Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukanov. Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia


To the History of JewelerТs Art and Gemology

The history of jeweler’s art can be divided into five basic stages. The first stage goes back to prehistoric time. It lasted more than 150 thousand years – the time when initial knowledge of gemstones and other materials used for adornments as well as experience of stone processing was being gathered. The second stage is antique. It lasted for almost six thousand years when the foundations for jeweler’s art were laid and the first unique items were created. In consequence of that exploitation of deposits of gemstones was initiated which promoted their transformation into valuable products. At the same time, elementary processing and cutting of stones were mastered, and from time to time diamonds were already used at those processes. Carving of stones was successfully developing. The third stage is the epoch of the Renaissance and the Age of the Great Geographical Discoveries that was going on for about 400 years, when both source of rough materials and market of gemstones were intensively developing. Modern cutting of gems and processing of precious metals originated at that time. Trade-guilds and corporations of jewelers began to organize the manufacturing of short-cut production of jewelry and stone-carvings. The fourth stage is the epoch of industrial world, 19th and 20th centuries – the time of organized mass production of gems and setting up the world market of gemstones. It is an initial stage of synthesis of precious stones and artificial jewelry materials. The origin of gemology, which is a science dealing with diagnostics and studying of adornments materials, was accompanied by evaluation and marketing of jewelry articles and gemstones. The fifth stage, 21st century, is classified as the epoch of wide promotion of synthetic materials and of gaining ground of bioelectronics achievements in jeweler’s art. A role of gemology at the market of gemstones is growing in importance.

The first human efforts to decorate arose in primitive society in the period of matriarchy. Wood, horn, teeth and bones of killed animals, shells and bright small stones were used as materials for adornments. In the Neolithic age mastering of tools and pottery enabled using beads which were made of baked and painted clay. At the same time, people gathered some information on extraordinary features of stones and created myths on them. The history of mastering of gemstones is shown in the Gemstone Chronology (See app. 19). It shows that already in the Stone Age about ten types of bioorganic materials and the same number of gemstones were known. The most popular metal was gold. The first well-known gemstones were rock crystal, jadeite, quartz, chert or flint, nephrite, obsidian, hornfels, serpentinite, amber and jasper. Judging from petroglyphes on the walls of caves, primitive stone carving dates back about 30 thousand years. Necklaces made of shells, teeth and claws of beasts of pray and pebbles of gemstones were widespread. As material culture was developing human knowledge of gemstone broadened, though very unevenly in different regions of the world. The leaders in this process were ancient centers of civilization: India, China, the Middle East, Egypt, the Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and Byzantium.

The first data on findings and using of native gold dates to the 5th millennium B.C. Ancient goldsmiths early recognized its valuable qualities – low temperature of melting and easy processing. As far back as the archaic period of Ancient Egypt (3200-2980 B.C.) the style of “golden plate” was employed when gold was used for decoration of pottery, weapons, furniture and even walls. In the Bronze Age (4000-3000 B.C.) the list of known gemstones was doubled. Diamond, emerald, chrysolite, amethyst, opal, turquoise, lazurite, malachite were among them. Excavations of Egyptian tombs have shown excellent mastership of jewelers of that time who already made good use of imitations of gemstones. Ceramics with glaze, the painted glasses, the clarified amber also painted chalcedonies, were known together with imitations from clay, painted under lazurite and malachite. In Ancient Egypt precious stones already played the role of signs of power and honor, as well as of mystical symbols. During antique time manual processing of a stone, art glyptic develops also receives wide development. Stone signets, amulets and talismans with hieroglyphs, engraved safeguards against misfortune etc., became popular. These findings show that by the 3d millennium B.C. processing of gemstones reached its peak. The technique of cabochon cut, inlaid work, engraving and coloring (painting and dying) of stones were mastered. In this period emerald deposits in the Upper Egypt – legendary “Cleopatra’s Mines”, occurrences of turquoise on the Sinai Peninsula and in Iran, lazurite deposits in Badakhshan, malachite over the Urals, jadeite in Kazakhstan were exploited. By that time such metals as gold, silver, copper, and partly natural iron were known. Over the course of the Bronze and Iron Ages (3-1st millennium B.C.) ruby, sapphire, chrysoberyl, spinel, garnet, topaz, beryl and zircon were processed. New metals: tin, lead, natural irons – were mastered in jeweler’s art.

The role of gemstones changed from plain adornments into symbols of power, from decorative materials into refined, exquisite decorations and valuable goods. At that time imperishable masterpieces were created. The famous “Standard from Ur” created in Assyria in 2600 B.C. is one of them. According to particular interests subjects were encrusted, or inlaid with nacre and lazurite. The best specimens of Assyrian glyptic (700-600 B.C.) are not less renowned. Jewelers of the New Kingdom in Egypt (1600-1100 B.C.) were famous for their high skill, refinement of finishing and smoothing of the works. They created unique breast-adornments, which were found in the tombs of pharaohs. They are called pectorals. After being invented glass started to be intensively used in Egyptian decorations. For example, glass beads were used together with gold for creation the symbol of divine power of pharaohs – so called “Sun’s Necklace”. Pieces of decorative applied art of similar degree of sophistication occurred in China and India. They date back to the ancient civilization (3rd -1st millennium B.C). In the 2nd millennium B.C. nephrite, quartz, turquoise, corals and ivory gained wide acceptance in the Chinese art of stone cutting. A description of diamond chisel for cutting gemstones was presented in the manuscripts of that time. In the 800-900-s cutting diamonds, sapphires and rubies by the method of simple polishing, or grinding of their faces was mastered in the areas of basins of the Indus and Ganges Rivers. Long lists of gems, met in old Indian chronicles, refer to a lively interest in gemstones. With advances in trade and emergence of money, gemstones sometimes served instead of it. They were: nephrite in China where it was considered to be the most valuable stone; agate on the Borneo Is., the Pacific Ocean; rings made of marble on the New Hebrides; nacre on the Polynesian Islands. A millennium later the flourishing of stone-cut art was manifested in ancient civilizations of America. Burial places found over the territories of present Mexico and South America contained ritual articles made of jadeite, nephrite, lazurite, quartz, agate, obsidian and turquoise. Among them there were surprisingly perfect stone carved works by the ancient people of Maya (900 B.C.), mosaic compositions and inlays in gold by the ancient Indians of Peru (A.D. 1000), monolithic stone sculptures by Tolteks from Mexico (A.D. 500).

At the time of civilizations of the Middle East and Greece a number of mastered gemstones was increasing. Amethyst, lazurite, turquoise and carnelian were valued most of all in Ancient Greece. Phoenician merchants brought gemstones and ivory to Greece. Early descriptions of gemstones were found in the treatise by Theophrastus (372-287 B.C.). The author had completed knowledge on diamond and many other gems. At that time glyptic, – the art of carving gemstones, came to Greece from Assyria. Gems, – cameos and intaglios, – became popular as private seals, stamps, amulets, talismans and adornments. The need for amulets was caused by the faith in magic forces of gemstones and their medicinal properties. In the 400-500-s A.D. amulets for each month of a year (monthly stones) were already known respectively. A collection of gems came into fashion afterwards. Owing to that fashion, numerous works of the antique glyptic art have been preserved. There are many unique articles created by jewelers of Ancient Greece exhibited in the British Museum. There are gold items of “The Aegean Treasury” from the Crete Is. with an image of “Lord of Beasts” (1700-1600 B.C.) among them. The gold adornments from the Rodes Island call attention to relief pictures made by technique of granulation (700-600 B.C.). The necklace of the Hellenistic period accomplished by using technique of filigree that was inlaid with gemstones and glass (380 B.C.) is no less attractive. Jeweler’s works from Greek towns on the Black Sea coast (400 B.C.) closely resemble them in a high level of execution. They are represented in the remarkable collection of the “Scythian Gold” in the State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.

Conquests and commercial achievements of the Ancient Roman Empire favored the increase in the number of materials used in the jeweler’s art. Sapphire and emerald were considered the most valuable of them. Diamond, while being prized for its hardness, was less known. The description and classification of more than 30 varieties of gemstones was given in the “Natural History” by Pliny the Elder (23-79 B.C.). The names are not always coincident with present ones (See App. 19). Pliny foresaw that beryl and emerald were related. He gave names to aquamarine, cassiterite, selenite and chalcedony. The splendor and luxury of Ancient Rome were known to go far beyond any reasonable Ranges. Gems correspondingly came to fashion. Even special laws, restricting permissible quantities of adornments a person might wear, were prescribed. The popularity of gems stimulated growth in stone cutting and development of jeweler’s art. Ones of preserved masterpieces of Roman masters and artists which are worth mentioning are mosaic panels. They were created by the method of so called “Roman mosaic” which consisted in assembling of small pieces of gemstones, glass or – frits (fritta – Ital.) that was charge of a sort. The pieces were closely fit to compose a solid surface polished subsequently. Mosaic of such type gained wide acceptance from the 1st cent. A.D. Its best specimens were discovered in the course of the Pompeian excavation. With the disruption of Roman Empire that had happened by the 5th century. A.D., the jewelry center was moved to the East, to Byzantium – the homeland of “Byzantine mosaic”. While in the Greek and Roman jewelry plastic was predominant, in Byzantine enamel, gemstones and filigree were prevalent. Unlike Roman mosaics, Byzantine works were set up in such a way that stones or more commonly pieces of glass had the shape of small pillars and did not call for any further polishing. A bright example of Byzantine mosaic is “The Map of Madoba” – a panel as large as 25x5 m. In the 500-s A.D. a cathedral was built over that unique map in the center of which Jerusalem was depicted. During the construction works a considerable part of the picture was destroyed. The impressive collection of Byzantine stone carvings is exhibited in the Venetian St Mark Cathedral. There are vases, chalices (church bowls) for the Eucharist or the Sacrament, vessels made of jasper, chalcedony and steatite among them. By the 6th century, Byzantium had become a center of the manufacturing of artistic stained glass.

In the book by Al-Biruni (Abu Reykhan Biruni, 972-1048) “The Anthology of Knowledge’s for Understanding of Jewels”, 1048, more than 50 gemstones and ores known by the early 1st millennium were given. According to their value, ruby, spinel and garnets were distinguished as the 1st group and diamond was rated in the 2nd one. Next, it was determined the group of pearls, corals and nacre united by their origin. Listed as green-blue stones, there was emerald, turquoise, malachite, nephrite and lazurite. Rock crystal, amethyst, onyx and sardonyx constituted the group of quartz. Bioorganic materials – jet, amber, asphalt, as well as artificial stones – glass and porcelain were viewed separately. The Russian traveler Athanasy Nikitin who visited India in 1466-1472 described gemstones of the East. He mentioned 14 Gems. They were agate, diamond, almandine, amethyst, rock crystal, spinel, ruby, pearls, carnelian, etc. In ancient Iran and Turkey jewelry, arms and objects of horse-equipment were commonly characterized by excessive luxury because of gemstones used for their decoration. Many world-famous museums display works of jeweler’s art from those countries. There is a throne of the Tsar Alexey Michailovich in the Museums of Moscow Kremlin. It was made in Persia in the 17th century and richly decorated with gems. During feudal period countless pieces of jeweler’s art were gathered in treasure houses of Eastern monarchs. For instance, a Chinese Bogdykhan had a model of his palace about 5 m long and 3.6 m wide. It was made of gold with trees and flowers of diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The House of the Great Moguls in India (1526–1858) possessed several thrones decorated with unique gems. They were called correspondingly: “Diamond Throne”, “Gold Throne”, “Emerald Throne”, “Peacock Throne”, “Ruby Throne” and “Sapphire Throne”. After disruption of the Dynasty by Nadir-Shah precious stones from many unique masterpieces of jewelry art were taken away and gold was melted. Plenty of caravans moved these “rough materials” to Persia. Eight camels were necessary only for transportation of the “Peacock Throne” alone. At that time many unique articles were destructed, the gold was smelted into ingots. Embassy gifts of Nadir-Shah (1688-1747) delivered to Russia in 1739 can be observed in the State Hermitage of St Petersburg. One of them is struck by wonderful gold work inlaid with rubies, emeralds, spinels and garnets.

By the 10th century, ancient secrets of the manufacture of artistic glass had been disclosed in Venice. Venetian beads and glass beads, aventurine glasses were delivered over all countries but technology of their making was carefully reserved. At the same time, the flourishing of jeweler’s art was risen in Europe. One of the masterpieces of that time is “The Crown of Charles IV” altered in 1346 from the wreath of St Wenceslas – the Prince of Bohemia. Many unique polished stones decorate it: a rubellite of 250 carats, two Ceylon sapphires of 330 and 280 carats and 17 sapphires cabochons of exceeding 200 carats are among them. In addition, 45 red Badakhshan spinels not over 100 carats were put on it. Furthermore, 26 emeralds from Egypt, 20 pearls, aquamarine and pink tourmaline, that is rubellite, adorn the crown. In commemoration of France, the country where Charles IV had spent his young age, there were 4 king’s lilies carved of violet-red spinels on it. Another unique work of art is “The Gold Altar” in the St Mark Cathedral of the size of 3x1 m. Byzantine goldsmiths had been creating the altar for 500 years since the 10th century. It is decorated with earliest medallions executed by technique of cloisonné (Fr. – enamel with partitions) and is inlaid with pearls and faceted precious stones. The total number is 2521. Among them there are: 400 garnets, 300 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 90 amethysts, 75 rose spinels (balas-ruby), 50 rubies, 4 topazes, 2 cameos and 1300 pearls. In 1327, the first grinding mill for cutting and mechanical treatment of stone was opened in Germany. In Bohemia a similar water mill was built in Prague in 1352. Edifices and their interiors were decorated with plates of chrysoprase, amethyst and jasper. This can be seen in the St Cross Chapel of the Karlštejn Castle and in the St Wenceslas Chapel in Prague. Decoration of such type is known as “Karlštejn mosaic”. In the 15th century, grinding water mills were established in Spain, Italy and France. Thanks to it, jasper decorations of the St Lorenzo Church and gemstone embellishment of the El Escorial, Madrid, – the Royal Palace and Pantheon, were created in Spain. It made possible to organize mass production of sacral objects for the church-service from soft industrial stone. The gemstones on crosses had not only decorative but also symbolical meanings. For instance, lazurite signified truthfulness and belief in heaven, green jasper symbolized constant renewal of faith, red garnet served as a reminder of the blood that had been shed by Christian martyrs. In the Middle Ages belief in magic properties of stones flourished, the interest in gemstone was stimulated by enthusiasm for litho-therapeutics. Astrologers marked out both astral stones for each month and Zodiacal stones for planets and signs of the Zodiac. There were stones for birthdays in fashion; it was a common practice to present gems with stones of the color which corresponded to the appropriate month: January – dark red pyrope, a symbol of constancy; February – purple amethyst, a symbol of sincerity; March – blue aquamarine, a symbol of courage; April – colorless diamond, or rock crystal, a symbol of virginity, naivety; May – bright green emerald, a symbol of happiness and love; June – cream-colored pearls, a symbol of health and longevity; July – red ruby, carnelian or blood stone, a symbol of pleasure; August – light green chrysolite, an amulet against madness, insanity; September – dark blue sapphire, a symbol of matrimonial happiness; October – motley and variegated opal, a symbol of hope; November – yellow topaz, a symbol of faithfulness; December – dark-light blue turquoise, a symbol of income, happy circumstances.

In the epoch of Renaissance, (the 15th -17th centuries), especially in its second half, economic premises for the development of bourgeois culture appeared. The role of gemstones in applied art grew fast at that time and was characterized by a life-asserting world outlook. Jewelers turned their attention to a treasure of experience of antique culture and to glyptic as well. The Italian poet Petrarca was one of the first collectors of antique cameos. In parallel with passion for antique gems in Italy and, more recently, in France and England school of glyptic was created, guilds of goldsmiths and masters of silverware were being established and jewelry trade was developing. The advancement of the technique of inlay on black marble in Italy had brought into existence so called “Florentine mosaic”. Eminent artists dealt with jewelry and created rings, bangles, fastenings, clasps and belts decorated with multi-figured compositions. Chalices and tabernacles, carved vases and goblets made of rock crystal mounted in precious metals were created to orders of the Church. They were decorated with chased patterns and filigree in combination with precious stones and enamel. Masters of Milan and Florence made mosaic tables using a polychromatic palette of gemstones and decorated also arms and harness with them. The court jeweler of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Ludwig van Berckem began to facet precious stones in Brugge Belgium in 1456. In 1483, the faceting of diamonds was mastered in Antwerp. The Venetian lapidary Vincenzo Peruzzi invented brilliant cutting in the 17th century. A circle of jewelry clients, being mainly limited by king’s court, extended at the expense of nobility, burghers and the Church. At the same time, the trade of cut stone appeared in Germany. At the expense of a great amount of masters, their output acquired the nature of small-batch production. A representative collection of the pieces of art of that period is kept in Dresden in “The Green Vault”. Mainly local gemstones were used for their manufacture. It was favored by the development of mineralogy and ore mining in Europe, as works by George Agricola – George Bauer (1494-1555) testify. One of his books was dedicated entirely to precious stones. He started using the notion “stones of the first water” and described means for the determination of distinctions of real stones from their imitations. Together with that, in the epoch of the Great Geographic Discoveries and colonization such exotic materials as ivory, baroque pearls, corals, shells, amber, shell of ostrich eggs and precious kinds of wood began to enjoy wide application. Pendants of baroque pearls, earrings and necklaces with pearls came into fashion.

In the 16th -17th -ss centuries, in the period of the Counter-Reformation and incipient baroque style, sacral articles still predominated over other jeweler’s works. One of the fashionable gemstones was Bohemian garnet. Due to the exploitation of ore deposits discovered in Europe at that time, silver became the most popular jewelry material. The first silver things destined for secular needs were dishes, jugs with tubs and goblets and bowels. Silver was used in manufacturing altars and tombs with multi-figured compositions, snuffboxes, candlesticks, and frames of mirrors, clocks, desk-sets and toilet requisites. Up to 3000 items could be counted in silver services. Gemstone prevailed over metal of mounting in magnificent jewelry of Baroque adornments and in exquisite Rococo compositions. The stones of certain type were used when a set of jewelry articles was ordered. Coral, agate and turquoise were preferred in daily decorations. Since the second half of the 17th century, the interest in Baltic amber has been revived. One of the manifestations of that fashion was represented in the masterpiece of mosaic art created in Germany. The case in point is “The Amber Cabinet” of floor space of 55-m2 . It was presented to Peter I by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1716. In 1760, the outstanding architect F. B. Rastrelli created the famous “Amber Room” on the base later. It was placed into the Catherine Palace in the Tsarskoye Selo in the vicinity of St Petersburg and had a floor space of 122.4 m2 .

The Ages of the Classicism and Enlightenments were characterized as the prosperity of sciences that shook a romantic faith in medical and magic forces of stones. In the 18th century composition and properties of minerals were studied. Collecting of gemstones, those with exotic inclusions and patterns became fashionable. They were displayed in small collections, so called “cabinets of stones” in forms of caskets, snuffboxes and desktop decorations, of which, the most spectacular was the masterpiece by the German jeweler I.M. Dinglinger. His work was named “The Delhi Court on the Birthday of Grand Mogul Aurungzebe”. This unique item of the size of 142x114 cm. (223/4x56x45 inches) has been done to the order of the Saxony Elector August for seven years. To make it, 4,909 brilliants, 160 rubies and one sapphire were used in addition to gold and silver. Nowadays, it is in Dresden in “The Green Vault”. The passion for antique art and glyptic was typical for that time. The interest in antique cameos became mania. Cameos and intaglios were fixed not only in decorations but also in a great variety of articles of common home life. Special schools for gliptic were opened in France. The feature of nobility was more than ever adorned with gems and every possible accessories of jeweler’s art. It became the custom to decorate interiors with jasper, porphyries, multi-colored fluorites, amethyst and chrysoprase. Stones of light cold tones: diamond, aquamarine, light amethyst, rock crystal, agates were used for jewelry. Besides them, enamel was used for decorations. As to cameos, they were cut out in shells and even glass. The new splash of fashion for jeweler items with pearls is dated to the middle of the 19th century. Items from gold and bronze, statuettes from ivory, ceramic medallions and bone porcelain of the Wedgwood works were equally demanded. However, there were brilliants that were considered to be symbols of wealth and power. The discovery of diamond gravel deposits in Brazil caused a slump in prices of the minerals which made them more accessible. At that time to imitate brilliants, special glasses – “paste” (“strass”) were coming into use. Those glasses, named after their inventor – the French chemist J.F. Stras (1700-1773), possessed extraordinary high refraction. In the 18th century, German masters from Thüringia and then from Bohemia revealed the secret of Venetian glass at first as well. Jewelers had learnt to cut glass and to cover it with colored enamel. Glass Beads and bugles of different kinds were produced in considerable amounts. In 1823, Pole Bourguignon took out the patent for the technology of manufacturing gems’ imitations and called them adamantaund stones. These imitations were so perfect that even experienced experts found it difficult to distinguish the fabrication. In 1867, P. Bourguignon set the production of hollow glass beads with wax and superficial cover with pearls essence. After the first experiments by E. Fremi in 1885, synthetic rubies, so called Geneva rubies, appeared in the market. They were made by multiple melting of ruby powder. Gradual rising of the volume of extraction of diamonds in South Africa led to the foundation of the company De Beers in 1888. In the same year, French chemists Autfel and Perret performed the first successful synthesis of crystals of gem-quality emeralds by method of flux from solution in the melt.

In the epoch of the Romanticism festive, solemn adornments of the Empire style showed the way to more refined artifacts. Such sentimental decorations as bracelets and rings made of hair of beloved persons, adornments with symbolical stones and acrostics date back to that period. While earlier jewelry articles were made mainly of gold, with development of romantic style silver became a preferable material and masters created articles in pseudo-medieval style. Alongside brilliants, rubies, sapphires and emeralds in jewelry there was also a rise in using semiprecious stones from Brazil and Mexico such as topaz, amethyst, carnelian, agate and onyxes. They were being put into necklaces, combs, hair-pins, bracelets, diadems, buckles and clasps, as well as applied in large decorations. In the 18th century, steel made its mark in men’s adornments – cuff-links, tiepins, chains, chatelaines, lorgnettes, cane-heads, etc.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century, the modernist style was in prospect. Jewelers gave up silver mountings that masked small sizes of brilliants and began to set large stones in gold. In parallel with that, articles decorated with inexpensive stones mounted in steel were made. Steel decorations for women came into fashion, too. They were bracelets, chains and diadems. Insets of faceted steel were put into rings. The fashion of earrings and items with jet, mainly as mourning decorations, was originated in England. In Russia even men wore earrings, as the artist O.A. Kiprensky showed in the portrait of the hussar E.V. Davydov. In 1860s, they started to wear earrings with clip – so called clips. The Cartier firm made decorations in the style of “garlands”, souvenirs on subjects of animals and plants, magic watches with use of precious stones. K. Fabergé in Russia and L. Cartier in France introduced platinum and color gold in jeweler’s art. Serial production accomplished by punching methods and using electrotype started to flood the market. Exclusive jewelry articles, except for highly artistic items of major firms, proved to be non-competitive. “The Antwerp General Association of Stone Cutters” was created in 1887. Early in 20th century, a quota of mass production of jewelry items increased sharply because of the fast development of the middle class. Correspondingly, a list of inexpensive gemstones applied in jeweler’s art was enlarged. The variety of imitations from new cheap materials, down to plastics – celluloid, bakelite and so on, was also great. The end of the 19th century figured as the growing interest of science in the artificial obtaining from minerals including diamond and ruby, as P.N. Tchirwinsky who described 700 minerals synthesized by 190 scientists by that time could sees from review. His fundamental monograph, published at the Kiev University in 1902, was issued in the U.S.S.R. in the series “Classics of Science” in 1955. Thus, successful synthesis of ruby by E. Fremi and O. Verneil in 1888-1891 was not casual and just from that event on, the epoch of synthetic creation both of analogs of gemstone and of new gems made by man came to existence. By that time, there had been already the complex of precise methods of mineral diagnostics which was adopted by gemology – the science about jewelry-ornamental materials, their properties, and decorative peculiarities, methods of diagnostics, valuation and means of the application of gemstones in the jeweler’s art. Advances in synthesis had given rise to an unquenchable surge of doubts about a natural origin of purchased gemstones. Therefore, gemologists were forced incessantly to perfect their skill and apparatus for diagnosing gemstones and detecting means of their distinction from gems made by men.

In the 1920-s, the geometrical style Art Deco was arisen in France. Geometrical shapes – circles, squares, rhombs and trapezium – prevailed in jewelry. It was combined with contrast of black and white colors; diamonds replaced the former diversity of gemstones. In the 1930-1940-s, jewelry articles as if lost their independence, adapting themselves to the fashion. Lownecked dresses (décolleté) caused appearance of large necklaces and pendants. Evidently, the new splash of interest for pearls was also connected with it. In contrast to the Art Deco style the fashion of polychrome items with motives of flowers and berries evolved. During the World War II inexpensive stones and even bronze instead of gold prevailed in jewelry. In post-war years rich Arabs, Americans and members of royal families set the fashion in jeweler’s art. Selected, perfect stones dominated in jewelry. Decorations themselves were notably extravagant and hold more significance than stylish clothes. Glorifying life, jewelry articles reflected the world of animals. L. Cartier; birds and butterflies quivered into flexible mounts of brooches restored motives of “panthers” to life. Modern technical means of processing along with diamond tools, ultrasonic sound etc. were used in stone cutting. In 1950-60, on all continents of the world have been found out numerous deposits gemstones. By this time, gemology as the science, declares itself occurrence in 1956 of the first gemological magazine in the Great Britain, after it, similar editions in Australia and Germany start to be printed. In 1964, in the U.S.A. has left first number of magazine “Gems and Gemology.” In 1974, the rise of demand for gemstones generated the need for establishment, of the world first exchange for sale and purchase of precious stones in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Unlike exchanges in New York, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, where bargains were struck only for diamonds, the new exchange conducts operations for all gemstones, both natural and synthetic. The “French Center on Gems Sale” was organized in 1979. In the 1980-s, the increasing requirements of rich classes of society were satisfied with the fashion for unusual, non-conventional colors of brilliants. Fancy cuttings gave magnificence to the most ordinary gems. The popularity of the auctions Sotheby’s and Christie’s illustrate the interests of that time. Only in 1990 there were sold jewels to a total value of 370 million dollars.

In the 1990-s, mass culture brought into fashion a “punk” style. Decorations lost their significance; it is not the custom to demonstrate them. Imitations from synthetic stones are widely used; the preference is given to massive gold articles in chains and crosses forms. Jewelers adorn bust brassieres and water closets, telephone sets and dice of dominoes with brilliants. The production of synthetic analogs of gems and their imitations from different gems made by man acquires a commercial scale. Nevertheless, jewelry items from natural stones are in stable demand, at the end of the century. A typical feature of adornments was their eclecticism, mixing of techniques and styles. Beside traditional ways of faceting gemstones, they use fancy patterns as well as laser method of droughing. Another peculiarity of those articles was usage of small faceted stones in the type of “pavè”. Colorless brilliants were set side by side with black ones, rubies – with sapphires, amethysts – with emeralds and the base of articles was performed both with gold and cheap titanium. New kinds of material for faceting were light blue and pink sapphires from Madagascar, orange garnet from Nigeria and Namibia, chrysolite from Pakistan, chrysoberyl from Tanzania, rubies and sapphires from Vietnam. At the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st centuries, jewelry items, which were created due to successes in bio-electronics engineering, appeared. Such sort of gems made by man has a capacity to change coloring in a rhythm of heart pulsation, depending on mood or minor temperature drops. They are called stone-chameleons, or items with light-emitting diodes. In contemporary articles they widely use cultivated pearls of different colors, including those with elements of faceting. In the shape zoomorphic style also came into fashion.

The jewelry, having been wonderfully executed by masters from antique Greek city–colonies on the coast of the Black Sea, occur on the Russian territories in Scythian burial-places dated to the beginning of our era. At the time of the Kievan Russia goldsmiths preferred enamels, local amber and pearls in jewelry. There was a description of the gemstones known by that time (See Appendix 19) in the “Izbornik by Svyatoslav” (the end 11th century). Gems were coming into use in decoration of interiors and for church-plate. “The Kievan Chronicle “ noted that the stone church built in Bogolyubovo in honor of the Nativity of the Virgin, 1175, was decorated with “icons extremely valuable also through gold, precious stones, carved ornaments of jasper and other jewelry”. In the 11th century, small workshops producing beads, items from glass and smalt for mosaics appeared in Kiev. After the Moscow Principality had been transformed into the Russian State, experts in ores and foreign jewelers were invited to search for gold and gem processing respectfully. It promoted development of jeweler’s art. The Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) liked precious stones, collected them, and believed in their medical properties. He permitted foreign merchants to trade with precious stones in Russia. After the enclosing of the Kazan’ Kingdom to the Russian State the “Kazan’ Cap” was created for Ivan the Terrible. That Tsar’s crown – the second after the “Cap of Monomach” – was executed already by Russian masters. The large cabochons of turquoise, pearls and gems stand out beautifully against the background of the chased gold of the crown. Early in the 17th century, foreign masters made the State regalia for the tsar Mikhail Romanov. It was so called “Major Attire” consisting of the scepter, globe and crown, richly decorated with emeralds, sapphires, pearls, garnets and other gems. The wares of goldsmiths of that time, exhibited in the Armory chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, show a high degree of perfection. The examples are provided by the panagiyas on a three-layered onyx: “Mother of God – Oranta” and “The Savior”, as well as the Gospel setting framework (1678) produced with use of various technical methods of decorating. Here is the magnificent combination of carving, engraving, bright enamels and precious stones, 7 large emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires are among them. The faceted sapphires of the Indian handwork are put into the gold medals of the icon “The Holy Trinity” by Rublyev (1626). In 1670, the glasswork for production of bugles was built with the assistance of Venetian masters in the village Izmaylovo in the vicinity of Moscow. From that time on colored glass beads, or bugles became well-known in Russia. Before that time, under the name beads they meant only river pearls. They were widely used for the decoration of boyar clothes, as well as amber and light-colored amethyst. Gold and silver buttons, often with insertions of gems, were in fashion. A description of gemstones of that time was given in the “Russian Commercial Encyclopedia”— “The descriptive book to the effect how young people ought to carry on a bargain and to have knowledge of price for everything” (1575-1610). In 1682, Russian masters made two Tsar’s crowns – “Diamond Caps” for brother-Tsars Peter and Ivan and in addition “Cap of Monomach of the Second Attire” with a scepter for future Peter I. All Tsar’s regalia and thrones are deposited nowadays in the treasury of Russia – the State Armory chamber.

The development of domestic jeweler business was promoted by reforms, which were carried out in the reign of Peter I (1682-1725). By his order tsar’s crowns and other decorations from the treasury of Kremlin were restored. In 1700, the Department of Mining was organized and by the decree of 1719 year so called “freedom of mining” was declared. It permitted free search for precious stones and metals. A corporation of gold- and silversmiths was founded in St Petersburg. In 1721, with help of western specialists the start was made on building of the Peterhof lapidary factory. Faceting or cut of gems was mastered there soon afterwards. By that time, there were known the mines of gems on Murzinka village and malachite deposits at the Urals, marbles in Karelia, jasper, rock crystal, carnelians, agates in Siberia. In 1751, the Yekaterinburg lapidary factory was open in the Urals already without the help of western experts and in 1787, the Kolyvan’ factory began to work in Altai. Due to results of activity of the “Expedition on the Search for Marble and Special Stones” established in 1765, of gold and gemstones new deposits were discovered. The reign of Catherine II (1762-1796) is called a century of fashion for brilliants and gemstones. Among them, rock crystal with inclusions of rutile, as “Cupid’s Arrows” was very popular. The “Grand Imperial Crown” of Catherine II was decorated with bright red spinel of 398.7 ct., with 4936 brilliants and 75 large pearls. Playing cards, the Empress had at her disposal a handful of brilliants and her courtiers tried to follow that example. Count Orlov’s under-vest glittered with brilliants to a total value of 1 million gold rubles and a headgear of the Prince Potyemkin was covered with so numerous precious stones that an aide-de-camp from the Prince escort was to carry it in his arms.

In the 16th and at the beginning of the 17th centuries, blue sapphire combined sometimes with emerald and rubies was a favorite stone of Russian jewelers. Since the middle of the 17th century, rubies have come into fashion, from middle of the 18th century nephrite was very popular, and at the end of the 18th century, in parallel with malachite, emerald became fashionable. In the turn of the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th century articles were decorated with a great quantity of diamonds with plain Greek cut which will be replaced by brilliant-cut to the middle of the century. Great interest in gemstones resulted in a publication of the “Detailed Mineralogical Dictionary” by V.M. Severgin in 1807 and later on of the summary “About precious stones and the means of their identification” (1824) by I.N. Shcheglov. The summary described 80 varieties of gemstones. In 1817 the Imperial Mineralogical Society was created in St Petersburg. It was the second organization in the world of such a type. In 1819-1855, platinum, diamond, emerald, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid were discovered in the Urals. Over 300 monumental bowls, vases, chandeliers and even columns from gemstones for decoration of palaces and cathedrals were prepared at the Yekaterinburg, Kolyvan’ and Peterhof lapidary factories. The acme of that monumental creative work was the gigantic “Tsarina of Vases” from Revnevskaya jasper. It weighs about 10 tons and is more than 2.5 m. high. Its oval mouth is some 5 m. long and over 3 m. wide. The vase creation took 12 years of strenuous work. From the middle of the 18th century, in Russia silver-plated or clad articles came in fashion. They were called superimposed silver, Polish, or Warsaw silver, and also fraje. After the abolition of serfdom in 1861 and falling of the level of life of noble families, not very expensive articles from glass beads came in fashion. Brilliants and large pearls were dominating in decorations since the second half of the 18th and throughout the 19th century. Jewelry of that time was rather plain in their appearance with rather simple ornaments in the style of Classicism. Antique cameos, brooches, diadems, necklaces and earrings with large bear-shaped brilliants, bows and bunches of flowers from precious stones came into female fashion. Gold snuffboxes, watches with chains and seals, buckles for shoes, tiepins and buttons adorned with gemstones and enamel became fashionable for men. Since the middle of the 19th century, fashion on opals in adornments and decorations has been spreading. With advances in the Romantic style semi-precious stones such as aquamarine, topaz, minerals of quartz group, corals and garnets received wider acceptance. Production of decorations from steel was mastered at the Tula plant. Unique works of Russian stonecutters reached its fullest flower. Demidov’s factory demonstrated the “Malachite Parlour” at the exhibition in London in 1851. It consisted of 86 objects faced with malachite, among which were doors as big as 4.4x2 m., 5 tables, 2 arm-chairs, clocks and other things.

By the end of the 19th century, N.I. Koksharov had completed publication of 11 volumes of “Materials on Mineralogy of Russia” (1853-1891). Concerns were growing with respect to gemstone, prospecting and exploitation of its deposits being stimulated. This interest was proved in the publishing of the book “Precious Stones” by M.I. Pylayev, which was printed thrice in 1877-1897. From the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, the stone decoration of the Church of Christ’s Resurrection in St Petersburg was completed. It has acquired the importance as a museum of stone mosaic. Emeralds, alexandrite, amethysts and other gemstones from home deposits were used in jewelry. Masters of Karl Fabergé’s firm were governed by this fashion. The firm had its branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London in addition to the St Petersburg’s main department. Precious bunches were used for the decoration of interiors. An incentive to their manufacturing was an adornment taken from China – a bunch of chrysanthemums. Imperial Easter Eggs by K. Fabergé supplied after the demands since 1884 up to 1917. In addition, the firm turned out traditional decorations, as well as items of utilitarian purpose – tubes for lipstick, scent bottles, handles for umbrellas and walking-sticks, cigarette- and cigar-cases, photo-frames. The masters used a wide range of gold coloration obtained at the cost of application of alloys with different metals and enamels on a surface of articles processed in technique of guilloche. In 1900, at the World Exhibition in Paris, Russia represented mosaic “The Map of France” of the size of 1x1 m., which was made of the Uralian gemstones. Before the revolution in Russia – during the World War I – the patriotic trend of small-sized plastic art from gemstones made progress. Initiators of this trend were the masters of the Fabergé firm and the talented stonecutter and artist A.K. Denisov-Ural’skiy. In 1916, at the exhibition in Petrograd, he showed the series of carved allegoric figures dedicated to the belligerent powers. Expressiveness of topics and a wide range of gemstones used by the master have left a lasting impression in the Russian jeweler’s art. Among scientific works we should mention the monograph by A.E. Fersman’s and V.M. Goldsmith “Der Diamant” (1911). It represented the most detailed crystallographic description of 289 diamonds from Brazil, South Africa, Australia and offers the unique atlas of the forms crystals. That fundamental work illustrated with original drawings by A.E. Fersman’s and supplied with his data on the investigation of the unique diamonds “Orlov” and “Shah” was published in the U.S.S.R., Series “Classics of Science”, in 1955. Thus, early in the 20th cent., when gemology was forming as an independent science Russia kept pace with other civilized countries on that subject.

The October revolution of 1917 expelled rich owners from Russia and abolished the middle class. Both of them were main consumers of luxury articles. The jeweler’s art and processing of stone fell into decay, exploitation of gemstones ceased. In 1920, “GOHRAN” depository of valuable of the Russian Federation was organized, and in 1922 – the Diamond Fund of Russia. At the same time, A.E. Fersman’s began his work of description of the treasures collected here; and in the monograph “Precious and Gemstones of Russia” (1920-1922) it reviewed the previous works on prospecting and exploitation of gemstones deposits before the revolution. In the 1920-s, the trust “Russkie Samotsvety” was created in Petrograd. It coordinated activity of all workshops dealing with stone processing and jewelry production. Nevertheless nationalized treasures were sold off at the world auctions for the purpose to obtain means to overcome the devastation. In 1930-1936, through the system of “TORGSIN” (All-Union society for trade with foreigners) they bought up antique things and jewelries, first of all Fabergé and Bolin articles, most part of which were melted. In 1933, the Leningrad plant for cut of gems was founded. The first its serious challenge was a participation in the creation of stars for towers of the Moscow Kremlin in 1935. The image of the sickle and hammer on those stars was initially inlaid with 7000 cutting stones of large size. Later the plant became famous for assembling of the immense “Map of the U.S.S.R.” with a scale of 1:1,500,000 from gemstones by the Florentine mosaic method. This map was honored with “Grand Prix” at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 and was awarded with a gold medal at the Exhibition in New York in 1939. Except ruby, all stones composing the Map were natural and obtained at home deposits. 45,000 plates from gemstones were prepared for the mosaic. The conventional symbols on the Map were marked by 3,685 cutting stones, including amethysts, topazes, emeralds, aquamarines and almandines. Snow peaks on the Map were figured of opals, mountains – of Orskaya jasper, lowlands – of amazonite, deserts – of Beloretskiy quartzite, seas – of lazurite. The Map was magnified to the size of 27 m2 before it’s sending to New York. It was enlarged due to the depiction of the Arctic Ocean where cut topazes, phenakites and rock crystals marked the drift of the polar station “North Pole-1” set in 1937-1938. Together with the Map, the State Emblems of the Soviet Union and of 11 Union republics 130 cm. in cross-section, as well as the model of the Palace of Soviets made of gemstones adorned the pavilion of the U.S.S.R. in New York. Nowadays, the Map and the State Emblems are kept in the Central scientific researching Geological Prospecting Museum named after academician F.N. Chernyshev, in St Petersburg.

In spite of all the successes of the monumental propaganda of the Soviet period, the jeweler’s art experienced a general decline. The decay was derived from the eradication of ownership. State enterprises produced mainly mass production with synthetic corundum. Gemology generally recognized over the civilized world was considered in Russia as a bourgeois science. Decorations were declared to be over-indulgence and jewelry of old masters was bought up by the state as scrap, or for sale at foreign auctions. The same was also true for the richest jewelry inheritance of the Russian Orthodox Church. The industry was in need of machine tools, which were purchased abroad for gold and other values. At that time, the remarkable scientist and connoisseur of stone A.E. Fersman’s wrote his books that laid the spiritual foundation of contemporary gemology. Those books are: “Colors of Minerals”, “Reminiscence of Stone”, 2 volumes of “Essays on the History of Stone”, “Entertaining Mineralogy” and “Travels for Stone”. Like the tales by P.P. Bazhov and science-fiction stories by I.A. Efremov who anticipated the discovery of diamonds in Siberia a decade ahead, they awoke concern to gemstone.

In the 1960-s, economical conditions in the Soviet Union became favorable for the development of geological prospecting of gemstone. New deposits of diamonds in Siberia were discovered at that time, the works generalizing data on geology of the deposits of precious and ornamental stones were done and monographs on emerald, diamond, turquoise, amber and jasper were published. At the same time the exhibition “Treasures of the U.S.S.R. Diamond Fund” was organized and the album illustrating it was published. The monographs by O.Ya. Neverov about antique cameos of the Hermitage were issued and the book “Aus der Welt der Edelsteine” by G. Bank was translated from German. Works by D.P. Grigoriev (1961, 1975) on ontogeny of minerals – history of mineral species and aggregates in the process of their formation – attract attention of researches to mineral individuals and aggregates, which are used without destroying them. And this is the main condition in the exploitation of gemstones deposits. Ontogeny and such term as anatomy of crystals, which was offered by D.P. Grigoriev, contain scientific base for the synthesis of minerals, technology of processing of gemstones and methods of their diagnostics. At the base of ontogeny him described the regularities of genesis of mineral species and paragenesis – phylogeny. Gemology’s constantly meet the necessity to use them in the researching of such mineral aggregates as gemstones with the effect of “cat’s-eye” or such ornamental stones as charoite, nephrite, jasper and many others. Development of ontogeny and phylogeny of deposits in works of students and successors of D.P. Grigoriev is in the searching crystal morphology of minerals and drawing of mineralogical maps. Practical usage of these methods makes the task of finding out gemstone deposits, as well as the task of choosing the places of maximal crystal rough material concentration, more easy. All added up to a step forward for the revival of gemology in Russia. Mining and quarrying of gemstones has come under intensive development. The following deposits should be mentioned. In the Urals they are: the Vatikha – amethyst, the Bobrovka – demantoid, the Malosidelnikovo – rhodonite. In the Baikal area the Malobystrinskoye deposit of lazurite and in the Transbaikalia area – of tourmaline and beryl were explored. New occurrences of diamonds were discovered in Yakutia, in the area near the Subpolar Urals – of amethyst, in the Polar Urals itself and in the Sayan Mts.— of jadeite and nephrite, on the Kola Peninsula – of amazonite. In 1978, the XI General Meeting of International Mineralogical Association (IMA) took place in Novosibirsk. The lectures on gemological themes were published as collected reports under the name “Gemstones” (1980). It was a presage of a great variety of the subsequent gemological works that were albums by V.B. Semenov et al. on jasper (1979), agate (1982), selenite (1984), malachite (1987), and by A.I. Golomzik on rhodonite (1983). Thereupon, there were published the works dealing with synthetic analogs of gems by V.S. Balitskiy and E.E. Lisitsina (1981), “Jewelry Stones” by N.I. Kornilov and Yu.P. Solodova (1982), “Gems of the U.S.S.R.” by Ya.P. Samsonov and A.P. Turinge (1984), and other summaries on gemstones: pearls, amber, coral, nephrite and jadeite. A major contribution in popularization of gemology was made by editions by S.F. Akhmetov, T.B. Zdorik, V.A. Suprychev et al., while a number of foreign books on gemology were translated: “Gemstones” (1980) by G. Smith, “Gem Testing” (1983) by B. Anderson, “Edelssteine und Schmucksteine” (1986) by W. Schumann, “Gem Cut. A Lapidary’s Manual” (1989) by G. Sinkankas. There is begun the publication five-volumes “The Mountain Encyclopedia “ (1984-1991), containing entries about gemstones.

Under the state monopoly for manufacturing of jewelry, a legal existence of gifted jewelers and stonecutters utterly depended on the favor of Soviet and Communist party leaders who played the role of their customers and guardians of the art. The destiny of V.V. Konovalenko (1929-1989) who was a successor of traditions of K. Fabergé and A.K. Denisov-Ural’skiy was an example. The first exhibition of his ten works at the Russian Museum in Leningrad in 1973 revealed a remarkable master capable to breathe new life into stone, creating characters of Russian folk genre in forms of small sculptures. But he could not obtain complete satisfaction working by orders of “patrons of art”. Therefore, he left Russia for the U.S.A. The master’s works, 20 in all, are displayed at the State Museum of Culture of Gemstone “Samotsvety” in Moscow. In 1984, he showed 22 new works at his personal exhibition in the U.S.A. nowadays, 18 of them are on display at the Museum of Natural History of Denver, Colorado, the U.S.A.

In the modern Russia, where rights of private property have been ensured and the middle class step-by-step rehabilitates itself, jewelry is growing in importance and works of gemologists come into demand. In the latter decades of the 20th century, gemology becomes widely accepted in Russia. Alongside with survived large jewelry enterprises engaged in manufacture of large-scale production, small workshops, creative society and unions of jewelers and stonecutters have been set up. Market of gemstones and articles from them has been created. Jewelry-mineralogical exhibitions and meetings take place systematically in many cities. A number of educational institutions begin training of gemologists. K. Fabergè’s 150th anniversary was widely marked with organization of special exhibitions and competitions, as well as with publication of art albums. A start has been made on issue of gemological magazines: “Jeweler”, “Jewelry Review”, and “World of Gems” in Moscow; “Russian Jeweler” in St Petersburg. The encyclopedic reference books by N.D. Dronova (1996) and by T.B. Zdorik, L.B. Feldman (1998) were published for the benefit of gemologists. Seminars on the jeweler’s art and material culture are periodically carried out (2001) at the State Hermitage, St Petersburg. The exhibitions “Greek Gold”, “Cartier’s Art”, “Fabergé’s World” “Schliemann and Treasures of Troy” were held there. The government initiates the liberalization of the market of precious stones and gold. The State Gemological Survey for ensuring of certification of precious stones has been established in the structure of the Assay Inspection. In 2001, the world conference “New Ideas in the Earth Sciences” was carried out in Moscow. About 60 papers were reported there in the committee of gemology. The Russian Society of Gemologists is organized. Publishing of periodical of the Society of Gemologists entitled “Gemological Bulletin”. The fundamental monograph by E.Ya. Kievlenko “Geology of Gems” (2001) was published. So, from the preceding it may be seen that Russian gemology develops successfully. The Mineralogical society published a collection of reports “Mineralogy, Gemology, Art” (2003) to the 300 anniversary of St Petersburg.

In the end of the 20th century, Russian masters win general recognition again as, for instance, in the case of the Urals designer Elena Opaleva, who was rewarded with “Diamond World Prize” for the brilliant necklace “Giza Sphinx” at the competition organized by De Beers. The jeweler and talented organizer of the private firm “Russian Jeweler’s Art” in St Petersburg A.G. Ananov plays a leading role in the retention of the Fabergé school traditions. By the jubilee of Moscow celebrated in 1997 the masters of Ananov’s House had created the Easter Egg “Cathedral of Christ The Saviour” of 2 kg and 0,25 m in height. The House of A.G. Ananov is entitled to mark its articles with stamp “To Fabergé by Ananov”. So outstanding stone-cutters as Alexander Kornilov, Sergey Fal’kin and Felix Ibragimov prove repeatedly to be leaders at exhibitions “Mir Kamnya” (World of Stone) in St Petersburg. Works both of other creative associations and of certain individual masters from Moscow, Yekaterinburg and other Russian cities are no less interesting. They become more and more notable, due to their works representing inexhaustible wealth of folk creative powers. The first in the Russian Museum of the History of the Jeweler’s Art and artistic cut stone was opened in Yekaterinburg. Unfortunately, the revival of gemology in Russia keeps pace with a decline of the development of gemstone deposits. This situation provokes an in draft of rough materials from foreign countries, synthetic materials being among them to the home market. Simultaneously, a list of synthetic materials produced in Russia is widened. Silvery-white palladium, bluish rhodium, white gold (fusion of gold with palladium), steel, titanium, tombac, etc. are popular among jewelry metals today. Correspondingly enriched gemological terminology is represented in the “Dictionary of Gems” written by B.F. Kulikov and edited by V.V. Bukanov (1982). For the same purpose of straightening out of the home gemological systematization the translation from English into Russian of the “Dictionary of Gemology” by P.G. Read was realized in 1986. Following those editions, the complementary “Dictionary of Gems” by B.V. Kulikov and V.V. Bukanov was published in 1988. It contained about 2000 terms. However, the further increase of the interest for gemology and extension of production and marketing of articles with gemstones demand the work on reference books to be continued. In this connection recently the “Gemological Dictionary – Gemstones” by V.V. Bukanov was published (2001) which included more than 6000 terms.