POINTS OF INTEREST
In 1922 the fledgling Soviet government established this amazing collection of diamonds, jewelry, and precious minerals. The items on display within the Armory Chamber date from the 18th century to the present. Highlights of the collection are the Orlov Diamond, a present from Count Orlov to his mistress, Catherine the Great (1729–96); and the Shah Diamond, which was given to Tsar Nicholas I (1796–1855) by the Shah of Persia as a gesture of condolence after the assassination in 1829 of Alexander Griboyedov, the Russian ambassador to Persia and a well-known poet. Tickets to view the exhibit are sold for specific times, and viewings begin every 20 minutes. They are sold at the entrance to the Fund (inside the Armory Chamber), not at Kutafiya Tower, where tickets for other Kremlin museums can be bought.