Channel your inner treasure hunter with these lost treasures that may or may not be true (although countless people have gone out in search of them with limited to no success at all). From lost crown jewels to missing golden eggs that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, check out this intriguing selection of 15 real-life lost treasures. FYI, these treasures are still unclaimed up to this moment – or at least they were, before we posted this article. Happy Hunting!
1. Black Beard’s Treasure
In the 1700s, the fearsome pirate Blackbeard terrorized the Atlantic coast, stealing and plundering goods and treasure with his cannon ship and vicious crew. In 1718, he was decapitated by British Lieutenant Robert Maynard, leaving behind legends of treasure. In 1996, what was believed to be Blackbeard’s ruined ship was discovered near North Carolina, but the loot remains unfound. If you are interested, you can start looking for it at the Caribbean Islands, Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay and the Cayman Island caves.
2. King John’s Lost Crown Jewels
King John was known as having an affinity for stealing gold and other precious jewels for both himself and his soldiers. In October of 1216, King John set out for Norfolk but halfway across, he fell ill with an attack of dysentery which forced him to go back to Newark Castle on a longer but safer road. His baggage train which included his treasure, however, took a shorter but much dangerous route across the marshes. The horse-drawn wagons moved too slowly for the incoming tide, and many were lost, including the treasure carts. The 70 million dollar collection of jewels was never found.
3. Leon Trabuco’s Gold
During the Great Depression, dollar value in the US was at an all time low while gold was on the rise quickly. A Mexican millionaire named Leon Trabuco thought it would be a good idea to hoard sixteen tons of gold and bury it beneath the New Mexico desert until gold prices peak on the market. Unfortunately, the Gold Act of 1934 made private ownership of gold illegal, and Trabuco was unable to cash in on his scheme. Trabuco and his partners all died untimely deaths, taking the location of the gold their graves.
4. Peking Man
This famous historical and archaeological find in the early 1930s was shipped to the United States via boat , but it never reached its destination. It is assumed the boat had been sunk in 1945, with all the priceless ancient human bones still lying somewhere on the ocean floor.
5. The Alamo Treasure
It is widely believed that a treasure remains buried on the battle compound, a secret which dates back to 1836, the year of the famous American battle of 188 men including Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett attempting to fight off a Mexican army from Santa Ana. It was believed that the Texans brought with them a fortune in silver and gold called the “San Saba Treasure,” said to be worth millions of dollars in order to fund their own army.
6. The Amber Room
Considered as the eighth wonder of the world, The Amber Room is an 11-foot hall filled with priceless artworks and amber gold-edged mirrors studded with precious jewels. Originally created for King Friedrich the 1st and later given to Russia’s Peter the Great in 1716, the Amber Room’s estimated value is $142 million in today’s dollars.
This legendary artifact is said to be designed by God himself and built to house two stone tablets: The Ten Commandments. In 597 and 586 B.C., the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites and the Ark of The Covenant, which was supposedly stored in the temple in Jerusalem was never heard of again. Nobody really knows if it was destroyed or captured or hidden.
8. The Barber Dimes
The Barber Dime is considered to be the rarest American coin in history – even though over 4 million of them were originally produced. According to stories, when the shipment was being transported from Phoenix to Colorado, the wagon train was accidentally tipped into the Black Canyon. It is said that only a dozen of these coins are currently in existence. One of the coins was reportedly sold in 2007 for 1.9 million dollars.
9. The Ending to Hitchcock’s “The White Shadow”
In 1923, Hitchcock made a film called “The White Shadow” in which he himself was the writer, director, set designer and editor. The hastily produced film unfortunately bombed at the box office, and eventually known copies began to disappear. That is until 2011, when three of the movie’s six reels mysteriously turned up in New Zealand. It turns out the reels have been kept safely in the New Zealand’s Film Archives. Surprisingly, the first half of The White Shadow held up quite well during its stay in the archives, but the last three reels remain lost. Today, any one of those films would fetch millions of dollars on the market.
10. The Lost Dutchmen Mine
It was during the famous gold rush in Arizona where the German immigrant Jacob Waltz hit the jackpot after he discovered a huge cache of gold at the Superstition Mountains, which made him a very wealthy man until his death in the late 1800s. Many a miner had searched far and wide for the location of this mine, but nobody ever found it. Word is it’s still somewhere up there in the Superstition Mountains just waiting to be discovered again.
In 1885, The Russian Tsar Alexander commissioned the services of Russian Jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé to make golden “hen eggs” for his wife Empress Maria. Fabergé then spent the next 33 years creating over 50 eggs. In 1917, the Russian Revolution executed the royal family and Fabergé, fearing for his life, fled the country. The golden eggs were allegedly stored in the Kremlin’s armory and some were reportedly sold to finance the new regime. Eight of the original eggs are now missing, with each egg costing over a hundred million dollars.
12. The Mobster’s Treasure
Dutch Shultz was heavily involved in America’s mob scene in the 30s causing him to amass a large fortune. Fearing he was hunted by the law enforcement, Shultz allegedly decided to keep all his wealth hidden somewhere Catskill Mountain Range. In 1935, Shultz was gunned down, taking with him the secret location of his buried wealth, which is estimated to be around 10 million dollars.
13. The Oak Island Money Pit
It all began in 1795, when some kids found a circular depression underground on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. As the kids dug some more, they found traces of pickaxes and planks, as if someone had gone deep underground then filled it up again. Over the years, rumors began to circulate that pirates like Captain Kidd and Blackbeard might have dumped their treasure in this island. The rumors were further fueled when somebody found an inscription on a stone that read: “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried”. Nothing has been found so far, and the search for the Oak Island Money Pit has led to the deaths of 6 people over the years.
14. The Secret City of Paititi
Paititi is the name of a legendary hidden Inca city in the southeastern part of Peru. Legend has it that the Incas have hidden their treasures in this city made of silver and gold to keep it away from Spanish invaders. The current estimated value of this lost treasure is reportedly $10,000,000,000.
15. Treasures of Lima
In the 17th up to the 18th century, while Europe was plundering South America, it has been rumored that the Europeans were storing their spoils in Lima Peru. But when the Peruvian War broke out and forced everyone out, the amassed treasure was passed onto the custody of Captain William Thompson, who was put in charge of transporting the treasure to Mexico. The temptation proved too much for Thompson, who turned pirate and headed for Cocos Island, where he and his men buried the treasure. It was agreed that they lay low until the situation had calmed down, at which time they would reconvene to divvy up the spoils. Unfortunately for Thompson, he and his crew were eventually captured, and all but Thompson and his first mate were hanged. In exchange for their lives, the two agreed to lead the Spanish to the stolen treasure. They took them as far as Cocos Island before managing to escape into the jungle. Thompson, the first mate, and the treasure were never seen again.