Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala
The recent news that a huge vault of diamonds, precious stones, solid gold statues and coins valued at more than £12bn has been found in the 16th century Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, southern India, has surely catapulted the treasure trove contents into the top five most valuable finds in recent years. Although the total value is yet to be calculated, the diversity of the find, which includes an 18ft long necklace, golden artefacts, emeralds and antique silver makes the treasure trove really unique.
18Ft Gold Neklaces
Although the contents of the Keralan temple’s vault have been unknown until recently, it has always been assumed that it contained high-value items: it’s just that nobody really knew how high-value they were. Of course many other world discoveries of valuable items have been much more accidental in nature. The Keralan find will join a long list of treasure troves of the world, many of which do not have an estimated value and are deemed priceless.
Tutankhamun Death Mask
Tutankhamen’s treasure is most famous for the mask found in his burial chamber, however it is the king’s inner coffin, which is 74 inches long, 20 inches wide and high that is made of solid gold that is the most impressive. The chamber also contained gold covered shrines and the famous death mask. The ‘Treasury’ contained jewel chests which contained priceless jewellery. The find, made by Howard Carter in 1922 yielded over 3,000 objects, many of which were made of solid gold.
The Panagyurishte Treasure
Three brothers in western Bulgaria discovered The Panagyurishte treasure while processing clay in a tile factory in 1949. Dating from the 3rd-4th centuries, it consists of a phial, an amphora, and seven rhytons, with a total weight of 6,164 kg of 23-karat gold. It contains some of the most impressive surviving artefacts of Thracian culture.
Varna Necropolis Treasure
The Varna Necropolis is a burial site containing over 290 graves in Bulgaria. It was accidentally discovered by Raycho Marinov in October 1972. The graves contained sophisticated examples of metallurgy and pottery as well as more than 3,000 golden objects weighing approximately 6 kg. It is claimed that the gold dates back to 4200-4600 BC and is the world’s oldest gold. One grave contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that time period.
The Tillya Tepe Treasure
The Tillya Tepe treasure is a collection of about 20,000 gold ornaments and jewelery made from gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli from the 1st Century BC. It was found in six graves in northern Afghanistan in 1979. Eventually the pieces will be kept in a purpose-build museum in Kabul, but for the last five years, the most impressive pieces have been part of a traveling world-wide exhibition.
Polish ?roda Treasure
The Polish ?roda treasure was discovered during renovation works in the town of ?roda in 1985. It is believed to have belonged to Emperor Charles IV and consists of a golden crown, gold pendants, a medieval gold clasp, three rings, 39 gold coins and 2924 silver coins.
The excavation of a 10th Century shipwreck in 2005 yielded 14,000 pearls, 4,000 rubies, 400 dark red sapphires, over 2,000 garnets and over 8,000 ceramics near Java, Indonesia. It took over 24,000 dives to recover all the treasure from the ship.
This article was written by London-based jewellers, Ingle and Rhode – suppliers of ethical wedding rings, engagement rings and other fair trade jewellery.