Ever wondered about the location of both the ancient and modern world treasures? People in ancient times amassed enormous wealth in the form of precious stones, gold, coins, and royal artifacts. Over time, the treasures worth vast amounts of money vanished, and the treasure hunters in the modern day are on the chase to uncover them. Some have been lucky, while others have died trying to find lost treasure. Below is a list of ten world treasures still waiting to be discovered.
1. Fabergé eggs are jeweled Easter eggs made by the House of Fabergé and given to Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. Of the eight missing eggs, one has been found and sold for more than $33 million.
Faberge eggs date back to 1885 when Alexander III from the House of Romanov and a Russian Tsar at that time wanted to impress his wife, Maria Feodorovna. He tasked Peter Carl Faberge to design him a special gift to present to his wife during Easter.
The first egg was an egg-shape covered in pure gold, and it was a beautiful gold yolk and a hen. Maria loved the gifts, so, Faberge was officially given the responsibility to produce similar eggs for every year at Easter. Of the total fifty-two Easter eggs commissioned for the royal family, two did not make it to the royal family.
In 1917, the reigning son of Alexander III, Nicholas II, was overthrown by the Bolsheviks and executed together with a majority of his family members. The royal egg tradition ceased as Faberge left Russia for Switzerland where he spent the rest of his life.
The Bolsheviks seized all the Tsar’s treasures and stored some in the Kremlin Armory while others, including the golden Easter eggs, were sold to finance the new government at that time. Out of the fifty Faberge eggs commissioned for the royal family, seven are still at large, and no one knows their whereabouts. But one thing is sure, these eggs are out there waiting for someone to find them. They include a hen with a Sapphire pendant, Necessaire, Mauve, Royal Danish, an egg with an engraving of Alexander III, a Cherub and a Chariot, and the Empire Nephrite. (1, 2)
2. The Amber Room, which was once the world’s wonder made of six tons of amber and leaf of gold, vanished during WWII. This art was built in 1701 by Andreas Schutler for the town of Charlottenburg.
The Amber Room was constructed in 1701 by Andreas Schutler using the finest fossilized resins and pure gold for the town of Charlottenburg. Modern estimates of the room’s value range from $142 million to over $500 million as of 2016. However, the room was moved to Berlin Palace. In 1716, Fredrick William I gifted the Amber Room to Peter the Great, who was the king of Russia at that time as a seal to their alliance against Sweden.
In Russia, Catherine Palace housed the amber chamber. The whole process of moving the room took over ten years. Six tons of amber and gold was used to cover a fifty-five-meter square space.
During WWII, the German soldiers disassembled the room and took back to Germany to be kept in Konigsberg in 1941. Konigsberg’s bombing in 1944 shattered the Amber Room. Some historians believe that the blasts destroyed the precious room.
However, there is another version of the story that the precious Amber Room could have survived the terrible war and is lying somewhere. Some theories suggest that the room might be lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. One piece of the four pieces making up the chamber was found in 1997 and used to develop a new Amber Room. (1, 2, 3)
3. Multimillionaire Forrest Fenn has hidden treasure in the Rocky Mountains worth $2 million. The answer to the location of the cache is in a memoir dubbed “The Thrill of the Chase.”
Forrest Fenn is one living man who decided to give treasure hunters and luck enthusiasts a wild goose chase for his mysterious loot. He was a gallant soldier who worked as a military pilot and earned the Silver Star. His love for art propelled him to collect artifacts on his off-duty days. Fenn, together with his wife, ventured into the art business and established Fenn Galleries in 1973. They sold artifacts, including gemstones, paintings, bronze sculptures, and other objects. The business boomed and generated over $6 million by the early 1980s.
In 1988, Doctors diagnosed Fenn with cancer. Sure of his fate, Fenn knew he wouldn’t last long with the illness. He decided to hide his hoard in the hope that someone would find it. Fenn initially had the plan of carrying the cache to the mountains and die with it. However, he miraculously survived cancer and the treasure laid in his house until 2010 when he moved it to a mysterious place. Allegedly, the answer to the mysterious location of his booty is revealed a twenty-four line poem in his memoir.
The poem is in a book under the name “The Thrill of the Chase.” Many people have analyzed this poem word by word, created websites dedicated to the search including a whole sub-Reddit dubbed Finding Fenns Gold. This particular sub-Reddit had a whopping 15.9k members interested in this treasure. Additionally, four people have died trying to find this treasure which is said to be worth over $2 million. These deaths pushed Fenn to give more clues which have never yielded any fruit. Fenn says no one except himself know the location, and should he die today, he will surely go to the grave with his secret. (source)
4. A golden owl worth $295,000 was buried somewhere in France in 1993. A book of riddles titled On the Trail of the Golden Owl is supposed to lead to its location, but it still hasn’t been found.
Just like Fenn’s treasure, the Golden Owl is also another mystery that has a whole book believed to have clues to its location. As part of armchair treasure hunt, Valentin, with the help of an artist named Michel Becker, published a book titled On the Trail of the Golden Owl and released it in 1993. Allegedly, Valentin hid a replica of golden owl statuette that he hoped would be found by treasure hunters within a few months.
Many people have tried to decode the riddles in the book with no success. Valentin, who died in 2009, was once quoted saying: “If all the researchers put all their knowledge together, the owl would be found in two hours.” The hunter who will uncover this treasure will earn the real golden owl statuette. Surprisingly, Michel Becker himself, who is the co-author of the book, has no clue of the owl’s location. In 2011, the courts barred Michel Becker from selling the prize. (1, 2)
5. This 2,930-gem diamond necklace worth $125 million today and was created for the Maharaja of Patiala vanished from the Royal Treasury in 1948. Part of the jewelry was found with many large jewels missing.
The house of Cartier in 1928 crafted the Patiala necklace for Bhupinder Singh. The chain was made up of 2,930 diamonds and was the most expensive and exquisite piece of jewelry ever made by Cartier. At the center of the necklace were diamonds, including the world’s largest diamond famously known as “De Beers.” The process of crafting this masterpiece took three years, and it’s estimated to have cost $125 million.
However, the necklace mysteriously disappeared in 1948, and a part of it was later discovered in London by Eric Nussbaum. The central diamonds were missing from the chain, and efforts to trace them have proved futile. The House of Cartier tried to restore the found jewelry by adding synthetic diamonds. (1, 2)