An incredibly rare and expensive Fabergé egg has been discovered aboard a sanctioned oligarch’s superyacht that’s currently docked in San Diego Bay.
Only 69 eggs exist, and each example is worth tens of millions of dollars.
The egg was discovered by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) during sanctions-led investigations in relation to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
While the DOJ initially declined to provide any more details including the name of the vessel where the Fabergé egg was found, it did reveal enough for people to speculate.
The department said it was found in a $300+ million yacht that was first seized in Fiji and is currently docked in the bay of San Diego in Southern California.
All signs point to a 350-foot German-made yacht named ‘Amadea’, allegedly owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a billionaire who once owned FC Anzhi Makhachkala, a soccer club from Dagestan.
The House of Fabergé handcrafted 69 eggs between 1885 and 1917.
Out of those, 52 were specifically designed for members of the Russian royal family.
The remaining 17 eggs were allocated to other elite individuals.
Only 57 (in total) are believed to be still in existence.
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The problem is, it’s near impossible to know who owns which egg because many private owners are not publicly listed.
Kerimov, the owner of the $325 million yacht ‘Amadea’, could certainly be one of them.
There’s a unique history behind the eggs.
The Fabergé family traces its roots to 17th-century France but the company was actually founded in Russia by German jeweller Gustav Faberge, father of Peter Carl, the made who physically made the eggs.
The first egg was built in 1885 at the request of Tsar Alexander III who wanted one to gift it to his wife.
Most of the eggs are still in Russia but there are a few scattered around the globe.
Five eggs are part of the collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the U.S. and three are owned by the British Royal Family.
The State of Qatar, the Principality of Monaco and the Principality of Liechtenstein have one each.