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The Cheapside Treasure Hoard
The site of a great treasure hoard discovered in 1912.
The Cheapside Hoard is perhaps the greatest find of Jacobean and Elizabethan jewellery ever made. It's a monster haul of over 500 gemstones, jewellery and loads of other valuable antique items.
They were found buried underneath the floor of the cellar during the demolition of a part 17th century building here on the 18th of June 1912.
The hoard was a massive lump of clay, about the size of a football, studded with gold. As the clay was washed away from the mass, earrings, pendants, jewels and accessories of all kinds emerged. The workers took it to a dealer they knew called Stoney Jack who frequented demolition sites and knew he had struck the big time immediately.
For his part in its discovery, Stoney Jack received a thousand pounds while his builders each received about a hundred pounds each.
The hoard, mostly in the Museum of London currently, hails from all over the world. Many of the items are loose gemstones, chains, buttons and cameos, while others are items like rings, pendants, brooches and fan holders. There's some splendid colorful enamelwork, popular in the Stuart era too.
One to see in the 2013 Museum of London exhbition is a magnificent gold watch set in a hinged, Columbian-emerald case.