List of lost treasures

Wikimedia list article

This is an incomplete list of famous treasures that are currently lost or missing.

Name Year lost Image Description
Ark of the Covenant 586 BC
Gold plated vessel, 2½ × 1½ × 1½ cubits (as 2+12×1+12×1+12 royal cubits or 1.31×0.79×0.79 metres).
Copper Scroll treasures circa 25–75
Part of the Copper Scroll
The text on the scroll is a list of treasures of gold and silver, with locations.
Kusanagi 1185
Artist's depiction
A sword and one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan that legitimize the rule of the Emperor of Japan. Lost at sea in the Battle of Dan-no-ura in the Genpei War.[1] Current government claims possession, but has not permitted outside verification.
Dracula's Treasure 1462–1476
Treasure vault of Snagov monastery lost when Vlad Dracula's brother Radu took it in 1462, when Turks took it in 1463, or after Vlad's death in 1476. Buried, thrown into Lake Snagov, or transferred elsewhere.[2]
La Noche Triste treasure 1520
Gold artwork looted from the palace of Moctezuma II. Occurred during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.[3]
Treasure of Amaro Pargo 1678-1747 d.C.
Portrait of Amaro Pargo located on the canvas of the "Christ of Humility and Patience" of the Hermitage of Our Lady of El Rosario in Machado (Tenerife).
The treasure would be composed of "carved silver, gold jewelry, pearls and stones of value, Chinese porcelain, rich fabrics, paintings and perhaps 500,000 pesos".[4] The stories about this treasure are varied, some place it in the environment of the Roques de Anaga, while others place it in the zone of Punta del Hidalgo and the cave of San Mateo, northeast of Tenerife. At present, said treasure has not been found nor identified.
Polish Crown Jewels 1795
Polish crown regalia consisting of several crowns, sceptres, orbs, swords and jewels. Looted by the Germans after the Third Partition of Poland and destroyed on the order of Frederick William III of Prussia in March 1809.[5]
Treasure of Lima 1820
Gold, silver and jewellery stolen from the Spanish in 1820. The treasure is thought to be buried on Cocos Island in Costa Rica and it is estimated to be worth £160 million.[6]
Benito's treasure 1821
Pirate loot of Benito Bonito, said to be worth about US $300 million. Accounts vary: buried in area of present-day Melbourne or Queenscliff, Australia; or on Cocos Island.
Confederate gold circa 1865
Gold. Lost after the American Civil War.
Tokugawa's buried treasure circa 1868
A legendary treasure said to be buried in Mt. Akagi by Tokugawa shogunate (disputed).
Irish Crown Jewels 1907
The Crown Jewels
Insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, which had lots of jewels on it. Stolen from Dublin Castle.
Eight lost Imperial Fabergé eggs 1922 or later
The Alexander III egg
The Just Judges 1934
Lower left panel of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which was displayed at the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. It was stolen during the night of 10 April 1934.
Royal Casket 1939
The Royal Casket
Memorial containing 73 precious relics[7] that had once belonged to Polish royalty. Looted during World War II.
Peking Man 1941–1945
Fossil remains of Homo erectus pekinensis; dated about 500,000 years old. Lost during World War II: in China in 1941 or may have been on the Awa Maru when it sank in 1945.[8]
Amber Room circa 1945
Removed from Catherine Palace, Saint Petersburg, by Germans during World War II and transported to Germany. Worth about $142 million.[9]
Yamashita's gold circa 1945
War loot stolen by Japanese and said to be hidden in the Philippines. Named for General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
Awa Maru treasure 1945
Gold, platinum and diamonds worth more than $5 billion. It was lost when the Japanese ship Awa Maru was hit by a torpedo and sank in April 1945.[10]
Patiala Necklace circa 1948
The Patiala Necklace
A necklace containing 2,930 diamonds. This included the world's seventh largest diamond, the 428 carat "De Beers". Some diamonds were later found. Made by the House of Cartier in 1928 for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, then ruling Maharaja of Patiala.
Nelson's Chelengk 1951
Chelengk in Nelson's hat
A medal made of diamonds given to Admiral Horatio Nelson for his naval service. Stolen from the National Maritime Museum in London.
Lufthansa heist 1978
Cash and jewels from a robbery at Lufthansa's cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in December 1978. With a value of about $5 million, it was the largest cash robbery in the United States at the time.[11][12]
Antwerp Diamond heist 2003
Diamonds, gold and other jewels worth $189 million. Said to be the "heist of the century".[13]
Graff Diamonds robbery 2009
43 pieces of jewellery. They were stolen in London on 6 August 2009. Worth nearly £40 million.[14]
Ivory Coast Crown Jewels 2011
Gold pendants, necklaces and bracelets worth $6 million.[15]
Brussels Airport diamond heist 2013
Diamonds stolen from airplane at Brussels Airport, worth $50 million.[16]
Funeral regalia of King Charles IX and Queen Christina of Sweden 2018
Two crowns and an orb stolen from Strängnäs Cathedral.[17]


  1. McCullough, Helen Craig (1988). The Tale of the Heike. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1418-5.
  2. Raymond T. McNalley and Radu Florescu (1994). In Search of Dracula. Houghton Mifflin Co. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  3. Prescott, William H. (4 December 2001). History of the Conquest of Mexico. ISBN 0-375-75803-8.
  4. Sánchez, Almudena. "La ruta del pirata Amaro". Canarias7. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  5. "Crown Treasury and Armoury". Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  6. Copping, Jasper (5 August 2012). "British expedition to Pacific 'treasure island' where pirates buried their plunder". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  7. (in Polish) Barbara Kobielska. "Cenne, Bezcenne, Utracone (Valuable, Priceless, Lost)". Cenne, Bezcenne, Utracone. Pagina. ISSN 1428-6467. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  8. "Sinking and salvage of the Awa Maru" (PDF).
  9. Blumberg, Jess (1 August 2007). "A Brief History of the Amber Room". Smithsonian. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  10. Seagrave, Sterling; Seagrave, Peggy (2003). Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold. Verso. p. 203. ISBN 9781859845424.
  11. Fox, Margalit (13 June 2012). "Henry Hill, Mobster and Movie Inspiration, Dies at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  12. Gardner, David (13 June 2012). "After years spent dodging bullets and avoiding sleeping with the fishes, Henry Hill - the real-life mafia turncoat immortalized in the film Goodfellas - dies naturally aged 69". Mail Online. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  13. Goldman, Russell (13 August 2009). "Stolen Jewels, Art and Cash: World's Biggest Heists". ABC News. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  14. Edwards, Richard (11 August 2009). "Graff Diamonds £40 million jewellery robbery is Britain's biggest gem heist". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  15. Tovrov, Daniel (13 July 2011). "Thief! Ivory Coast's Crown Jewels Stolen". International Business Times. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  16. Chrisafis, Angelique (19 February 2013). "Diamond heist at Brussels airport nets gang up to £30m in gems". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  17. "Swedish crown jewels: Speedboat thieves steal priceless treasures". BBC News. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.

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