Historic Gems

10 World Famous Historic Jewels and Treasures

Like many other people throughout the world, I myself am amazed by the treasures that man can find. What really catches my attention about these treasures is not so much their value in dollars, but instead what they are worth historically.

I have searched the internet for hours and found 10 not-so-famous treasures, but nevertheless they have their historical value and some of these treasures and jewels have amazing stories behind them. So please feel free to read on if you love treasures, jewels and history.

1. Hope Diamond

This is one of the most famous of all the diamonds on the planet. It's a large 45.52 carat, deep blue diamond that was mined in Golconda, India around 1650 to 1660. It originally was a part of a bigger 115 carat diamond when it was first mined.

The diamond has being known by many names through out the decades like Blue Diamond of the Crown, French Blue, Tavernier Blue and then finally the Hope Diamond in 1824. It got its final name after the jeweler who cut it known as Henry Phillip Hope. It was also said that the diamond has a dark back ground with a curse on whoever owns it at the time.

In 1949, the diamond would be sold again to a diamond merchant named Harry Winston who bought many famous diamonds of that period then kept it in his family for 40 years, showing it at exhibitions. The diamond would then go on to be donated to the Smithsonian Institution on November 10, 1958 by Harry Winston Inc. sending it through the mail in a plain brown paper bag to the museum. This diamond has got some amazing stories and history behind it and has been in the hands of royalty and some of the richest people in the world. Its also said that diamond merchants today claim the Hope Diamond to be the largest and most perfect blue diamond in the world with an estimated value of a quarter of a billion dollars.

This diamond is just about known to everyone in the world and no wonder with such an extensive history behind it. It's also known as one of the most interesting pieces of history. So if your interested, then research the diamond and read some of the incredible stories and people the jewel has graced over the years and I guarantee you won't be sorry.

2. Varna Necropolis

This treasure I thought to be one of the more interesting treasures found and wanted to share. The site known as Varna Necropolis is a large burial site located in Bulgaria. It was accidentally discovered by excavator Raycho Marinov in October 1972.

After being discovered and more then 3000 golden objects had been removed from over 294 graves, experts claimed the gold dated back to 4200-4600 B.C and is the World's oldest gold. The gold is also said to be 23.5 carats but they can't say from were it came.

In one grave, over 38 golden objects had been removed and weighed just a little over 6 kilograms. Many of the artifacts found were produced by heating and hammering the metal, and even some newer evidence suggests some of the artifacts were molded using a lost wax technique. This find is as known to be the most ancient civilization in Europe.

3. Jubilee Diamond

Who can forget to mention this little beauty? This diamond is a large flawless, clear white diamond weighing now 245.33 carats and has been graded as E color which means its one grade away from colorless.

This diamond has become another one of the World s famous gems and is known as the 6 th largest diamond in the world. It was originally found in South Africa in the Jagersfontein Mine at the end of 1895. It then weighed an amazing 651 carats when it was in ruff form. The diamond was then sent to Amsterdam in 1896 where a smaller 40 carat piece was cut off and fashioned into a pear shape and the larger piece was then cut again and fashioned into the Jubilee Diamond with 88 facets. The smaller pear shaped diamond has since disappeared.

4. Pearl of Allah

This was an unknown treasure even to me, but it still has an incredible story around it which makes it world famous or at least in my eyes.

On May 7, 1934 a clam farmer off the coast of the Philippines was about to make the find of his life. As the farmer dived to get clams his eyes caught an enormous site. Right there was a huge clam nothing like the diver has ever seen before. He manages to get the clam out of the water and on to shore and was shocked at the shear size of this thing but when he opened it, that's when the surprise of a lifetime was found. There in the middle of the clam was a 14 pound pearl that was 9.4 inches long.

The pearl stayed in the family which founded it for many years and in 1999, the owners had received an offer from an unlike source interested in buying it. Bin Laden had sent 2 of his representatives to the owner and offered $60 million US for the pearl so he could offer it as a gift of unity to Saddam Hussein. The deal fell through but it's said that Saddam was ready to except the gift.

According to Guinness Book of Records and the San Francisco Gem Lab, the value of the pearl is worth $40 million US and is now in the ownership of the Pearl for Peace Foundation which is a charitable organization.

5. Millennium Sapphire

This is absolutely one of my most favorite gems that have been ever discovered and wait till you see why.

This amazing gem was discovered in 1995, in Madagascar. When this beauty was found it weighed in 27 pounds and was an astonishing 61,500 carats. This gem had a lot of controversy surrounding it when first discovered and eventually leads to the impeachment of the president of Madagascar.

After returning to the states it was certified as a natural sapphire and was designated as a national treasure in Madagascar. The sapphire went on to be polished and then carved. The carvings that now appear on the sapphire are those of world famous events in history and famous people. After the cutting and the polishing of the gem, it went on to break 3 world records.

Today's value of the sapphire is estimated to be $90 million to $500 million US and is considered one of the most complicated cut gems in the world.

6. Globe of Jewels

This is not a world wide recognizable treasure but it really should be because of the beauty and materials it was made from.

Construction of this treasure was ordered during the rule of Nasser-Din-Shan between the times of 1848 to 1896 in Iran. When it was completed the globe contained more than 51,000 precious gems, 75 pounds of pure gold and is known as the Most Magnificent globe in existence. The seas and oceans are represented by emeralds, countries are done with rubies and diamonds and the whole globe itself is solid gold.

The total height of the globe is 44 inches and is 18 wide. Biggest ruby on the globe is 75 carats, largest emerald is 175 carats and the largest diamond is 15 carats. This globe is known to be the only one of its kind on the entire planet.

7. Pereshchepina Treasure

One day in 1912 outside a small village in Poltava, Ukraine a young boy playing tripped over a golden vessel and fell into a grave of Kurat founder of the Bulgarian Empire.

After excavations where complete, the scientist and historians had unearthed and removed over 800 pieces of artifacts. Some of the artifacts found were 19 silver and gold vessels, gold jewellery, precious gems and a torc which is kind of like an over grown necklace.

Along with the gold other interesting artifacts like pottery, farming and blacksmith's tools and mirrors and amulet's where among the treasures found. Most of the treasures found dated backed to the Byzantine, Persian and Barbarian era.

The weight of the gold found was 25 kilograms and the silver was 50 kilograms. Anyone interested in learning more or seeing the actual treasure can see it at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

8. SS Republic Shipwreck

The SS Republic was a side-wheel steamship that sunk in a hurricane off the coast of Georgia in October 25, 1865. At the point it went down it was known that the cargo aboard was worth a small fortunate at the time but no one had been able to locate the exact point of the wreck.

October 18, 1865 the cargo was $400,000 worth of gold and silver $10-$20 coins intended for the use of hard currency after the war, had been loaded aboard the ship with a number of passengers going to New Orleans. 7 days later the mighty steamship had been lost to the ocean with all her cargo but crew and passengers did manage to escape aboard life rafts and were rescued a short time later.

People searched for the wreck for decades but it wasn't until August 2003, that the wreck was discovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. in 1,700 feet of water, 100 miles Southeast of Savannah, Georgia. It wasn't long before the wreck started to give up its contents to the eager treasure finders.

More than 750 gold coins have been recovered. 60% of the find is the $20 gold coins, while the other part of the find was the $10 double eagle coins. Shortly after discovering the coins, another 900 silver seated Liberty half dollars were discovered as well. They were not among the listed cargo aboard the ships manifest at the time of its sinking but still divers. At the time of the discovery divers were recovering about 1,000 coins a day.

Experts claim the treasure to be estimated between $120 million to $180 million US in today's currency.

9. Tillia Tepe or Golden Mound

In the summer of 1979 in Afghanistan, 6 graves containing over 20,000 golden objects were discovered all dating to around the 1 st century B.C.

The six graves belonged to 5 women and one man who were said to be extremely wealthy. Some of the golden objects discovered were coins, necklaces set with gems, belts, medallions and crowns where just a small part of the hoard that was found. It was even rumored the treasure had been destroyed in the 2000 looting of the Taliban but late was discovered again hidden away in some crates in the museum basement.

The collection was last on public display at the Musee Guimet in Paris from December 2006 to April 2007.

10. SS Central America

This is another one of my favorite historical shipwrecks and is claimed to be one of the richest shipwrecks ever found.

The SS Central America was sometimes called the Ship of Gold which on September 3, 1857 had over30,000 pounds of gold loaded into its cargo hold. After the 477 passengers and 101 crewmen boarded the ship set sail for New York City but never arrived. Somewhere around September 11 the steamed powered ship had started taking on water badly and crew and passengers had launched the life rafts and left the ship which eventually sank.

Although almost everyone escaped with their lives, the loss of the fortune was felt by all and contributed to the Panic of 1857. It was said at the time the value of the gold was around $2 million.

Finally on September 11, 1987 the Columbus-America Discovery Group had discovered the shipwreck using a ROV. An additional ROV was built for the recovery of the gold and objects from the bottom of the ocean. Many of the gold objects had been recovered, when out of the blue 39 insurance companies claim to have rights to the treasure because they had paid out on policies when it was lost which the discovery team argued it was abandoned.

After a large legal battle 92% of the gold was awarded to the discovery team in 1996, almost ten years after being discovered. It is said that total value of the gold recovered from the wreck is worth an estimated $100-$150 million US. One gold ingot weighing 80 pounds sold for a record $8 million US and is recognized as the most valuable piece of currency in the world.

Just goes to show you if you have patience, money, and time to spare, it's amazing what kind of treasures you just might find.


The Hope Diamond