The Hungarian Royal Crown Jewels

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Detecting.org.uk Home > Nazi Gold > The Hungarian Crown Jewels

The Hungarian Royal Crown Jewels

Hungarian Crown Jewels, stolen Nazi gold

Above: The Crown of St. Stephen, photographed on the 3rd August 1945. With special thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration

The Hungarian Crown jewels have had a long and tumultuous history. In 1945 the crown jewels, the crown of St, Stephen, a ceremonial Orb and sceptre, were stolen from the Palace of Buda in Budapest.

Later that year, US forces apprehended a group of Hungarian SS troops who had in their possession the iron bound chests used to store the crown, orb and sceptre, the chests were found to be empty, but after lengthy interrogations the group admitted that that they had hidden the crown sceptre and orb in an oil barrel which they had sunk in some marshland near the village of Mattsee in Bavaria, Germany.

Troops from the US Seventh Army soon recovered the barrel and the Hungarian crown jewels vanished until October 1965 when the Wichita Eagle published an article alleging that the Hungarian crown jewels were in the possession of the US state department.

The American government were quick to acknowledge that they did indeed have the Hungarian crown jewels, but also stated that they would not return them to the communist regime that was in power in the country at that time.

It was later revealed that the crown had been stored at the world famous US gold reserve at Fort Knox in Kentucky from 1945 until its eventual return to Hungary in 1978.

In 1977, US president Jimmy Carter decided to return the crown jewels and they were handed to communist officials in Budapest by the then secretary of state, Cyrus Vance on January 6, 1978.

An image of the crown was returned to the Hungarian national coat of arms upon the fall of the communist government in 1989.

The Crown of St. Stephen, orb and sceptre are currently kept in the Hungarian Parliament building.

On March 18, 1998, a specially commissioned reproduction of the crown was presented Jimmy Carter by �rp�d G�ncz, the President of  Hungary, as a gesture of thanks to the former US president for safe guarding the crown until, as President Carter said himself, 'conditions permitted' their safe return.

Got more information about The Crown of St. Stephen during World War 2 or its eventual return? email me!

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