≡ 7 Most Precious Goods Lost Forever ➤ Brain Berries

If you lose a phone or wallet on the way home, you can backtrack and have a good chance of retrieving it. But if you’re a freighter, screw you. If you lose your cargo, it sinks into the murky depths of the ocean, never to be found again.

There are a few examples where the spoils of war were taken back to the land of conquest and somehow disappeared along the way. Let’s take a look at some of the most expensive merchandise out there.

1. The Train of Walbricht

This is the infamous Nazi Gold Train. It was rumored to contain around 300 tons of gold, jewelry, art, and other valuables, but it never reached its destination. In fact, we don’t know where it disappeared to or if it was there in the first place. Assuming it did exist, and that it contained 300 tons of gold, its modern-day value is only $20 billion.

2. Amber Room

Another piece of art was lost in the fallout from the war against the Third Reich. This room was originally built by the Germans in the 1700’s by slathering on amber. The Russian Tsar loved it so much that he eventually gifted it to him and added lots of amber to the room. Hitler wanted it back since the Germans built it, but no one knows if the room was able to be extracted before the bombing of Catherine Palace. It has been renovated into an $11 million room, but the original is said to be worth twenty times that.

3. Jewels of Lima

If it’s jewelry, you can imagine it’s very valuable. These lost jewels are worth around $1 billion and contain every gem you can think of. It contained a seven-foot tall gold statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus. Naturally, it was adorned with 1684 jewels. It was one of the things that got lost. A common pirate treasure story is attached to it: when Argentina threatened Lima, the English tried to leave with all their loot, but were sunk by a Spanish warship and the treasure was lost forever.

4. Felicity Ace

This is a modern story of cargo lost at sea. The container ship carrying 3828 luxury cars caught fire and sank. Think Lamborghini, Audi’s top line, Ferraris. Some research firm has done the math, and the ship’s sinking has cost an estimated $300 to $400 million.

5. San Jose Shipwreck

The cargo was thought to be lost forever, but was found 280 years later after floating at sea. Another casualty of the War of the Spanish Succession was the San Jose, which was sunk by the British during that period, taking 200 tons of valuables. Since the treasure was discovered in 1989, they were able to pinpoint it and set a combined value of $19 billion.

6. Flor de la Mar

The 400-ton, 118-foot-long ship has some good stuff when it sinks. It was involved in the capture of Malacca and the most important task of transporting all the booty only for the ship to mysteriously sink near Sumatra. There are many rumors about what actually happened, such as locals stealing the treasure or the captain sinking his own ship and lining his pockets with a large amount of jewels. We’ll never know, but we do know that everything on that ship would be worth about $3 billion today.

7. Sarcophagus of Menkaur

If it’s not clear at this point, the British don’t really have a good track record of safely transporting goods overseas. After this sarcophagus was discovered, the British thought it would look good in their own museum instead of leaving it in Malta where it was found. The ship carrying it capsized in bad weather. The sarcophagus has never been rediscovered. If you want to know what this object is worth, it is better to ask an Egyptian historian what value to place on the sarcophagus of the 4th dynasty pharaoh who built the third great pyramid of Giza. It’s probably priceless.

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