List of missing treasures

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

Name Existence Year lost Image Description
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.
Kusanagi Legend 1185
Artist's depiction
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 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 artefacts 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]
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.[3][4]
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.[5]
Confederate gold Legend circa 1865
Gold. Lost after the American Civil War.
Tokugawa's buried treasure Legend circa 1868
A legendary treasure allegedly buried in Mt. Akagi by 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.
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 1914
Copy of the diamond
Lost yellow diamond with Indian origin.
Lost Imperial Fabergé eggs Confirmed 1922 or later
The Alexander III Commemorative egg

Seven eggs in the Imperial series are missing:[6]

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[7] that had once belonged to Polish royalty. Looted during World War II.
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.[8]
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.[9]
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. Alleged. It was lost when the Japanese ship Awa Maru was hit by a torpedo and sank in April 1945.[10]
Nazi gold train Legend 1945
A train laden with gold and other treasures hidden by the Nazi Germans in a tunnel near Wałbrzych, Poland.
Honjo Masamune Confirmed 1945
The Honjo Masamune, a legendary samurai sword, created by the master swordmaker Gorō Masamune between 1288–1328 AD. The sword was passed down over the centuries from Shogun to Shogun, and is considered a priceless Japanese cultural artefact.
Patiala Necklace Confirmed circa 1948
The Patiala Necklace
A necklace containing 2,930 diamonds including the world's seventh largest diamond, the 428 carat "De Beers". Some diamonds later recovered. Made by the House of Cartier in 1928 for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, then ruling Maharaja of Patiala.
Tucker's Cross Confirmed 1975
Emerald-studded gold cross, discovered in a shipwreck in 1955 and stolen from a museum in Bermuda in 1959.[11]
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.[12][13]
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".[14]
Graff Diamonds robbery Confirmed 2009
43 items of jewellery, stolen in London on 6 August 2009. Valued at nearly £40 million.[15]
Ivory Coast Crown Jewels Confirmed 2011
Gold pendants, necklaces and bracelets worth $6 million.[16]
Brussels Airport diamond heist Confirmed 2013
Diamonds stolen from airplane at Brussels Airport valued at $50 million.[17]
Hatton Garden Jewellery Heist 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. "DAVID MURDOCK: Oak Island's Money Pit".
  4. "Oak Island Money Pit has drawn treasure seekers for centuries". Slate Magazine.
  5. Copping, Jasper (5 August 2012). "British expedition to Pacific 'treasure island' where pirates buried their plunder". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  6. Website by Annemiek Wintraecken: Missing Fabergé Eggs
  7. Barbara Kobielska. "Cenne, Bezcenne, Utracone (Valuable, Priceless, Lost)" (in Polish). Pagina. 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. "Bio of Bermuda Teddy Tucker". BerNews. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  12. Fox, Margalit (13 June 2012). "Henry Hill, Mobster and Movie Inspiration, Dies at 69". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  13. 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.
  14. Goldman, Russell (13 August 2009). "Stolen Jewels, Art and Cash: World's Biggest Heists". ABC News. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  15. Edwards, Richard (11 August 2009). "Graff Diamonds £40 million jewellery robbery is Britain's biggest gem heist". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  16. Tovrov, Daniel (13 July 2011). "Thief! Ivory Coast's Crown Jewels Stolen". International Business Times. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  17. 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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