“There’s gold in them thar hills!” is one of the phrases attributed to old time miners during the gold rush days in the western United States. It turns out there is gold in the hills, in sunken ships, in hidden rooms, and in sacred objects. There are known treasures that have gone missing. The total value is in the multiple billions of dollars. Many of the things known to be lost are priceless. Indiana jones’s
These greatest lost treasures, from all over the world, are still waiting to be found. A discovery of any of these marvellous treasures on our list would immediately make international headlines and those who discover them would become heroes because of the historical significance of these treasures.
Treasure hunters have searched for many of these items. Some searched for decades without any luck. However, we are reminded of the world famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher who searched the waters off the coast of Florida near Key West for more than thirteen years. He would tell his crew every morning, “Today is the day!” until one day it was the day. They found the Nuestra Señora de Atocha. It was a sunken Spanish galleon that held a treasure worth over $400 million.
Here are the world’s most magnificent treasures left for aspiring treasure hunters to find.
15. The Treasures of Flor de la Mar
The Flor de la Mar sunk in November 1511, somewhere off the coast of Sumatra on its return trip from Malacca, Malaysia to bring back treasure for the Portuguese King. The treasure came from the looting of the Sultan of Malacca’s Palace. The Flor de la Mar was a 400-ton ship capable of carrying a heavy load; however, it was unstable in rough seas. Nevertheless, she was selected for the treasure haul back to Portugal. She did not get very far and ran into bad weather near northeastern Sumatra. The storm caused the ship to wrecks on the shoals. Many on board died. The ship sunk during the night of November 20 in 1511 near Timia Point that was part of the Kingdom of Aru in Sumatra.
14. The Tomb of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan ordered that his burial should be made in a secret place without any markings. He was buried with his vast treasures and with his six live cats that he thought would be able to guide him to a pleasant afterlife.
It is assumed that Khan’s body was returned to Mongolia for burial. It is likely he was buried near his birthplace of Khentii Aimag close to the Onon River. Legend says his funeral escort killed anyone they encountered on the way to the burial site. Folklore suggests that a diverted river covered his grave to make it more difficult to find. Also, his horses were used to stampede over the grave and trees were planted to disguise the site. After the burial, the slaves that built the grave were killed as well as the soldiers that guarded them. Permafrost in that part of Mongolia will also cover the burial site.
13. The Lost Golden City OF Paititi
Paititi is the lost city of the Incas located in the tropical jungle. The city was adorned with silver, gold, and jewels. The suspected location is somewhere near the Andes Mountains in the remote rainforest that could be in northern Bolivia, southeast Peru, or southwest Brazil.
The Peruvian Inca leader, Inkarri, founded the cities of Cusco and Q’ero. After that, he moved to the rainforests in the jungle of Pantiacolla and built his city of Paititi as a refuge in order to peacefully live out the rest of his life and to hold his vast treasures. There have been dozens of expeditions since 1935, with the most recent one in 2014, to try to find this lost city in the jungles. Estimates are that the value of the treasures, in modern terms, would exceed a billion dollars because Paititi was literally paved with gold. Somewhere under all the jungle overgrowth, Paititi is peacefully waiting to be discovered.
12. Kruger Millions
This treasure came about because of the Anglo-Boer War. Gold with the value of about 2 million pounds (in today’s dollars US$12 to 15 million) disappeared from the reserves held at the S A Mint and National Bank in Pretoria, South Africa during the last few days before the British occupied Pretoria on June 5, 1900. The British were able to confiscate gold from the South African mines worth about 2.5 million pounds and about 1.3 million pounds from the bank; however two million pounds were missing.
Lord Alfred Milner, who was in charge of finding the gold for the British, did everything he could to find it, yet to no avail. The gold had been taken to the city of Machadodorp by train just before the British arrived. In Machadodorp, where Kruger had a home, he was waiting to receive the gold. The treasure consists of gold bars, unprocessed gold ore, and about 100 lbs. of gold coins. A few times there have been hoax claims of finding it, and flurries of interest by treasure hunters based on rumors of its potential location; however, to date it has not been officially found.
11. The Patiala Necklace
The House of Cartier created the Patiala Necklace for Bhupinder Singh of Patiala who was the ruling Maharaja of the Patiala region in India. It contained a total of 2,930 diamonds. The seventh largest diamond in the world named the “De Beers ” was its centerpiece. Before the “De Beers” was cut, it weighed 428 karats. After cutting and polishing, it weighed 234.65 karats. The necklace had seven other large diamonds of 18 to 73 karats in size and many stunning Burmese rubies.
Sometime in 1948, the necklace disappeared. It is not clear if it was lost, stolen, or sold. During 1982, the missing “De Beers” diamond, by itself, was put up for auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva. It sold for $3.16 million. In 1998, a lucky treasure hunter found a part of the missing necklace in a secondhand jewelry shop in London; however, all the other large diamonds were missing as were the marvelous Burmese rubies, which all still remain to be found.
10. The Amber Room
The construction of the Amber Room started in 1701. It was built for King Frederick of Prussia. Its stunning design used over six tons of amber for its panels. They were backed by gold leaf and mirrors. It was given by King Frederick to the Russian Tsar Peter the Great as a way to ensure congenial relations between Prussia and Russia.
During World War II, the Nazis looted the room. It was completely disassembled and moved to the German city of Königsberg where it was reassembled and put on display. Towards the end of the war, when the city of Königsberg was about to be captured by the allied forces, the Amber Room was moved to a secret location according to the orders given by Hitler to safeguard artwork. It has never been recovered since then.
The Soviet government created a reconstruction of the Amber Room starting in 1979, which took 24 years to complete. There is a current (July 2017) excavation ongoing in Germany at the city of Nordhause, where it is hoped the original may finally be found. Its value is estimated to be over $300 million.
9. The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is rich in gold ore and hidden somewhere in the southwestern United States. Most believe it is located in the Superstition Mountains. They are near Apache Junction, which is just east of Phoenix, Arizona.
Each year, thousands of hopeful prospectors search for the lost mine. Many have spent a lot of time in the hot desert sun suffering from “gold fever,” which even caused a few to die from exposure during their search efforts.
The “Dutchman” who discovered the mine was Jacob Waltz (1810–1891), who was actually German. Americans confused the word “Deutsch,” which means “German,” with “Dutch,” which is a person from Holland because the words sound similar. Waltz demonstrated evidence of his discovery when he came into town to sell his gold ore and gold nuggets; however, he kept the location of the mine completely secret. He died without ever revealing where it was. Finding this mine could be worth many millions. In America, it is still possible to file a mining claim, if a mine is discovered on public land.
8. Buried Pirate Treasure in Oak Island
Oak Island is a privately-owned island of about 140 acres situated in the southern part of Nova Scotia in Mahone Bay. Treasure hunters have searched on the island for over a century and a half. Most of them were looking for buried pirate treasure. One famous pirate, Captain William Kidd, admitted to burying treasure in the area before he was captured in 1699.
There was evidence found of deeply buried structures, which are the style used by pirates who buried significant treasure. Excavations uncovered and removed various levels of wooden platforms in an area called the “Money Pit.” The diggings went down to a significant depth until they hit water flooding the pit from the ocean tides. This is the kind of “booby trap,” which pirates used to discourage anyone from digging up their treasures. So far, no one has been able to figure out how to get past this logistical problem, even though many have invested a lot of money and time trying to do so.
About fifty books have been published about the history of the island and the competing theories about what treasure is buried there. In 2006, two brothers, Rick and Marty Lagina, who are treasure hunters, bought the majority of the island to continue the search.
7. Inca Gold
Much of the gold in this part of the world was looted by the Spanish conquistadors. The Incan King Atahualpha had thousands of pieces of gold including a chain of gold that was made of links the size of watermelons. It took a hundred slaves to carry it. When his city was attacked by Pizarro, the king was kidnapped and held for the ransom of a room full of gold. The people started bringing the gold; however, before the last and largest delivery was made, Pizarro killed the king. When the people learned that Pizarro murdered the king, they hid the remaining gold somewhere in the jungles. All who knew where it was hidden were subsequently killed. This is an extremely valuable lost archeological treasure that still waits to be found.
6. The Lost Catskill’s Treasure of Dutch Schultz
Dutch Schultz was a gangster operating in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. He amassed a fortune from his criminal activities that including gambling and bootlegging. Prosecutor Thomas Dewey indicted him for tax evasion. In order to avoid a conviction, Schultz asked his mob bosses for permission to kill Dewey, which they denied. He tried to kill Dewey anyway but failed. He was then shot by the mob for not obeying orders. Prior to his assassination attempt on Dewey, he got his men to gather up all of his wealth. He had lots of gold, currency, and other loot. It was packed in iron-bound boxes that Schultz buried somewhere in the Catskill’s mountains of upstate New York. He shot and killed all the men who helped him bury the treasure after they finished the job. It is estimated that this buried fortune could now be worth up to $85 million.
5. The Fenn Treasure Hunt
About seven years ago, an art dealer, Forrest Fenn, buried a treasure, worth one million dollars, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. He says he will go back to dig it up when its value increases to $10 million. The treasure is buried in a chest that contains gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry, and gemstones. Many have made false claims to have found this treasure; however, no one has proven to Fenn that they actually did. He says some have come as close as 200 feet to the spot where the treasure is buried. This is one treasure hunt that comes with clues. First, treasure hunters must solve the clues and then put them in the correct order to be guided to the buried treasure. The clues are given in a poem to help you find the Fenn treasure, which consists of six stanzas and nine clues.
4. Heirloom Seal of the Realm
The Heirloom Seal of the Realm is the Imperial Seal of China. The seal was carved out of a special piece of rare jade called the “He Shi Bi,” which has historical significance in China. In China, a seal is used to officially sign documents instead of a person’s signature. The seal was used by Qin Shi Huang after he defeated all other Chinese warlords to form the Qin Dynasty that united China in 221 BCE under his rule as Emperor.
After the Qin Dynasty, the seal passed from dynasty to dynasty as the only official seal for China. It was used by the Wei Dynasty, the Jin Dynasty, during the Sixteen Kingdoms period, the Sui Dynasty, and the Tang Dynasty. It was lost during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907-960).
As a historical piece, the Chinese people consider this lost seal priceless. Theoretically, mere possession of the seal would make that person the Emperor of China. Some claimed to have found it; however, none of the claims, so far, have turned out to be true.
3. King John’s Crown Jewels Lost in The Wash
The Wash is on the eastern coast of England. It is a bay and a point where four major rivers meet, which are the Great Ouse, the Nene, the Welland, and the Witham. It is the largest estuary in England.
There is a controversy about the loss of the crown jewels of King John that happened during 1216. While traveling, the King became ill and decided to return home to his castle in Lincolnshire. He sent his baggage train down the causeway to attempt crossing at the mouth of the Wellstream River. The baggage train moved too slowly and was caught when the tide came in. Many wagons and horses were lost, including the one supposedly carrying the crown jewels. The place where the loss was said to have occurred is near Sutton Bridge and that is located on the River Nene.
Some historical scholars think that King John pledged the crown jewels, in the earlier part of his trip, for debts he owed and then arranged for faking the “loss.” He died from his illness shortly after this trip. So far, the King John’s crown jewels have never resurfaced. If they are still in someone’s hands or can be found, they are worth a fortune.
2. The Mahogany Ship
The Mahogany Ship wrecked in the Armstrong Bay area, somewhere between three to six kilometers west of Warrnambool, which is located in southwest Victoria, Australia. There are published accounts about the wreck being discovered in 1836 by Captain Smith, a local whaler, who went with two men in a whaling ship that capsized near the wreck. Before the wreck could be searched it was covered over by sand and lost again.
The Mahogany Ship could either be a Spanish galleon, perhaps the Santa Ysabel that sailed from Peru to Australia during 1595. Another theory is the ship was one of Portuguese expedition ships that were the earliest explorers to arrive from Portugal in a secret trip during 1522. The trip had to be secret because the waters were under Spanish control at that time.
For one year, the State of Victoria offered a $250,000 reward for finding the shipwreck. So far, some timbers have been found that are uncertain as to their date; however, nobody found any golden doubloons worth millions that may still be buried under the sand. A replica of the Mahogany Ship (which is shown in the photo) was made and put on public display during 2011 at Port Fairy.
1. Ark Of The Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant is described in the Old Testament of the Bible and the Torah (Hebrews 9:4) as a chest made from rare wood that was elaborately carved and gilded with solid gold leaf. It was used to hold the two stone tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments. These tablets were given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai according to the scriptures. The Ark also contained a gold pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. Manna is a food that fell from the sky in the desert when the Israelites were on their Exodus leaving Egypt.
Aaron’s rod is credited with two miracles. God told Aaron to cast it down and it turned into a serpent in front of the Egyptian pharaoh. The Pharaoh’s magicians threw down their rods. They also turned into serpents; however, Aaron’s serpent swallowed all of the others. Then, seven plagues on Egypt followed.
The second miracle happened when the plagues were over. God asked all the leaders of the twelve tribes to bring their rods. The ones selected for the religious leaders of the people would have their rod come to life. Overnight, Aaron’s rod sprouted buds, flowers, and produced sweet ripe almonds. Aaron became a high priest due to this miracle.
Many have searched for the Ark of the Covenant. The last known place for it was the Temple of King Solomon, which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. The ruins of the temple are one of the areas in Jerusalem searched by the Knights of Templar during the middle ages. Some think they found the Ark and it was the source of their extreme wealth; however no definitive proof of its recovery by them or any others has been publicly shown. For the Jewish and Christian religions, this missing treasure is priceless.
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