Monday, January 20, 2014

A "Jewel" Of A Monday Mystery...!

Once in a great while, we get a mystery that doesn't involve death, robbery, or bodily harm. At least, as far as we know!

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!

10 comments:

Tim said...

Here's a link to pictures of the pretty baubles. http://www.museumoflondonimages.com/viewCollection.php

Mamahen said...

Love this story! As kids my sister n I dug a lot of ground our dad would rather we hadn't looking for some buried treasure lol. Never found any but made a lot of memories, and that's treasure enough for me now, with my sisters all gone...Be glad to share the patio...36 here today but then we will start dropping down to single digits they say. Thanks for the invite :))

Chickenmom said...

The only items we find when we dig are rocks and not the sparkly kind!
Send that nice weather up here - gonna get really cold again.

BBC said...

Hum...

Rob said...

Funny how these things work... I was at Listverse yesterday & they mentioned the English civil war. I'm not sure I'd ever heard of it before yesterday AND today!

JO said...

Why can't I ever find anything important or worth something in terms of money? At least the jeweler who bought them turned them over to the museum.

We are having beautiful weather around these parts. See you on the patio.

linda m said...

That is a great Monday mystery. Wish I could find something worth money when I dig in my garden. Save a spot for me on the swing.

edifice rex said...

I always look forward to your Monday mysteries! I once found a gold watch on a jobsite we were clearing. You could barely tell there had been maybe 2 houses there many years ago. It was kinda mangled and I still have it. Need to sell it for the gold.

Sissy said...

Do you know of a picture collection?

I had a mystery item, a 1.5 inch disc found in my grandmother's garden. Totally foreign for the area. I recall a pyramid and a sun depiction. There is a circular bite taken from the edge. The metal - maybe brass. Certainly not gold. Many felt it was of Mayan origin. Wish I knew what happened to it; ah, wish I had back many items 'disappeared' over the years.

Also have a plaster cast of a footprint never seen by any of us. Another real mystery.

HermitJim said...

Hey Tim...
Thanks for the links this morning. I should have put one in the story, but I didn't!

Thanks also for coming over today!



Hey Mamahen...
I can't tell ya how many holes we used to dig in our yard when we were kids! Just part of playing outside I reckon!

Thanks for dropping in today!



Hey Phyllis...
I've certainly found my fair share of those as well!

Sorry you are gonna get some more cold weather. Right now it's pretty nice here.

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey BBC...
I know, right? Pretty cool!

Thanks for the visit.



Hey Rob...
I was a bit surprised myself when I heard it mentioned. I don't know anything about it either.

Thanks for stopping by today!



Hey Jo...
That seems to be my luck as well! maybe we'll get lucky one of these days, ya reckon?

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!



Hey Linda M...
I reckon that all we ever dig up is sore muscles.

Swing is saved for ya!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Anne...
I think that old demolished homes and offices would be a good place to find something.

Might be worth looking into for the gold!

Glad you could come over this morning!



Hey Sissy...
Boy, you have had a good deal of mysteries right around you. Don't you hate it when things like that "disappear?"

Thanks for stopping by today!