10 Most Mysterious Gold Artifacts Discovered

From the oldest gold object ever made by humans to incredible craftsmanship shown by ancient cultures, here are 10 mysterious and amazing gold artifacts!

10. Ming Dynasty Gold Seal
Earlier this year, archaeologists excavating a Ming dynasty battlefield along the River Min in China’s Sichuan province unearthed a large gold object! It weighed 17-pounds (7.7 kg), and was made of 95 percent pure gold. It appears to be a seal that once belonged to an emperor-to-be. The four-by-four inch (10 x 10 cm) object displays the words “Shu Shi Zi Bao,” or “Treasure of the Shu Prince,” and has a tortoise on the back.

9. Tairona “Batman”
The Tairona Gold Museum in Santa Marta, Colombia houses a comprehensive array of gold artifacts from pre-Colombian societies from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range in the country’s northern region. Some of these objects were created by a civilization known as the Tairona, who were known for their expert metallurgy skills and manufactured some of the most complex gold items ever made in the Americas.

8. Guarrazar Treasure
Discovered between 1858 and 1861 in the Guadamur municipality in Spain’s Toledo province, the Guarrazar Treasure is a collection of 26 Byzantine-style votive crowns, gold crosses, and other jewelry pieces, representing one of the most important examples of Visigoth goldsmith work. During the 7th century, the King of the Visigoths offered up the goods to the Roman Catholic Church on the Iberian Peninsula, then known as Hispania, as a gesture of the orthodoxy of their faith.

7. Bronze Age Treasure Trove
In a remarkable discovery that stands to shed light on what life was like in Ancient Greece, a team of archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati announced in late 2019 that they had discovered something amazing! A wealth of unique and elegant gold jewelry and artifacts in two Bronze Age tombs in Pylos, Greece.

6. World’s Oldest Gold Artifact
In August 2016, Bulgarian archaeologists revealed the discovery of what may qualify as the world’s oldest gold artifact: a tiny bead estimated at 6,500 years old, which was unearthed among the ruins of a small house at a prehistoric settlement called Tell Yunatsite. With a diameter of just 0.16 inches (4 mm) and weighing just 0.005 ounces (15 centigrams), the incredibly small object was found on the floor of an ancient building.

5. Varna Gold
Prior to the discovery of the Bronze Age golden bead, the world’s oldest-known man-made gold came from the Varna hoard, an 11-pound (5 kg) collection of jewelry and pottery that is estimated to be around 6,500 years old. Discovered at the site of a lakeside cemetery in Bulgaria and excavated between 1972 and 1991, the goods consist of beads, breastplates, bracelets, earrings, pendants, a headpiece, a clay bowl painted with gold dust, and more.

4. The Amber Room
Designed by German Baroque sculptor Andreas Schlüter during the early 18th century, the Amber Room once contained over six tons of amber and other semi-precious stones, as well as floor-to-ceiling wall panels adorned with gems and gold leaf. Worth around $176 million in today’s money, some people referred to the Amber Room as the “eighth wonder of the world” due to its awe-inspiring elegance.

3. The Staffordshire Hoard
In 2009, metal detecting enthusiast Terry Herbert discovered a “war hoard” of over 6,000 gold Anglo-Saxon artifacts in Staffordshire, England. The treasure trove dates back to 650 A.D. and includes mostly sword fittings, along with a helmet, a cross that may have been used as an emblem of good luck while going into battle, and a piece of jewelry called a scabbard boss.

2. Golden Chiefs Of Panama
Archaeological gold mines have been discovered numerous times in Panama, yet researchers know very little about the pre-Columbian civilizations that made and used these artifacts.

1. Rare Scythian Ritual Gold
The Scythians were a little-understood culture of fierce nomads who thrived throughout Eurasia from 900 B.C. to 200 A.D., terrorizing the Ancient Greeks and Persians along the way. Due to their highly migratory lifestyle, the Scythians left no cities behind for researchers to learn about them. Evidence of this society typically appears in the form of large burial mounds called kurgans.