Actually, this story is kinda cool, mainly because it's been around for a long time and is still unsolved. That's the kind of mystery we all like!
The Cheapside Hoard
On June 18, 1812, a group of laborers were demolishing a tenement building in the center of London. They were in for a surprise—a few feet below the brickwork, they found a huge collection of buried treasure. It included large amounts of jewelry crafted with gemstones from around the world, including rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. The pieces were intricate and varied—the emerald items alone included a carving of a parrot, bunches of grapes, a lizard, and a completely unique carving of a clock. In total there were 500 items, making the collection easily the most significant find of its type. Yet no one knows who it belonged to or why it was left there.
The hoard has been dated to the middle of the 17th century, perhaps during the English Civil War. At that time, the area was home to a number of jewelers and goldsmiths, and it’s entirely possible one of them buried the goods for safekeeping while he went off to fight, then never made it back. Shortly afterwards, the Great Fire of London came along and destroyed everything but the cellar.
The workers that found the items took them, still covered in mud and dirt, to a jewelry dealer known as Stony Jack. Jack had made it known to the laborers of London that he was more than happy to take a look at anything they dug up. He bought the pieces for a tidy sum and negotiated in secret to give them to the newly opened London Museum. The treasures continue to be shown today. The curators in charge of the collection hope that historians from around the world can help figure out where the gems came from and who was forced to leave them behind.
Jewels always make a mystery a little more interesting, I think. Something about them seems to fire up our imagination and allows us to create all sorts of back-stories to add to the true mystery. Many times, as we all know, the truth is way more interesting than the fiction!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. No mystery about how today is going to be a beautiful one!