The Mysterious Disappearance Of The Russian Crown Jewels

A recently-discovered book at the U.S. Geological Survey Library in Reston, Virginia is supposedly a 1922 catalog of the Russian crown jewels, which once belonged to the Romanov family and fell into the hands of revolutionaries when the last the czar was toppled in 1917. When compared to the official inventory of the jewels published in 1925, it became apparent that four items in the earlier book are missing from the 1925 volume. One, a sapphire brooch, was traced to a London auction in 1927, but the fate of the other three items is a mystery. Read more about the discrepancies at NPR. Link

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Interesting read, Alex -- 2008 was before I began reading Neatorama, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.
An acquaintance of mine recently told me that she was given as a gift, a piece of jewelry containing an alexandrite that is larger than anything I've ever seen. I must admit that that news sped my heart up a bit. Those stones are truely rare. I'm hoping she'll bring it in to the office on our next visit so I can ogle it.
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I haven't been able to look at diamonds as being particularly 'valuable' or 'special' (whatever the provenance) since 60 Minutes covered the De Beers cartel, and the Russian stockpile of diamonds, about 20 years ago. I have been considering buying a synthetic diamond lately though. The quality of a manufactured diamond is so good these days, it's difficult to tell real from fake without a jeweler's loupe. They have the added benefit of not being used to fuel wars.
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