Police in Dresden have finally released the first images of the jewels stolen in a brazen robbery of the Green Vault, which houses the Saxon Royal Collection, one of the most valuable collections of jewels on the planet.
At least two thieves participated in the heist, the biggest museum theft in Germany since the Second World War, and possibly the largest in German history. Police haven’t released much information, though they did say that two men smashed a display case, grabbed the jewels and ran. The two are also believed to have set a fire nearby to distract authorities.
Though the most of the invaluable collection remains intact, the thieves managed to abscond with a stash of jewels valued at more than $1 billion, according to the police.
Among other items, the stash includes a jewel- encrusted sword and scabbard, as well as bejeweled clasps, epaulettes, brooches, buckles and other essential 18th-cetury pieces.
Below are photos of some of the bigger pieces (via CNN):
Diamond hat clasp:
Comprised of 15 large diamonds and more than 100 smaller stones.
Made for Frederick Augustus III, this piece is comprised of more than 200 diamonds.
Order of the White Eagle
A medal honoring a member of a prestigious Polish order.
Sword & Scabbard:
The pressure is on for the police to find the stolen jewels, since the Saxon state government neglected to insure the collection (very un-German of them), leaving the state on the hook for the loss unless the gems are recovered unharmed, according to Bloomberg.
Police are saying that the theft took just minutes, with the thieves simply smashing a display case and running.
Anyone with information about the heist, or the jewels’ current whereabouts, is encouraged to contact the Saxony Police.