established. Order of St. Andrew became the state regalia, one of the symbols of the imperial power.