Jewelry heists has always been part of the jewelry world. From what was believed to be the Hope Diamond which was missing for a twenty-four hour period to one of the most recent jewelry heists in July 2013 in Cannes, France.
Let’s take a look at Top 5 Jewelry Heists.
At number 5 is the Antwerp Diamond Heist. Why does this make the top 5 jewelry heists of all time? It is because it is considered the world’s biggest diamond heist. The diamond heist happened in the Antwerp diamond district of Belgium. Its mastermind was Leonardo Notarbartolo who had headed a ring of Italian thieves. The vault was located two levels below the Antwerp diamond district and was stated at the time to be “impenetrable”. This was proven wrong in a cold February of 2003. The team of thieves had thought they had the perfect plan for a jewelry heist. To a point, they did, no alarms, no police and no problems. The diamond heist would not be discovered until the following Monday morning. Today the mastermind behind this jewelry heist is behind bars, but the jewelry and diamonds were never found.
At number 4 on this jewelry heist list is Harry Winston jewelry heist in Paris, France. This happened in December 2008 when 8 men walked into the Harry Winston shop in Paris and walked out with over $90 million in jewelry. Three of these men wore wigs and heels and dressed as women as not to look to suspicious. Once inside, they used a hand grenade and a gun to over power and rob the store. The security guard even held the door open as the men left with their suitcase full of jewels. The police never had a chance. The men were finally caught though, but some of the jewels were never found.
For number 3, The Grand Conde Diamond, a pink pear-shaped diamond was stolen. In 1926 it was stolen on an October night from the Museé de Condé in Chantilly, France. It was taken by a couple of amateur jewel thieves. They would have got away with it if it wasn’t for the chambermaid. This is unusual because this chambermaid had discovered the diamond after taking a bite of fruit that the two men had hidden in a fruit basket in their closet. The diamond had been squeezed into the actual fruit.
At number 2 on this top 5 jewelry heist list is The Star of India. The Star of India is the world’s largest Sapphire. It was stolen by three men in a cat-burglar style of jewelry heist. The date was October 29, 1964 and happened at New York’s Museum of Natural History along with the Star of India, other jewels were stolen. The heist totaled an approximate $90 million dollars at that time. The men took separate cabs to get away.
Number 1 on the list of top jewelry heists happened in July 2013 in Cannes, France. The Heist of the Century! This is what it was dubbed by some of the French press. It happened on a Sunday at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel and netted $53 million in loot all-together. The thief had his face covered. He broke in through the Croisette door and then fled on foot with a bag of jewels. The police are convinced that this crime was committed by a lone person. He has not been caught and brought to justice.
Fine jewelry is expensive and beautiful and the reason for so many jewelry heists. Jewels have been sought by treasure hunters and thieves’ alike decade after decade. Most jewelry that have been stolen has never been recovered. While other jewelry has been found and justice has been served. Regardless jewelry will continue to be stolen and robbed for years to come. At least for now these are our top 5 jewelry heists of all time.