#4. The Florentine Diamond
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A stunningly yellow diamond, and the pride of the Medici Family, this one is a treasure worth getting your hands on. Once upon a time, the Florentine Diamond was part of the Crown Jewels of Austria. Thought lost for years at this point, the Florentine Diamond is estimated to be worth around $20 million today.
The Florentine Diamond has nine distinct, sharp sides, cut by the Flemish jeweler, Lodewyk van Bercken, and originated from India. If you can believe it, in 1477, the diamond was plucked off the lifeless body of Charles the Bold and sold for only 2 francs (which was grossly undervalued, if you haven’t already guessed). It eventually ended up in Vienna, displayed as part of the Austrian Crown Jewels.
Then came a fateful day. Sometime in October 1918, the stone was stolen (along with a couple of Queen Elizabeth’s most prized possessions too). Authorities managed to stay hot on the trail, but it eventually fizzled out in 1919. The last known pair of hands to hold the stone was a lawyer called Bruno Steiner, entrusted with looking after it and keeping it safe. Naturally, he disappeared.
Eventually, he was tracked down in 1923 but denied ever actually having the stone. He later died in 1930, and no one ever found out where the stone truly was. Whether he’d hidden it or lost, it was quite the mystery indeed. One that avid treasure hunters were all too happy to divulge in.
The rumors spread far and wide, but most believe that the Florentine Diamond got smuggled into South America. A couple of pessimists think the diamond was re-cut into smaller diamonds and sold on the international diamond market. If that is the case, then all hope for finding it is undoubtedly lost! There is no way to be sure where it could be, but there is a hopeful selection of hunters still searching for it today.
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