Throughout history, mankind has lost valuable treasures. While some were seized, taken or destroyed, others simply vanished without a trace. While most of the time such valuable treasures are recovered, there are many that have still managed to remain missing. Even today, with all the advances in science and technology, mankind is incapable of recovering some of these long lost treasures. Here, we take a look at some of them that have never been found or may never be found.
1. Fabergé eggs are egg-shaped ornaments decked with gemstones and precious metals. Out of eight missing eggs, only one of them has been discovered until now and sold for more than $33 million.
Although there is no official record, as many as 69 Fabergé eggs are believed to have been created, of which 57 survive today. The eggs were made during the 19th century for Russian royalty and eight of them are believed to be lost. In 2014, a scrap metal dealer who was checking a flea-market, saw a decorated egg and decided to buy it. Neither the seller nor the buyer were aware that the decorated egg was in fact one of several missing Fabergé eggs. The scrap metal dealer later discovered that his dollar purchase was worth more than $33 million, reports LA Times. (source)
2. The Forrest Fenn hidden treasure worth millions is buried in the Rocky Mountains.
Somewhere in the Rockies, in the roughly 1,000 miles between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Canadian border, lies a treasure chest worth millions. Forrest Fenn, 87, a former Vietnam fighter pilot and art dealer, claims to have hidden the fortune back in 2010 and as of today, close to half a million people have gone hunting for the treasure and came back empty handed. “No one knows where that treasure chest is but me,” Fenn told NPR in 2016. That includes his wife. Fenn however, has offered a cryptic 24-line poem he wrote in his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase”.
“Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn recently told Business Insider. “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot”. (source)
3. The Beale ciphers that hold the clue to more than $60 million in buried treasures, hidden in Bedford County, Virginia.
According to one legend, a man named Thomas Beale and his accomplices came across $65 million in gold and silver while on expedition in early-19th-century New Mexico territory. The men then allegedly moved the valuable hoard several hundred miles to Bedford County, Virginia, where they buried it. In order to find the treasure, Thomas Beale left three ciphertexts, containing strings of comma-separated numbers, with an innkeeper in Virginia. The innkeeper forgot about it for 20 years. When he finally realizes that Beale is not coming back for it, he decides to cipher it but has no luck. Even today with all the advanced computers and machinery, no one has been able to decode the ciphers and find the exact location of the buried treasure. (source)
4. The treasure of Lima, worth $1 billion, is buried on the Cocos Island in Costa Rica.
During the 19th century, as war broke out, the Spanish Viceroy decided that it was best to move all the riches out of Lima and return them when it’s safe. So, Spaniards commissioned respected British Captain William Thompson and his vessel Mary Dear to transport the Treasure of Lima. The vessel was filled with gold coins, silver, diamonds, and a solid gold life-sized statue and was en route to Mexico. Respected captain Thompson however, had a different plan. He deceived all his crew members except for two men who he trusted, then headed towards Cocos Island, where he is believed to have buried the hoard. Over the next two centuries, many experienced treasure hunters have unsuccessfully tried to recover the buried treasure. (source)
5. The Irish Crown Jewels, worth more than $20 million, disappeared from Dublin Castle in 1907 and are still missing today.
In 1903, a safe room was installed in the Dublin Castle, but only then did they realize that the safe containing the Crown Jewels was too big to fit inside. Because of this, the safe was left outside the strongroom in the library. There were two keys to the safe, which were both held by Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms who was charged with protecting the jewels. He carried one with him at all times while he left the spare in a locked drawer in a desk at his home.
While it’s not clear how one obtained the key to the safe, one legend states that Vicars mistakenly left the first key to the safe attached to a key ring with his other office keys. On the morning of July 6, 1907, a cleaning woman found the door to the safe-room standing wide open. The same day, Vicars learned that the safe had been emptied and the Irish Crown Jewels had disappeared. Upon their return, the king and queen were furious about the disappearance of their prized jewels. Although the Dublin Police conducted an investigation, it has never been solved. (source)
6. The Mosby’s Treasure, a burlap sack containing $350,000 worth of gold, silver, and family heirlooms, buried somewhere in Virginia.
During one of his many raids during the Civil war, Commander Colonel John Singleton Mosby is said to have discovered a burlap sack containing $350,000 worth of gold, silver, and family heirlooms. As he was returning, he ran into trouble along the modern U.S. route 211. So, Mosby buried his hoard between two large pines, which he marked so he could later return and recover it. Although Mosby was unable to return for his valuables, he sent his trusted men and gave them directions. Sadly, the men ran into trouble along the way and were captured. It is believed that Mosby’s treasure still remains buried somewhere in between two large pines in Virginia. (source)
7. The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, a secret mine rumored to have gold worth millions.
There is allegedly a secret mine rumored to lie in the hills surrounding Arizona’s Superstition Mountain range. Every year, almost 10,000 people from all over the country set off for the mountains outside of Phoenix to search for Jacob Waltz’s mine. According to the History Channel, “Thousands have tried and failed to decode the series of cryptic clues said to lead to the fortune”. It is estimated that the mine would contain gold worth $200 million in today’s value. Local authorities however advise people to not go looking for the treasure or to take extreme caution if they plan to trek. (source)
8. The Little Bighorn Treasure, worth $25,000, a pricely sum in the 1800’s, is buried somewhere along the Bighorn River, and known only to a select few.
In June 1876, steamboat Captain Grant Marsh set a speed record with his ship the Far West, and also stashed away gold estimated to be worth $25,000. According to the History Channel, Marsh is rumored to have buried $25,000 in U.S. Army currency, somewhere along the Bighorn River. Since 1876, no one has uncovered Marsh’s stash and only a select few are aware of the exact location where it is buried. (source)
9. Butch Cassidy’s Treasure
One of the Wild West’s most famous outlaws, Cassidy was known to take everything from money and gold to cattle during his long career. Like every other outlaw, he hid his loot in caves or buried deep underground. According to some reports, he is believed to have hid $20,000 somewhere in Colorado’s Irish Canyon. Although countless treasure hunters have searched for the treasure, as far as anyone knows, it has been without success. (source)
10. Maharaja of Patiala’s 2,930-gem diamond necklace worth $125 million, which vanished without a trace.
During the early 1900’s, the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, asked Parisian jewelry workshops of Cartier SA to create “a ceremonial necklace worthy enough for a King”. The famous House of Cartier created an astonishing piece of necklace that had five rows of platinum chains adorned with 2,930 diamonds. It was also encrusted with Burmese rubies, among other jewels. The centerpiece was the seventh-largest diamond in the world.
The necklace, estimated to be worth $125 million today, mysteriously disappeared from the royal treasury of Patiala on April 1948. In 1982, at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, the “De Beers” diamond reappeared. There, it was sold for $3.16 million. 50 years after its disappearance in 1998, Eric Nassbaum, a Cartier representative, stumbled upon the remnants of the necklace in a small antique shop in London. Cartier purchased it and decided to restore the necklace to its former glory. While a replica of the necklace exists today, the original diamonds as well as the Burmese rubies are still missing. (source)