Russian/Orthodox Crown Jewels
Their Lore and History
Written by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Russia Crown

The Russian Imperial Crown of 1762. The central band of diamond oak leaves and acorns symbolize state power. At the top is a 400 carat Chinese ruby with Empress Elizabeth's perfect 56 carat diamond below. It also has pearl trim. Until the nineteenth century (19th) diamonds were imported from India. This diamond studded crown was made for Catherine II's cornation. This crown weighed nine pounds and was said to have given Nicholas II a headache since it pressed against a scar on his forehead.

This is the Shapka Monomakh (Cap of Monomakh of the Second Order) from the 13th or 14th century. This crown was used at the coronation of the Muscovite grand princes and tsars until the late 17th century. The Crown of the Second Order was made for the duel coronation of Ivan and Peter Alexeevich. The ancient cap was placed upon the head of the elder Ivan and the Cap of Monomach of the Second Order was placed upon the head of the younger Peter. For more photographs and information about this crown see:

Cap of Monomach of the Second Order|The original Crown of Shapka Monomakh|Vladimir Monomakh

To see the Muscovite rulers Click Here

The Crown of Kazan belonged to Ediger Mahmet, the last ruler of the Tatar (Tartar) state of Kazan. This sixteenth (16th) century crown is one of the oldest in Russia. The gold crown is studded with pearls, garnets, and Turquoise. The sable-fur trimming was for comfort.


Theodelinda's Crown was from the early seventh (7th) century. It was made of gold and precious stones and is housed in the Cathedral Treasury in Monza. Theodelinda was the Christian wife of two successive Lombardy rulers, and took any active part in establishing peace between the Pope, the Eastern Empire, and the secular powers of northern Italy. This crown displays expensive jewels rather than craftsmenship.

In 1239, St. Louis brought the relic crown of thorns from the emperor of Constantinople, and the Ste. Chapelle was built to house the previous relic. This crown is in the Louvre in Paris, France.


Crowns of the Orthodox Church. Left is the Bishop's Crown. Right is the Marriage Crown. This one belonged to Alexander Pushkin, the writer.


For information on British Crown Jewels click icon above.
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