Treasure Hunt! 5 Stashes of Gold, Silver Waiting to Be Found

An Indian temple uncovered more than $22 billion in valuables in vaults.

July 5, 2011 — -- Gold coins, statues studded with diamonds and other precious stones. A trove of artifacts with a value of more than $22 billion.

That's what's facing -- and causing much debate among -- politicians, religious leaders and historians in Kerala, India, where a bounty of riches was recently found in a 16th-century Hindu temple.

Six days of searches ordered by India's Supreme Court unearthed treasures upon treasures donated during hundreds of years by temple patrons.

E. Lee Spence, an underwater archaeologist and well-known treasure hunter in South Carolina, called the find in India "amazing."

He said that an aspiring treasure finder didn't have to head across the world to uncover riches, though.

"There are multibillion-dollar treasures on this side of the world that can be found," Spence said.

With the riches at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple causing a major stir, ABC News put together a list of five unfound treasures that still have hunters and historians perplexed.

The Amber Room

Dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Amber Room was crafted almost entirely of six tons of glowing amber. It was estimated to be worth $150 million in 2008.

Built by Prussian King Frederic the First, it dazzled kings and queens for 300 years and was sent to Russia as a gift in 1716. During World War II, the Nazis moved the German-made room to the Konigsberg Castle where it was put on display.

After the tide of war turned, the Germans boxed it up and it hasn't seen since. The room was recreated in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Blackbeard's Treasure

Though artifacts from Blackbeard's flagship -- the Queen Anne's Revenge -- are on display at a North Carolina museum, one won't find any treasure left by man the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum calls "the most notorious pirate who ever sailed the high seas."

According to David Moore, a nautical archaeologist at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, Blackbeard ran his ship aground, giving him and his crew time to remove all valuables. According to lore, Blackbeard responded when asked about where he'd buried his treasure that nobody but he and the devil knew where it was.

Treasure of Lima

In 1820 Spanish leadership and clergy in Lima, Peru, shipped their riches to Mexico under the command of a Capt. William Thompson. The valuables were worth nearly $60 million and included gold statues and jeweled swords.

Thompson killed everyone on the ship and sailed to Cocos Island near Costa Rica and buried the treasure in a cave. He did try to recover the loot but was unsuccessful as were many others.

Montezuma's Treasure

Aztec emperor Montezuma collected his treasures -- including gold, silver and sculptures -- during years of deadly conquests.

After the emperor was killed by his people, explorer Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors fled Mexico, dumping the riches they'd stolen from the emperor into the street. Later, with a larger team, they returned and Cortes and his men searched the lands looking for the treasure but found nothing.

Some historians say the treasure remains where the Conquistadors dropped it -- underneath the city.

Yamashita's Gold

No one is absolutely certain that this treasure exists but many books, articles and websites exist on the story.

Legend goes that during World War II, Japan sent its war loot to the Phillippines.

The story goes that when the ship arrived in the Phillippines, a Japanese general named Tomoyuki Yamashita was assigne to hide the treasure in tunnels. It's said that after the war ended, Japan had the treasure returned but historians have never found credible proof that the stash ever existed.

ABC News' Claire Shipman, Cindy Smith and Olivia Sterns and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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