Arrrr...where's me treasure, wench?
March 30, 2008 2:08 AM   Subscribe

What and where are the collections of the worlds best treasure troves?

I want to track down the largest collections of gems, gold and jewellery around the world. Recently I was reading about the Iranian Crown Jewels and was gobsmacked by the sheer size of both the individual pieces and the sheer amount of it all.

I know about the English Crown Jewels, of course, and those of other countries. I guess there'd be collections of gems within various Natural History museums in the Geological section. Where else can I feast my eyes (online) on other brilliant baubles?
posted by ninazer0 to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Well, there's always the infamous jewels of Imelda Marcos.
posted by amyms at 2:19 AM on March 30, 2008

And Gems of the Rich and Famous.
posted by amyms at 2:20 AM on March 30, 2008

The Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer) at the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna is a pretty spectacular collection.
posted by goo at 3:43 AM on March 30, 2008

You've got to check out Topkopi in Istanbul. I was fully prepared to be underwhelmed but ended up gobsmacked with the quantity and quality of the jewels, precious stones, metals, in so many shapes, sizes and colours. Seriously impressive.
posted by michswiss at 4:18 AM on March 30, 2008

Seconding the Topkapi Palace, especially for its somewhat non-European emphasis.
posted by Quietgal at 8:46 AM on March 30, 2008

The Vatican.
posted by Smalltown Girl at 10:06 AM on March 30, 2008

Oh, I should have added: Who knows (besides popes and their pals) what really lies in Vatican vaults? Most people (us ordinaries) probably will never get to see them, either in person or online. But man, I'd love to wander around there!
posted by Smalltown Girl at 10:10 AM on March 30, 2008

The "Gold Room" at the Historiska Museet in Stockholm houses an extremely impressive collection of Viking gold and silver.
posted by honeyx at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2008

Sometime in the late '90s I saw an exhibit of Tsarist swag and I was blown away. An old website for the exhibit has some of the collection on-line. I seem to recall there being gold diamond encrusted thrones, Faberge eggs by the dozen, and all the other treasures you'd expect. I thought it put the UK's Crown Jewels to shame. I remember leaving the exhibit and being both impressed by the artistry of it all and also having more sympathy for a good ole proletarian revolution.
posted by boubelium at 3:23 AM on March 31, 2008

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