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Hungarian Crown Jewels
The Hungarian Royal Crown Jewels
Above: The Crown of St. Stephen,
photographed on the 3rd August 1945. With special thanks to the
National Archives and
The Hungarian Crown jewels have had a long and tumultuous
history. In 1945 the crown jewels, the crown of St, Stephen,
a ceremonial Orb and sceptre, were stolen from the Palace of
Buda in Budapest.
Later that year, US forces apprehended a group of
Hungarian SS troops who had in their possession the iron
bound chests used to store the crown, orb and sceptre, the
chests were found to be empty, but after lengthy
interrogations the group admitted that that they had hidden
the crown sceptre and orb in an oil barrel which they had
sunk in some marshland near the village of Mattsee in
Troops from the US Seventh Army soon recovered the barrel
and the Hungarian crown jewels vanished until October 1965
when the Wichita Eagle published an article alleging that
the Hungarian crown jewels were in the possession of the US
The American government were quick to acknowledge that
they did indeed have the Hungarian crown jewels, but also
stated that they would not return them to the communist
regime that was in power in the country at that time.
It was later revealed that the crown had been stored at
the world famous US gold reserve at Fort Knox in Kentucky
from 1945 until its eventual return to Hungary in 1978.
In 1977, US president Jimmy Carter decided to return the
crown jewels and they were handed to communist officials in
Budapest by the then secretary of state, Cyrus Vance on
January 6, 1978.
An image of the crown was returned to the Hungarian
national coat of arms upon the fall of the communist
government in 1989.
The Crown of St. Stephen, orb and sceptre are currently
kept in the Hungarian Parliament building.
On March 18, 1998, a specially commissioned reproduction
of the crown was presented Jimmy Carter by �rp�d G�ncz, the
President of Hungary, as a gesture of thanks to the
former US president for safe guarding the crown until, as
President Carter said himself, 'conditions permitted' their
more information about The Crown of St. Stephen during World
War 2 or its eventual return?