An imitation of the Great Imperial Crown, created for the coronation of Ekaterina II the Great 250 years after the original was made, has been put on display to the public at the International Jewellery Exhibition in St. Peterburg.
The crown was madeby Kristall Production Corporation and Smolenskye Brillianty Jewellery Group using Russian diamonds cut and polished to Triple Excellent quality.
The original crown was set with 4,926 diamonds, with a red spinel weighing 398.72 carats on top and took two months to make.
Meanwhile, the modern version took more than 60 craftsmen from Smolensk more than six months to make. It is made of white gold, and set with 11,000 high-quality Ideal cut polished diamonds. A natural red tourmaline is set in the top of the crown. It is estimated that the cost of materials used in the crown amounted to more than US$5 million.
The making of the crown coincides with several anniversaries this year and next, including the tenth year of operation by Smolenskye Brillianty Jewellery Group, 50 years of diamond cutting and polishing industry by Kristall, the 250th Anniversary of the coronation of Empress Ekaterina II, 400 years of the Romanov Dynasty, and the 200th year of the Patriotic War of 1812.
The original Great Imperial Crown is displayed in the Gokhran state minerals repository in Moscow, meaning relatively few people have the opportunity to view it.