In a daring heist that took place in 1964, the American Museum of Natural History became the target of a group of audacious jewel thieves. Their objective? The priceless JPMorgan gem collection housed within the museum’s Morgan Memorial Hall of gems.
This meticulously planned operation aimed to secure the most significant jewels of the century. Under the cover of darkness, the thieves exploited the museum’s limited security, bypassing alarms and guards. They skillfully accessed the Hall of gems through open windows, gaining entry to the remarkable collection. With precision and speed, they seized iconic gems such as the Star of India Sapphire, the Eagle Diamond, and the Delong star ruby.
Having executed the heist flawlessly, the thieves reveled in their triumph. However, their exuberance and braggadocio soon attracted unwanted attention. Investigations led to the arrest of the perpetrators, with some stolen gems recovered.
The heist remained etched in history as a testament to both the audacity of the thieves and the vulnerabilities of even the most esteemed institutions. Today, the Hall of gems at the American Museum of Natural History continues to captivate visitors. The remaining jewels serve as a reminder of that fateful heist in 1964, a daring act that forever altered the museum’s legacy.
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Top image: American Museum of Natural History (Ingfbruno / CC by SA 3.0)