All The Brilliants

Catherine the Great Kristin Hanson

A celebration of extraordinary Power Women throughout time, a jewel or significant artifact of her era, and a modern interpretation of this narrative in jewelry.

Catherine The Great
Catherine The Great


Ruling Russia from 1762 until 1796, Catherine the Great was a Power Woman whose story is far from dull. Her gutsy transformation from German Princess to Russia’s Empress involved abetting her dim husband’s death (and other rivals), a questionable intimate personal life (it did not involve a horse), a thirst for empire (expanding into Europe, Asia and North America), a Turkish war and an epic peasant revolt (Pugachev’s Rebellion). She had socially enlightened views and personally disagreed with Russia’s serfdom structure. Yet keeping her throne meant keeping the nobles happy. Following the revolt, she proclaimed an amnesty - forgiving the peasants to end the violence inflicted upon them by their lords. While Catherine did not eradicate slavery, she did reform it. She also reformed the Russian civic administration and rewrote Russian laws. As a patron of education, she built schools throughout Russia and granted greater freedom for women to pursue education. The arts thrived under her influence, including a golden age of female artists - and we have Catherine to thank for the Hermitage Museum. In her time, she absolutely left an indelible mark on history as the most powerful woman in the world.

Portrait by Fyodor Rokotov, 1763

Catherine The Great's Diamond Bow Necklace


Cathrine the Great’s contribution to history also included the largest addition to the storied Russian Imperial family’s collection - dating back to Peter the Great. One of her sublime additions was this multi-wear diamond necklace with a bow clasp, which could be worn together or separately. Thought to have been commissioned by the Empress herself between 1760 and 1780 (she would have been 30 - 50), one can only imagine what it might have symbolized for her. Femininity? Playfulness? Love?

Following the end of the Romanov dynasty and World War I, this unforgettable jewel was among “The Russian State Jewels” London auction in 1927. A few auctions later in 2016, it sold for over $2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva.

Oh the stories this jewel could tell...


Since the Sun King, bows have enjoyed several vogues in jewelry history. @KristinHanson’s modern interpretation on this motif are why we are smitten once more!

Be it bracelet, ring or earrings Kristin’s diamond bow jewels are sparkling statements of femininity with denim jeans or an ethereal gown. Especially with a touch or two of pink diamonds!

Kindly contact us with interest.