List of missing treasures

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

Name Existence Year lost Image Description
Menorah from the Second Temple Confirmed 191
Menorah from the Temple in Jerusalem depicted on a frieze on the Arch of Titus in Rome
The Menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem was looted by the Romans in 70 AD and put on view in the Temple of Peace in Rome. The temple burned down in 191 after which the fate of the Menorah is uncertain. If it survived the fire, it could have been brought to Carthage by the Vandals after their Sack of Rome in 455, as mentioned by Procopius in the 6th century.
Ganj-e Badavard Legend circa 7th-10th c.
One of the eight treasures of the Sasanian king Khosrow II
Heirloom Seal of the Realm Confirmed circa 960
Imperial Seal of China created by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, lost after the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.
Egill Skallagrímsson's silver Legend circa 990-995
A large quantity of silver coinage, allegedly buried near Mosfellsbær, Iceland, when Egill was in his eighties.
Kusanagi Legend 1185
Artist's impressions of the Imperial Regalia of Japan
A sword and one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan that legitimize the rule of the Emperor. 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.
Crown Jewels of England Legend 1216
Baggage train of King John ("John Lackland"), lost in The Wash during the First Barons' War.
Llywelyn's coronet Legend 1303
The coronet of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last king of Wales, it was seized along with other holy artifacts at the end of the Conquest of Wales by Edward I, in 1284, was taken to London, and kept with the crown jewels in Westminster Abbey until they were stolen in 1303. It was not present in the inventory taken during the destruction of the crown jewels by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, and remains unaccounted for.
La Noche Triste treasure Legend 1520
Massive amount of gold and silver bullion looted from the Treasure House of Moctezuma II. Occurred during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.[2]
Lost Inca gold Legend circa 1533
Originally intended as part of the ransom of Inca Emperor Atahualpa it would have been hidden once it became known that the Spanish had killed him.[3]
Treasure of Amaro Pargo Unidentified 1678-1747
Portrait of Amaro Pargo located on the canvas of the "Christ of Humility and Patience" of the Shrine 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.
Scepter of Dagobert Confirmed 1795
planche in: Dom Bernard de Montfaucon, Les monuments de la monarchie françoise., Paris, 1729
Originally part of the French Regalia, sometimes considered its oldest part, dating from the 7th century, it was stored in the treasure of the Basilica of Saint-Denis (also known as Basilique royale de Saint-Denis) until 1795, when it disappeared, probably stolen.
Oak Island money pit Legend 1795
A possible treasure trove located in a large hole on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.[5][6]
Treasure of the Esperanza Reported 1816
1.5 million gold pesos and an equal value in silver precolumbian art looted from the Viceroyalty of Peru, shipped on the Esperanza, taken and buried by pirates shipwrecked on Palmyra Atoll.[7]
Treasure of Lima Legend 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.[8]
Confederate gold Legend circa 1865
Gold. Lost after the American Civil War.
Twin Sisters Confirmed 1865
A pair of cannons used by Texas Military Forces during the Texas Revolution and American Civil War. Considered the "Texas Holy Grail."
Tokugawa's buried treasure Legend circa 1868
A legendary treasure allegedly buried in Mount Akagi by the Tokugawa shogunate (disputed).
Kruger Millions Legend 1902
Millions of gold pounds presumed to have been produced by the Boer forces in the South African veld under order of President Paul Kruger. The money was believed to fund the purchase of weapons for the Boer Commandos. The funds went missing. Believed to have been buried or hidden somewhere in South Africa or taken by Kruger to Switzerland.
Crown Jewels of Ireland Confirmed 1907
The Crown Jewels
Heavily jewelled insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. Stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907.
The Tsar's Treasure Legend - Partially Confirmed 1909
$3 million in newly minted American double eagle coins destined to the Russian Baltic Fleet, an $800,000 US Government shipment in mixed coin to the American Atlantic Fleet, and the confirmed loss of $500,000 in passenger effects (all 1909 values) were lost when the RMS Republic foundered off the coast of New England as a result of a collision.
Florentine Diamond Confirmed 1918
Copy of the diamond
Lost yellow diamond with Indian origin.
Lost Imperial Fabergé eggs Confirmed 1922 or later
The Alexander III Commemorative egg

Six eggs in the Imperial series are missing:[9]

The Just Judges Confirmed 1934
Lower left panel of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which was displayed at the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, was stolen during the night of 10 April 1934.
Royal Casket Confirmed 1939
The Royal Casket
Memorial containing 73 precious relics[14] that had once belonged to Polish royalty. Looted during World War II.
Sword of Islam Confirmed 1943 Ceremonial sword presented to Benito Mussolini in 1937.[15] Disappeared in July 1943, after his summer residence was destroyed. [16]
Peking Man Confirmed 1941–1945
Fossil remains of Homo erectus pekinensis; dated ~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.[17]
Amber Room Confirmed circa 1945
Removed from Catherine Palace, Saint Petersburg, by Germans during World War II and transported to Germany. Estimated (adjusted) value: $142 million. Reconstructed in 2003.[18]
Yamashita's gold Legend circa 1945
War loot stolen by Japanese and hidden in the Philippines. Alleged. Named for General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
Awa Maru treasure Legend 1945
Gold, platinum, and diamonds worth more than $5 billion. Lost when the Japanese ship Awa Maru was hit by a torpedo and sank in April 1945.[19]
Nazi gold train Legend 1945
A train laden with gold and other treasures hidden by the Nazi Germans in a tunnel near Wałbrzych, Poland.
Honjō Masamune Confirmed 1945
The Honjō Masamune, a legendary samurai sword, created by the master swordmaker Gorō Masamune between 1288 and 1328 AD. The sword was passed down over the centuries from Shōgun to Shōgun, and is considered a priceless Japanese cultural artifact.
Patiala Necklace Confirmed circa 1948
The Patiala Necklace
Made by the House of Cartier in 1928 for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, then Maharaja of Patiala. A necklace containing 2,930 diamonds including the world's seventh largest diamond, the 428 carat "De Beers", the Patiala Necklace vanished from the Royal Treasury of Patiala around 1948. Some diamonds were later recovered.
Nelson's Chelengk Confirmed 1951
Nelson with the Chelengk in his hat
A medal made of diamonds given to Admiral Horatio Nelson for his naval service. Placed in the National Maritime Museum in London in 1929 and stolen in 1951.
Tucker's Cross Confirmed 1975
Emerald-studded gold cross, discovered in a shipwreck in 1955 and stolen from a museum in Bermuda sometime prior to 1975, when it was discovered to have been replaced with a fake.[20]
Lufthansa heist Confirmed 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.[21][22]
Argentine flag in the Falkland Islands Confirmed 1982
Argentine Flag buried by the soldiers who fought during the Falklands War[23]
Brink's-Mat robbery Confirmed 1983
Gold bullion, diamonds, and cash valued at £26 million (worth approximately £79 million in 2015)
Antwerp Diamond heist Confirmed 2003
Diamonds, gold and other jewels worth $189 million. Dubbed the "heist of the century".[24]
Graff Diamonds robbery Confirmed 2009
43 items of jewellery, stolen in London on 6 August 2009. Valued at nearly £40 million.[25]
Ivory Coast Crown Jewels Confirmed 2011
Gold pendants, necklaces and bracelets worth $6 million.[26]
Brussels Airport diamond heist Confirmed 2013
Diamonds stolen from airplane at Brussels Airport valued at $50 million.[27]
Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary Confirmed 2015
Safe deposit facility burgled in London, total stolen could have been up to £200M

See also


  1. McCullough, Helen Craig (1988). The Tale of the Heike. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1418-5.
  2. Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Mexico. ISBN 0-375-75803-8.
  3. James, Owen. "Lost Inca Gold". National Geographic.
  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. "DAVID MURDOCK: Oak Island's Money Pit".
  6. "Oak Island Money Pit has drawn treasure seekers for centuries". Slate Magazine.
  7. Connor, Martin (14 April 1923). "Priceless Treasures of the Incas May Be Buried on Island in Palmyras". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Honolulu. p. 1. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  8. Copping, Jasper (5 August 2012). "British expedition to Pacific 'treasure island' where pirates buried their plunder". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  9. Website by Annemiek Wintraecken: Missing Fabergé Eggs
  10. Lowes, Will; McCanless, Christel Ludewig (2001). Fabergé Eggs A Retrospective Encyclopedia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press Inc. p. 22. ISBN 0-8108-3946-6.
  11. Lowes, Will; McCanless, Christel Ludewig (2001). Fabergé Eggs A Retrospective Encyclopedia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press Inc. p. 24. ISBN 0-8108-3946-6.
  12. "News & Research: The Lost Imperial Nécessaire Fabergé Easter Egg". Wartski. London: Wartski Ltd. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  13. "Faberge — Treasures of Imperial Russia". Archived from the original on 13 April 2012.
  14. Barbara Kobielska. "Cenne, Bezcenne, Utracone (Valuable, Priceless, Lost)" (in Polish). Pagina. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  15. "I rapporti tra il fascismo e il mondo arabo - islamico". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  16. Romersa, Luigi (September–October 1994). "Benito e Rachele Mussolini nella tragedia". Storia Verità. No. 17.
  17. "Sinking and salvage of the Awa Maru" (PDF).
  18. Blumberg, Jess (1 August 2007). "A Brief History of the Amber Room". Smithsonian. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  19. Seagrave, Sterling; Seagrave, Peggy (2003). Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold. Verso. p. 203. ISBN 9781859845424.
  20. "Bio of Bermuda Teddy Tucker". BerNews. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  21. Fox, Margalit (13 June 2012). "Henry Hill, Mobster and Movie Inspiration, Dies at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  22. 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.
  23. El misterio de la banderas y los sables enterrados en Malvinas
  24. Goldman, Russell (13 August 2009). "Stolen Jewels, Art and Cash: World's Biggest Heists". ABC News. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  25. Edwards, Richard (11 August 2009). "Graff Diamonds £40 million jewellery robbery is Britain's biggest gem heist". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  26. Tovrov, Daniel (13 July 2011). "Thief! Ivory Coast's Crown Jewels Stolen". International Business Times. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  27. Chrisafis, Angelique (19 February 2013). "Diamond heist at Brussels airport nets gang up to £30m in gems". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2013.

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