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Stumbling across hidden treasure might sound like a fantasy saved for video games, old movies and storybooks, however there are millions of dollars worth of lost treasure just waiting to be discovered all over the world. That’s right – lost treasure does exist, and for those willing to adventure to find it, the world is full of ‘treasure chests, tombs full of bling, and random pockets of riches here and there just waiting to be picked up!

Think about it – pirates hid them all the time, ship wrecks and sea caves hold endless amounts of wealth under the sea, and riches were frequently buried in tombs with their owners. Between the recent discovery of Viking Gold in Denmark, and the discovery of a 300 year old sunken treasure ship worth billions, real life can be just as exciting as any of the Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones films.

In a recent collaboration with ACS, we contributed to a post which examined seven famous treasures that were either lost or stolen, and listed their supposed locations. They’re all still out there somewhere – all you have to do is search for them!

Legendary Lost Treasures That are Still Waiting to be Found

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The Lost Treasure of the Beale Ciphers

Estimated value: $66 million USD (today’s value)

Number of years lost: 194

More than a century ago, an American called Thomas J. Beale and his buddy published instructions to a real life treasure hunt. They found a huge amount of gold and silver from mining in the Rocky Mountains and buried it as a life insurance policy for their families.

The problem is, the clues are so intricate that nobody has been able to locate the site where Beale and his companion hid their loot.

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The Spanish Treasure Fleet

Estimated value: $100 million USD (today’s value)

Number of years lost: 301

Florida divers seem to be constantly finding Spanish gold, and there are probably more treasure hunters based here than in any other place in the world.

Known as the Treasure Coast, if you ever visit Vero Beach and spot a cluster of shimmering dots on the shoreline, don’t be too quick to dismiss them as sunlight hitting the water. You can find a lot more here than sand dollars and shells!!

Historically, fleets loaded with treasure would often traverse the seas between Spain and America, and on July 1715, twelve ships carrying silver, gold, and gemstones got caught in a fierce hurricane and sank. Precious relics lost that day continue to wash onto Florida shores. $175 million of the treasure has been found to date.

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The Gold Train of Walbrzych

Estimated value: Over $1 million USD (today’s value)

Number of years lost: 70

Of all the castles to visit in Poland, there is one in particular which is shrouded in more mystery than the rest. The majestic 13th century Ksiaz castle in Walbrzych, Lower Silesia, is rumored to contain underground tunnels that hide a train laden with Nazi gold from the Second World War. It has become known as the gold train of Walbrzych.

Rumors about a train laden with 300 tons of gold, works of art, jewels and even parts of the Amber Chamber of Saint Petersburg (see below) started to circulate in the 1970’s. It was said to be hidden in an underground shaft close to the castle.

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The Amber Room – The Lost “Eighth Wonder of the World”

Estimated value: Between $142 million and $500 million USD (today’s value)

Number of years lost: 71

“This is a legacy of a treasure that was once a gift, but lost to the fate and gluttony of war.”

In 1716, Prussian King Frederick William gifted the Russian Czar, Peter the Great, with a room whose walls were crafted from amber. Think glistening panels, mirrors, gold leaf and jewelled mosaics – these wall panels were beautiful and elaborate, and many considered them to be the eighth wonder of the world.

In 1941, Nazi soldiers looted the room and shipped the panels to Germany. By the end of the Second World War the panels had disappeared completely. Some believe that the amber wall panels were destroyed in the bombings of Königsberg Castle, yet others believe that the panels were transported elsewhere prior to the destruction and remain hidden in boxes somewhere in the city of Kaliningard.

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The Tomb of Qin Shi Huang

Estimated value: Unknown

Number of years lost: over 3000

Quin Shi Huang was the The first Emperor of China, and as the most revered leader in Chinese history, he was entombed in a vast underground city, surrounded by thousands of life-sized terracotta soldiers, and buried with his endless riches by his side.

The compound was discovered in 1974, though only three-chambers within the structure have been excavated thus far. This is a slow process for a number of reasons; namely that technology is not advanced enough to dig that deep without causing damage. Though also due to the legends that the underground tomb is surrounded by poisonous rivers of mercury, and archaeologists are being careful to not poison the underground streams in the area.

It’s unlikely that pick axes will reach the central section of the mausoleum where the emperor lays buried, so his treasures may remain hidden for some time.

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King John’s Lost Treasure

Estimated value: $70 million USD (today’s value)

Number of years lost: 800

On the 9th of October 1216, King John ‘the Bad’ was traveling through an area of England aptly named The Wash. Today this is believed to be the area surrounding the Village of Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire, though at the time it was a huge expanse of marshes and dangerous mud flats.

King John been particularly fond of collecting (stealing) jewellery and gold plate, and was accompanied on this journey by his treasure carts. They were said to have carrying the crown jewels, gold coin to pay John’s soldiers, silver and gold plate, holy relics and the sword of Tristram, one of the Arthurian knights.

The convoy was trapped by the tide and drowned – the treasure carts said to have been sucked into the quicksand of the Walsh, and have never been found.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Florida diver by NOAA Photo Library. Książ Castle by Mariusz Cieszewski for PolandMFA. Terracotta Warrior Statues by Kevin Poh & sulla55.

    24 Comments

  1. What a cool idea for a post. I’d love to dive to a sunken ship and learning to dive is on my bucket list for this reason! The Amber room sounds amazing!

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it – Florida is a great place to learn to dive, and who knows, maybe something you find on the bottom of the ocean will pay for your lessons :D

  2. There’s always something so alluring about lost treasure, isn’t there? It’s so fun to read about, if not to seek out! I can’t see myself actually going after the treasure, but what an adventure, right?!

    • Totally agree! Even if you can’t see yourself as a real life treasure hunter, equally as exciting to imagine too :D

  3. Amazing! I always think there is something romantic about searching for lost treasure. Makes me think of all those movies, especially a really bad one called “Fools Gold.” Would be an adventure of a lifetime!

    • Haha I remember Fools Gold … love that movie :D

  4. Loved reading this!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Carmen! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  5. Can I just quit my day job and be a professional treasure hunter?! Such a fun post, thanks for sharing!

    • Wouldn’t it be the best job in the world!!

  6. Love this article so much! I love mysteries and love ancient things. These make me so curious and now because of you I will have to go on youtube and watch some Discovery Channel shows about treasures and ruins hihi

    • Thanks Thuymi! If you’re looking for fab treasure hunting shows, check out “Expedition Unknown” on the Travel Channel – in love with it at the moment, it’s fantastic!!

  7. It is crazy how much worth those treasures are…What a waste to know they are probably lost :/

    • It’s mind blowing to think of such amazing wonders just sitting buried or at the bottom of the ocean probably never to be found!!!

  8. A great read and never knew some of this. :) How the hell some of this treasure has a value like that is beyond me :P

    • Crazy to think right! Billions of dollars just out there waiting to be found!!

  9. A unique post to read and informative too. Lot of treasures in this world are lost. In India too we have heard lot of stories about the lost treasures of the kings. Its really interesting to know this :) In childhood days we used to dream sometime that we will search and find them..Lol…

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Sumti! I hope one day you may stumble across one of these loots!

  10. Great post idea really..and one to inspire some treasure hunt! We got many people running around with metal detectors in bavaria. So amny old roman coins to be found here..well for those who know where to look for :)

    • Sounds amazing Norman! We lived in Florida for a little over a year lol and you couldn’t go to the beach without seeing at least a dozen metal detectors out there searching for Spanish gold. Might have to hit up Bavaria soon!

  11. Do you know any real life treasure hunters? Am very interested to know?
    Thank you.

    • I love watching Expedition Unknown which is a Travel Channel show hosted by Josh Gates – he seeks out hidden treasures and myths about legendary lost treasure all over the world. It’s a fabulous show!

  12. I loved this post, and would some day like go on a Treasure Hunt for some of this loot.
    We live in VA and have known that the Beale Ciphers were a hoax. No treasure there, it was made up to draw visitor to the area.
    Keep up the awesome blogging.

    • Myth busted then!! Thanks for the heads up on the Beale Ciphers – pretty good plot to draw visitors in!!

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