Demantoid, one of the most brilliant gemstones in existence, has a long association with Russia and its royalty. First discovered in Russia's Ural mountains in 1868, it immediately became highly popular and was especially coveted by Russian aristocracy. Tsar Nicholas II himself commissioned his finest artisans to fashion elaborate jewellery featuring the luminous green gemstone. Indeed, demantoid appeared in many of Carl Faberg/ae's pieces for the Russian royal family. A variety of the species andradite, part of the garnet group, demantoid is highly regarded for its diamond-like adamantine lustre. With a higher dispersion than diamond, its vivid green colour is borne out by tremendous brilliance, a distinctive and much-esteemed feature of the gemstone. In addition, only Russian demantoids showcase interesting and 'valuable' inclusions: curving bundles of fibres known as "horsetails". Cutters strive to display these inclusions that resemble fine silky strands radiating from a small central inclusion. Lot 2204 is an excellent specimen which exhibits all these classic and highly-desired attributes of the gemstone. Russian demantoids are also very scarce, especially in sizes larger than 3.00 carats. The present gemstone, weighing 5.98 carats is thus extremely rare and clearly demonstrates that the cutter must have fashioned the demantoid from a truly exceptional piece of rough.