Magnificent Gems

Alongside with the famous seven historic gems the Diamond Fund collection includes a number of other unusual gems.

One of such rarities is a tourmaline shaped like a berry or a bunch of grapes. Scientists believe that this gem comes from Burma. The color and unusual shape of the tourmaline is accentuated with green enamel leaves against gold background. The gem’s weight is 260.86 carat, and the size is 4x2.7x2.3 cm. The gem was kept in the treasury of King of Bohemia Rudolf II, who received it as a legacy from his sister, the widow of French King Charles IX. In 1648, during the war with the Swedes, the gem was captured in Prague and was exported to Scandinavia, where it was transferred to Queen Christina. After the Queen’s death the gem was taken to Stockholm. Swedish King Gustav III gave the tourmaline as a gift to Catherine II during his visit to St. Petersburg in 1777.

You can learn more about jewels of this period at the exhibition.