The Most Popular Souvenirs

Balalaika
Why would a tourist need a balalaika? What is he/she supposed to do with it? Well, for the same reason as for many other souvenirs - as a memento.  
Balalaikas in souvenir shops are beautifully painted, and even if you are never going to use it for its intended purpose, it will certainly be an adornment to your collection of souvenirs and can become a bright and original element in any decor.
Matryoshka

Matryoshka – Is the most famous and best-selling souvenir. And this is not for nothing. They are very Russian little things, and seem saturated with the spirit of the days of yore. So it will be quite puzzling to learn that the first matryoshka was made just in the late 18th century in Moscow. In those times amid the rise of the national self-consciousness a workshop was founded under the name Children Education with the aim of rebuilding traditional peasant toy crafts. The idea of such a toy was conceived by the painter Sergei Malyutin who was inspired by a figurine of old Fukurama, which contained a few more figurines placed one inside another. It was brought from the Japanese island of Honshu. Malyutin painted the doll as a Russian peasant girl and gave it the most common Russian name, Matryona, Matryoshka. The first doll according to Sergei Mlyutin’s design was made by the wood turner Vasily Zvezdochkin.



Black caviar

Beluga caviar, and caviar from stellate sturgeon, starlet, and Caspian sturgeon is highly valued all over the world; it is rich in vitamins and minerals and is exceptionally tasty. Beluga caviar is the most expensive and delicious.
It is not necessary to travel to Astrakhan to buy caviar. It is available in most big shops and supermarkets in the country. But it is important to know that the best caviar is produced in Astrakhan. Fish farms also operate in the Yaroslavl Oblast. The Rzhev fish production complex is rapidly growing as well.

Red Caviar

Red caviar is the caviar of humpback salmon, silversides, chinook salmon, red salmon and chum salmon. It is cheaper than black caviar, palatable and healthy. In Russia, no holiday meal is complete without a jar of red caviar. During Maslenitsa (the national winter farewell and spring welcome holiday) it is traditionally served with pancakes, and it is just impossible to imagine a New Year's Eve table without red caviar. It is produced mostly in Sakhalin and Kamchatka (in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, and the Pacific Ocean).

Vodka

The first mention of the word "vodka" in the Russian language, referring to alcoholic beverages was recorded in 1431. It didn’t become a widely known alcoholic beverage in Russia until the 16th century. However, the word "vodka" worldwide is still associated primarily with Russia. Admittedly, the Russian distilleries have reached unprecedented heights in the production of the drink. Over time, production technology has changed, but the taste and effects of vodka on the body remain the same.

Nowadays, many distilleries use various tricks to make the taste (as much as this is applicable to a 40% ABV drink consisting of water and alcohol) of its products softer and give it certain notes to stand out from other distilleries.

Gold Items

Russian Gold is mined in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, a number of north-eastern regions, the Primorsky Territory, and the Amur region. Jewelry items are made according to GOST, and the content of additional metals (such as nickel, silver, and palladium) in them is strictly controlled. That is why the result exceeds all expectations.
These items essentially do not corrode, and with proper care will maintain their beauty and gloss almost for eternity. In Russia, there are 7 alloys (proba) under the metric system: 375, 500, 583, 585, 750, 875, 916, 958, 999. 999 gold is pure gold and is used mainly in the chemical industry. 585-alloy products are especially popular.

Diamonds

Almost all diamonds produced in Russia today are mined in Yakutsk soil, in the Sakha Republic. Diamond mining company Alrosa is the second largest in the world.

Jewelry Yakut diamonds are clean, with either a slight brownish or yellowish hue, or else completely transparent. They undergo treatment in factories located in Yakutia, Smolensk and Moscow; you can buy them in factory shops and jewelry stores across the country.

When buying diamond jewelry, pay attention to two main characteristics of the stones: defects and cleanliness. On the other hand, the rules of diamond selection are the same all over the world; it makes no sense to explain them in detail.