Saxony, GERMANY – November 25, 2019
Updated – New York, NY – November 28, 2019
NBC Nightly News‘ Peter Alexander and Bill Neely reported seventeen pieces of jewelry with an estimated value of one-billion dollars were part of the Dresden Castle Museum Green Vault collection taken in Monday’s heist. Included in the heist is a 49-carat diamond worth almost $12 million. Research conducted using major American and European media outlets did not report seventeen as the number of pieces stolen. The pieces date from the early 1700s.
The thieves were able to disable the security system by cutting electrical wires. They entered the “Green Vault” by smashing a window. The violent smash and grab continued, as the two used an axe to destroy the case in which three sets of priceless gems, containing diamonds and other precious stones were displayed. The inestimable value of the gems is due to their history, antiquity and cultural identity for Germany. Because the items are so well known, it is feared they will be dismantled and sold piece-meal in the black market. If they are taken apart, the value of the individual stones will plummet. The collection is not insured. See German State TV Report.
The getaway car, an Audi A6, was found gutted by fire. Before the heist, a shutdown of a power station due to fire, darkened the vicinity outside the museum, further hindering investigative efforts.
Evidence not destroyed includes internal black and white footage of two individuals dressed in dark clothing and stocking caps. As they enter the Green Vault, the masonic-style checkered marble floor is swept over a couple of times by flashlight. As the axe crashes through the case, shards of protective glass give way to the intruders. It appears the glass was minimally reinforced.
Among the notable pieces taken are a diamond-encrusted brooch containing an inner red cross made of rubies. The rubies form what appears to be a Maltese cross. Another piece stolen is large crescent brooch or pendant, set with multiple rows of diamonds, in a familiar “C” shape, with a thicker middle, and thin pointed tips. See More
The stolen collection did not contain the historic “Dresden Green,” a three-part bauble that contains a near 40-carat white diamond linked to a storied 37-carat egg-shaped green diamond, mined in India, with its own chronology in a well-preserved antique catalog. A rendering of the piece, created using specs from its first designer, shows a golden slaughtered ram, its curved horns also set with diamonds, draped over the bottom. This portion is no longer a part of the legendary bauble. See report, below.
The Dresden Green escaped theft as it had been recently loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City a few weeks before the heist. Early reports by CNN’s Dresden correspondent, Phil Black confirmed the loan. view report.