The Top 10 Treasure Finds of All Time
The Top 10 Treasure Finds of All Time
Whether it's hidden up in a corner of a farming field or buried underwater deep in the ocean floor, there's always a chance that somebody out there might find something valuable, stunning, and most amazing. And in some cases, such treasure troves end up being among the most valuable treasure finds of all time. In this article, we'll look at the top 10 treasure finds of all time. For this list, we'll go over the most financially valuable treasure ever found or reported found across the world.
The Holy Grail of Shipwrecks
Value: Approximately $20 billion
In June 1708, a battle erupted between British troops and Spanish troops aboard a 62-cannon galleon named San Jose. The British troops prevailed that afternoon and the Spanish galleon San Jose erupted in flames just off the Cartagena coast in Colombia. By night, San Jose had disappeared into the ocean floor of the Caribbean Sea. The ship sank with 600 crewmembers together with gold, silver, and jewelry that are said to be worth more than $20 billion today.
For over 300 years, the wreckage stayed on the ocean floor until it was discovered in 2015 by the Colombian government working closely with a private exploration company. Despite being probably the most valuable shipwreck of all time, the treasure trove has not been recovered since and it's the center of a dispute between Colombia and Spain who are all laying claims of ownership.
The Black Swan Project/Mercedes Treasure
Value: Approximately $500 million
Known as the Black Swan Project or the Mercedes Treasure, this is the name given to a highly-disputed treasure trove found in 2007 in the Atlantic Ocean. In 2007, a U.S. private exploration company discovered and recovered 600,000 rare gold and silver coins on the ocean floor in the Atlantic Ocean.
After making their discovery public, it became the epicenter or a controversial and ugly dispute between the exploration company and the Spanish government who claimed ownership of the coins stating that they were carried by the Spanish ship known as Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, which unfortunately sank off Portugal in 1804. At the end of a legal dispute that lasted for five years between the Spanish government and the company, the Spanish government prevailed. Today, the coins are distributed across various museums in Spain to show the Spanish heritage and are said to be worth more than $500 million.
The Sroda Treasure
Value: Approximately $120 million
Found: Between 1985 and 1988
Back in 1985 while demolishing a part of the local telephone exchange building in the town of Sroda, Poland ahead of renovation, workers found a vase beneath the building's foundation. This vase was filled with more than 3,000 groschen-type silver coins dating back from the 14th century. Three years later in 1988, an even bigger treasure trove was found in the vicinity of the first discovery. This second find contained lots of gold and silver coins as well as an array of jewelry including a ring bearing the head of a dragon and a gold crown.
Some of the highlights of the treasure find included a gold woman's crown said to perhaps have belonged to Blanche of Valois who was the first wife of Emperor Charles IV, there were 39 florin-type gold coins, approximately 2,924 groschen-type silver coins, and many valuable pieces of jewelry. Most of these valuables date back to the 14th century and are said to be worth at least $120 million. Today, most of these treasure finds are kept in the regional museum in Sroda.
The Le Catillon II Hoard
Value: $13.3 Million
For nearly 30 years, treasure hunters Reg Mead and Richard Miles had been searching for a treasure when their perseverance, passion, and dedication finally paid off in June 2012 when they discovered what would become known as the Le Catillon II Hoard on the British island of Jersey.
When archaeologists were called to recover the treasure trove, it was discovered that the hoard contained 68,000 rare gold and silver coins as well as gold neck torcs, and glass beads that were probably buried by the French Celts somewhere between 30 B.C. and 40 B.C. Said to be 6 times bigger than any other Celtic hoard ever found, this treasure trove was said to be worth approximately $13.3 million.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard
Value: Approximately $11 million
While walking their dog in their private rural property in February 2013, an anonymous North Californian couple is said to have come across a large rusty can protruding from the ground. Upon a closer look, the couple discovered that the can had hundreds of stunning gold coins. They decided to look further using a metal detector and found a total of eight cans filled with a total of 1,427 rare gold coins dating between 1847 and 1894.
The collection included; 1866-S $20 Double Eagle/no motto gold coin said to be worth about $1 million, 1866-S $20 Double Eagle/no motto, which is the finest known, as well as many other coins of that period. This treasure remains the largest known discovery of gold coins ever found in the United States and is said to be worth around $11 million.
Gold Coins from a Spanish Fleet
Value: Approximately $4.5
In 2015, a group of treasure trove hunters led by diver William Bartlett discovered 350 rare Spanish gold coins from a Spanish shipwreck believed to have sunk in a hurricane just off the Florida coast 300 years ago. Nine of the gold coins were said to be rare coins known as "royal eight escudos" and are said to be worth millions of dollars.
Despite spending more than three centuries underwater, the treasure trove was in impeccable condition and was worth about $4.5 million.
Value: Approximately $4.1 million
For treasure hunters amongst us, you'll never know when you'll hit a jackpot but only hope that one day you might hit one. This is exactly what happened to an amateur hunter, Terry Herbert on July 5, 2009. While searching a farm in Hammerwich, Staffordshire, his metal detector detected something. He sorted permission from the landowner and after five days of thorough digging, discovered 3,500 objects in what became known as the Staffordshire Hoard.
This treasure find consisted mainly of rare military objects dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. These objects consisted of 3 pounds of silver, 11 pounds of gold, and some of the rarest semi-precious garnets with some originating from as far as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Reports indicate that these objects might have found their way in Staffordshire when the area was attacked by Vikings and was valued at $4.1 million not long after they were discovered. Today, the Staffordshire Hoard is on display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The Hoxne Hoard
Value: $3.8 Million
This is probably one of the most captivating stories surround treasure finds. On November 16, 1992, Peter Whatling, a tenant farmer in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England lost his hammer in the farm field. He asked his friend who had a metal detector to help him find the hammer. Instead of finding the hammer, the two found thousands of spoons, jewelry, and coins made of gold and silver.
They alerted the authorities who dispatched archaeologists to the site for excavation. To their amazement, this hoard became the largest treasure of Roman gold and silver ever discovered in Britain. Made in the 4th and 5th century during the Roman Empire rule, this hoard had 14,272 miliarenses and siliquae silver coins, 24 nummi bronze coins, 569 solidi gold coins, and many other very rare jewelry and spoons. The entire collection is valued at $3.8 million and is on display at the British Museum in London.
The Cuerdale Hoard
Value: $3.2 million
On May 15, 1840, workers repairing a ridge of the River Ribble in Cuerdale in Preston, England discovered a box that contained what would become one of the biggest Viking hoards ever found not just in Britain but in the entire world.
This rare hoard contained 8,600 items including some of the rarest silver coins, jewelry, and ingots. Most of these items are believed to have originated from Italy, Scandinavian, and Byzantium. They had been buried between 903 A.D. and 910 A.D. at a time when the Vikings were expelled from Britain. Today, the hoard is on display at the British Museum in London.
The Caesarea Sunken Treasure
In 2015, a scuba diver named Zvika Fayer was scuba diving off the ancient Israel port city of Caesarea when he stumbled upon what he initially thought was a kid's toy. Upon a closer look, he discovered a gold coin with unique engravings on it, and that's when he realized he'd found something super special.
The scuba diver returned with metal detectors, searched the area thoroughly, and in the end discovered more than 2,000 gold coins plus other valuable items that are said to have dated back 1,600 years ago. The treasure trove is now in the custody of the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA). Unfortunately, no exact value has been attached to this treasure find to this date but experts say it's so valuable and perhaps priceless! Well, these gold coins are considered extremely valuable to historians as they're among the rarest.
There you have it; these are the top 10 treasure finds of all time. Most of them were found by members of the public who laughed all the way to the bank while the treasure troves ended up in various museums across the world. So if you're one of the passion treasure hunters around, do not lose hope yet; there might be something pressure just around the corner waiting to be discovered.